21 July 2008

The Duty

The Chicken population has got out of hand. Nine Eight Seven roosters and nine hens. No wonder the poor Ladies have taken to hiding inside the Chook House all day!

Terry Pratchett got it all wrong. The Death of Rats should be personifiedperratified not as a Rat, but as a Cat. (Or small, frantically yapping Dog.) I, in turn, should be dressed up as the Death of Chickens. Or a Death of Chickens, anyway, if Death is going to franchise out his operation, as seems increasingly popular. Clearly not a very active or diligent Death of Chickens, otherwise we would not have this Chicken Overpopulation Problem.

Every time I go out to give the Chooks their evening feed, I curse myself for not having got around to offing a few of the roosters. Most of the younger roosters have grown as big as they're ever going to get, and have reached that stage where they'll bonk anything and everything in sight. About 18 or 20, in other words. Finally I got determined and caught three of them last night. Evenings are really the only time we stand a chance of catching them -- once they're roosting for the night, safe (or so they think) in the Chook House1.

I thought I had the "right" three... A number of the younger roosters Must Go, along with the Rocky Rooster -- the Grandfather of the flock. He must be about 6 or 7 years old by now, and has been a fantastice Head Honcho, but he's definitely showing his age lately, and we have another youngster who is an exact clone and who we'll keep as his replacement. Needless to say the moon was not up yet when I went out to catch them, so I ended up catching the youngster instead of the Old Fart. So: 2 out of a desired 3 is not too bad.

Started getting the Terrible Two out this morning for Choppie Choppie... the smaller of them put up such a squawkin' and a flappin' and a kickin' and scratchin' that he managed to escape me. Bugger!

Oh well. The best laid plans... At least there's a (very large!) chicken in the freezer right now. With just J & I at home it should make at least three meals. We'll try again tonight.

[1] For readers of Afrikaans, it's really called Die Hoendervleis Paleis. But how the hell do I translate that to English and still make it rhyme?

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