Chickens: Almost as Funny as Ducks!
My first foray into livestock outside of Triple Strand Ranch came in the form of the mighty chicken. Money was tight, so it made sense to acquire some egg layers. I started with 3 Rhode Island Reds and one white silkie. I had absolutely zero craftsmanship skills, and I had no tools. Still, I threw together a coop-styled enclosure and added the birds. Everything was going fine for a week or so. Fine, that is, until I was forced to tear down that coop and move them into a new one.
I was broke, so a new coop built with new materials wasn’t going to happen. Let us not forget about my total lack of craftsmanship skills! What I did have was time, however. I drove around every day until I found the materials on the side of the road that I needed to create something that resembled a chicken coop.
I had an old raised wooden deck and stairs that were left over from a trailer that had been moved from the property, so I had a good base to start with. I hit the jackpot as I drove down a road in an affluent part of town. They had recently replaced their dock, so I had a big pile of weathered boards to used for my walls!
I finally had my coop. It took forever, and it wasn’t pretty, but it was off the ground and was as big as a shed. I put a hole in the side of it and made a long rectangle out of netting for a run. It was horrible. Horrible, but adequate. I put my chickens in there and prepared for eggs.
I had already begun to learn their individual personalities. I learned how they moved, how they slept, and how they managed their pecking order. I learned that there has to be a boss, and in the absence of a rooster, one of the females will rise to the top. I did not have a pleasant chicken take that position.
Booyakah was the boss's name. She handled the other chickens with an iron beak. When she was hungry, she would lead the charge against my toes. She would not stop trying to peck my toes (I rarely wore shoes) until I picked up their feed. The rest of the chickens would follow, but they were just bluffing.
They all had their own personalities, and all of them were hilarious. Watching them go after a bug or a lizard was far more entertaining than I thought it would be. Granted, watching them tear a lizard in half wasn’t fun, but the rest of it was. It is important to remember that they will pretty much try to eat anything that moves as long as it’s the right size. Still, they were always hilarious to watch. They do funny things all time. Actually, I find the way they move to be funny on its own.
Our flock grew to 12 chickens rather quickly. There was just something about them that I had to have more of. Making omelets with 4 eggs every day was the primary reason, but their funny business was a close second. I will always have chickens when I am allowed to. Yet, chickens aren’t the funniest bird around.
Ducks are easily the funniest birds on a farm. Chickens are hilarious, quail are just small and collective, and turkeys aren’t very funny at all, but I can laugh every time I look at a picture of a duck. They walk funny, they squawk funny, and they flock funny. Ducks are so funny that they have been turned into several funny characters on TV and in movies. Howard the Duck, Donald Duck, and Daffy Duck are just a few famous funny ducks.
That’s good enough for me. Ducks are filthy little things, they can be noisy, and they are more expensive than chickens. Still, I have since collected 30 of them because they are hilarious, although there are a few real reasons to have them as well. They are great at foraging for pests, they taste great, and their eggs are ideal for baking. Yet, the first thing I think about when I think of ducks is just how funny they are.
Which bird do you think is funny enough to raise on a farm?