Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

The Most Re-DUCK-ulous Thing To Happen Yet

Friends, you know that I only ever tell you The Truth About Farming. But I can scarcely believe this tall tale and I was standing right there watching it. I swear I am not making this up.  This is the most re-duck-ulous thing that has happened yet.

So Kai let me know that there was some malfeasance going on down at the pond so I pulled on my muck boots, grabbed my beatin' stick, and me and Dog#1 headed down to see what was going on. What had happened was that one of the younger roosters, who by his actions just volunteered to be first on rooster day, had taken a gaggle of hens down by the pond.

That's right... down there by Fox Central. Me and the dog picked up speed as the hens saw us closing in on them - a couple of clicks from me and some hand signals and Dog#1 had gone around and sent most of them hens high tailin' it up the hill to the safety of the goat yard. All but one very silly little hen who ran the wrong way and down into the valley.

"Get down there and get that hen, Titan!" I shouted and pointed to my right hand man and off he went. I heard the flapping and squawking as she ran thru the underbrush to get up the hill, suddenly alighted....and flew...then crash landed in the pond.

In the pond!

Me and Titan, fearing the worst, both took a sharp breath in...and.....and.... she floated. Like a duck. For whatever reason, the only thing I could think of at that moment was, "Obviously that chicken was a witch."  Me and the dog stood there blinking in disbelief.

"For heavens sakes." Said the dog.

"Yeah I know." I replied and then we headed toward the closest point on the shore to the still floating chicken. She was just kinda toolin' around out there and had started to drift towards us. I figured that would be about the end of it and I could just fish her out of the pond. But then she started floating out to sea again.

I determined I should bust out my best Baywatch lifeguard skills and so I stepped out into the pond - and promptly sank into muck boot deep mud and stuff. Ick.

As you know, I'm good in a crisis. I am also extremely experienced in the water. My mother felt strongly that we should all know how to swim at a young age. So I was the kid that was always on swim team, always was at the pool (unsupervised back in the day), and I was even in synchronized swimming. Most of my vacations back in my Big Life revolved around the water. Heck I can free dive to at least 50 feet if not better.  So I am not afraid of the water. Well. I'm not afraid of the ocean.

Farm pond water? That is another matter entirely.

Who knows WHAT is in that water. I know for a fact there are snakes in that pond, and all manner of hoppin' things, not to mention some catfish, and there was rumor of Ol' Snappy - a legendarily large snapping turtle known to kill anything that ventured out too far into that murky gloom.  So for many reasons I steadfastly refuse to get into pond or lake water. And there I was feeling my boot filling with water and on the horns of a dilemma.

The decision making logic went a little like this...

"Oh NO! I gotta resuce that poor little chicken!"

"Hell no, I am NOT getting in that water."

"It was kind of her fault for flying into the pond.....attrition happens...and she is just chicken # 24."

"Oh crap... that's the hen that I promised to someone...."

As I stood there, boot now full of water, pulled between duty and disgust I heard the urgent whining of my best battle dog dying to let me put him in the game.

"Please, please, please please???" The big dog looked at me with hopeful eyes. The fact is, he's good in the water for sure. But just as I was deciding that it probably wouldn't be so bad if I sent a 100+ pound not-retriever into the water to get a freaked out chicken...the damnest thing happened.

That chicken turned and swam across the pond.

I mean to tell you she paddled her little feet and glided across the pond like a swan. When she reached the other side she hopped out, shook herself off, and trotted up the hill.

Me and the dog stood there slack jawed and buggy eyed.

"For heavens sakes." Said the dog.

"Yeah I know." I replied and then we headed around the pond to follow this little duck-chicken-witch-swan up the hill. She ran into the hen house like nothing unusual had just happened.

Standing there watching her toddle away I realized the best part about this whole thing.....

That little hen was one of my SALMON Faverolles!  No wonder she could swim! Apparently "salmon" doesn't just mean her coloring and that weird little extra toe must be for swimming.

So there you have it. I may reevaluate giving that little hen away - you never know, I may have stumbled upon a real money maker - Ohio's Famous Swimmin' Chickens.

Friends, I tell you the truth, I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried.

Happy Thursday everybody, and get your order in now for one of these famous swimmin' chickens!


Robin said...

I think you should take her on tour!!

KatB said...

I just love your stories. Keep 'em coming. :)

Mr. H. said...

So chickens can swim, I always wondered about that. Washing themselves with dust and all rather than water I had my suspicions that they would not do all that well in a pond situation. Maybe your bird is the first chicken to ever swim...or maybe only your special salmon birds can swim. How much you asking for one of them fancy swimming birds?

Carolyn said...

Farm life is definitely stranger than Fiction!

CrazyChickenLady said...

I already ordered my future swimmers from Myer... oh, but we don't have a pond... but, there is the pool... hmmm... wonder what the fiance would think of the chickens in the pool... better not try it until after I convince him the new coop we are building isn't gonna be big enough. LOL

Beth of the Rocks said...

Is it possible to get a gaggle of chicken witches?

This tale went well with my coffee!


Tracy P said...

You should be writing books!! You are flippin' hilarious :)

Autumn said...

A chicken that can swim, I guess you've just done and seen it all now. ;)

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Robin, what a great idea! i could work up a whole Cirque de Farm thing and get her a little outfit and everything. hey! maybe she could ride Nibbles and dramatically dive into the water. *OFG walks away calculating how many millions she'd make*

Thanks Kristen, I cant believe half this stuff actually happens.

Mr. H, One Million Dollars. Can I sign you up for 3 or 4?

Carolyn, ain't that right.

Bekah - well if you have a pool then you need some geese! ha!

Beth.. Duuuude... thats totally gonna be my new band name "Gaggle of Chicken Witches." Awesome.

Ah shucks, thanks Tracy!

JeffJustJeff said...

Might there be video of the aforementioned synchronized swimming? I'm think that would go viral on YouTube....

PS, I broke down and got some meat chickens at TSC. They don't look like mutants when they're a day or two old. I'm waiting for the day when I walk in there and one of them is 600 lbs saying, "Feed ME, Jeff" a la Little Shop of Horrors....

David said...

You sure can spin a yarn! Made my morning

Rae said...

"A witch, a witch!"

Your posts crack me up. I'm gonna be chuckling over this one all day!

"So, if she weighs the same as a duck... She's made of wood!" :)

Chai Chai said...

Now you are just teasing me concerning the Salmon Fav's....

Are you sure the chickens weren't conspiring with Nibbles to distract you from the birthing?

Since when is Kai taking point for the "shenaningans" scouting? Titan is going to get jealous and have to give out some whoopin's!

dragonlaurel said...

Thanks for the great story! Thank goodness I wasn't eating or drinking anything.
I read it to my hubby to. He likes your stories.

dragonlaurel said...

Thank goodness I wasn't eating. That was great. I may have to think about getting some swimming witch chickens someday.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

JJJ - there is no WAY I'm releasing that video. Great work on the creepy meats! You'll get some laughs for sure.

Dave, I couldnt make this stuff up if I tried.

Rae, I've been laughing about that.. and I almost turned into a newt while I was down by the pond. I got better. ;-)

CC - you need some of these chickens for sure. And yep! Kai is now on lookout - but she's wild with bloodlust and doesn't always return to base as instructed. Titan, tho, he stays on target - and on mission.

DL, I have missed you SO much!!! Hope that you are well *hugs!*

small farm girl said...

Well, who would have thunk it?!

lorihadams said...

ROTFL.....Now if you could just get a bunch of them to syncronize in cute little outfits and swim caps you could go make a killing!!!

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