Raising baby chickens may traumatize you

It was late June 2018, a beautiful, warm, and sunny day. After getting home from work that afternoon, I had a little extra energy and decided to work on the little chicks’ run and mini coop. The six adult hens and cocky rooster enjoyed the show through the chicken wire between the two coops. I put lots of lovely, fluffy shaved pine bedding in the mini coop, then cleaned out the water bowl and filled it with fresh water. 

Ahh, happy chickies! With a feeling of joyous accomplishment, I opened the door — uh, tried to open the door to get out, but it would not open. “Seriously?!” I exclaimed as I tried to open the door a second time. Nope. Nothing. Ordinarily, I would have my cellphone tucked into my waistband for just such emergencies (to which I seem to be awfully prone). This time, however, I had laid my phone on the outer window ledge on the big chickens’ coop so I couldn’t accidentally drop it in the muddy run. Smart, right? My phone was several feet away and out of my sight. Great! Hubby won’t be home for at least four more hours. Great!! No one inside the house would be able to hear me yelling. Great!!! I’m freaking stuck in here, and I’m going to die. I can see the news story: Woman trapped in a chicken coop for hours suffers severe dehydration and numerous deep, life-threatening wounds from vicious pecking chickens! I tell ya, it’s the modern-day version of that Alfred Hitchcock movie! You can’t make this stuff up, folks!

There I was — trapped — left with 16 young, inquisitive chickens and my own wits and resourcefulness to get myself out of this mess. Okay, we’re breaking out of this mother! The door to the run opens out into the yard, usually. I tried to pull it inside, against its normal flow, which got me nowhere. As luck would have it, the metal pipes I hammered into the ground to keep raccoons from digging under the fencing were now keeping ME from getting OUT. I’m sure the raccoons are having a good laugh right about now.  Next, I pushed the door hard, in the right direction, hoping that whatever the SOB was catching on would be released. Of course, that didn’t work either. Okay, let’s try kicking the bottom of the door really hard. Yeah, that was futile. The next few minutes remain a blur to me as my panic from being trapped took over, and I basically beat the hell out of the door and bent the entire frame to the chicken run. However, to my surprise, my maniacal efforts paid off as I discovered a 6-inch gap through which I could possibly make my escape. I think I can. I think I can!  I squeezed my body through the tiny and incredibly painful opening, effectively shaving inches off my hind-end and my breasts and finally got myself free! At that point, I had 23 birds standing there motionless, staring at me with a look that said, “What the cluck was her problem?”


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