Saturday, January 10, 2015
Late last night, just before we were about to go to bed, we decided to head down to the chooks to check that they were all tucked up safely in their houses. Earlier that day, in preparation for the heavy rains to come, we had pulled their houses a bit further up the hill onto higher ground and extended the fences to accommodate them.
Dressed in our pyjamas with raincoats, gumboots and head-torches, we drove down the hill. And as the head-lights flashed across the paddock we saw, to our horror, that about 280 of the 300 chooks were scrunched in a huddle, soaking wet, on the site that their houses were positioned before we had moved them that morning.
In a complete panic we jumped out of the car, grabbed handfuls of chicken legs and started carrying them up the hill to their dry houses. 150 steps there with four chickens each, 150 steps back, in the pouring rain, in the pitch dark. I think we did that crazy dance about four or five times before farmer Bren had a brainwave and drove off to fetch some chook crates.
Upon his return we loaded eight birds into each crate, drove up the hill, unloaded each bird into their house and drove back down the hill to repeat the process. Over and over and over.
By the time we had popped the last chook into her house and wished them goodnight we were saturated, exhausted, it was well after midnight and I had that thought that I have from time to time - wouldn't it be nice to actually go home from work. Wouldn't it be lovely to knock off and leave it all behind until the next day.
Needless to say we've been taking it rather slowly today, netting the overgrown apple trees in my parents' orchard, looking after the animals, whittling and basket making. And thankfully despite their nightmare night, every chicken survived the ordeal. Phew.
Hopefully they'll find their way home tonight.
Hopefully you spent your tenth day of the new year doing something you love.