A well-behaved barn crowd and a sad, lonely chicken

Posted: January 20, 2007 at 8:06 pm

Tonight I was showing Ellen the ropes for putting the barn crowd to bed.  Usually the most entertaining and challenging part of the process is getting 10 barn animals into 6 barn stalls, in the right places.  Usually 9 of those animals (Petunia being the only exception cuz she’s already inside) are crowding at the doors and ready to mow down any human trying to act as traffic controller.  Usually, I feel a moment of panic as they all barge in and Spritely goes in Swinger’s stall and the donkeys race to Spritely’s stall, and the sheep go in Gideon’s stall…well, you get the picture.

So what happens tonight when I’m about to demonstrate the finesse I’ve developed and impress the boots off Ellen with how well I manage to keep my cool and get everyone in the correct place? The crew decides to change their habits, and come in one at a time and march quietly and nicely to their own stall.  I was reminded  of last year at the passport office, where you stand behind a line and wait for the clerk to call you forward.  We opened the barn doors, and the only animals waiting to come in were the donkeys, who walked nicely into their stall.  I poked my head out and saw Annie, Kissy and Grammy, the sheep, waiting their turn.  Kissy and Annie came in, and with a little encouragement, Grammy followed suite. 

And then I looked out the open doors and saw ….no one.  We had to go out and call the horses.  And instead of stampeding in willy-nilly, Swinger walks into his stall, followed a few minutes later by Spritely who goes into her stall.  Five minutes later she’s followed by Gideon, who needed a little encouragement to get past Swinger who likes to nip his bunkmates as they wander by.  That leaves Carl, who patiently waits for us to finish with feeding ritual and to make up his bed for him.  Even he was cooperative tonight, only keeping us waiting a couple of minutes to be able to close the barn doors, instead of the 15 or twenty it took last night to get him in.

Oh Ellen, you are in for a surprise Monday when you get to solo!  I wish I had a webcam out there.

As for the chickens, Hank the rooster went to his adoptive home today.  We moved Edna to the other side of the two-part chicken enclosure to live with Rusty, Pleeze, Jerome and Helga. Hank’s new family took a crate in, and Hank hopped right in.  And Edna rushed over to the adjoining fence and began her sob, sob, sobbing.  OMG, my heart went out to her!  And as Hank was about to be carried out, all the others came and lined the adjoining fence and gave him a military salute.  When I checked at 7:00, Edna was still sob, sob, sobbing by the fence to the old space she shared with Hank.  Who would have thought that an old curmudgeon like Hank could evoke such grief in the little hen who preferred to sleep in a dog crate rather than share a henhouse with him?

All in all it was a great day – the laundry got done, the hay has been delivered, Carol had visitors aplenty to keep her out of our hair (AND she did a great job cleaning house from her wheelchair with some assistance from Caroline in the big dogs’ room), Hank got a home, Nicole and Mo ran the dogs, and Ellen, Carol and I got to eat Deb and Chris’s awesome shepherd’s pie for supper and Deanne’s wonderful brownies for dessert.

13 Comments on "A well-behaved barn crowd and a sad, lonely chicken"

  • Rae says

    Sounds like it was a very productive and satisfying day!

  • Maureen says

    I was worried about Edna last night , I think we should have moved the blue carrier filled with hay into the other coop with her… I hope she was inside with the others last night. I will move that over today . Gosh my heart-strings were pulled hard watching Edna saying good-bye to Hank.. I hope she settles in with the others quickly.

  • Jean says

    Carol doesn’t want the carrier moved over because we want to get Edna integrated with the others. She was fine this morning – in the henhouse, ate the grain readily when I fed them, and then ran along the inside of the fence giving me sh*t for letting Hank be adopted. She’s very talkative today, but doing well with the others.
    We are going to open up the run by cutting the wire on one side of the cross section, and then move them to the other henhouse so eventually Petunia will get the purple house for her new home, with access to the garden.
    Carol got out to the barn this morning (I have pictures!) and greeted each of the barn animals and had a nice chat with Petunia. I think they were distracted by thoughts of breakfast (though they had been fed their grains already) but I’m sure they were all glad to see her – and she, them.
    Carol can’t access the blog at the moment – as many people have told me, there seems to be a slight problem with the system which arbitrarily blocks regular bloggers and readers with a “404 Forbidden” notice. If anyone with computer skills is at Saints today, perhaps you can show Carol how to delete cookies as that seems to help some people get back in. I won’t be back there until this evening.

  • Carol says

    i fixed it myself…but thx.

  • Ellen says

    OhOh… now that Jean and Carol have been out to the barn TOGETHER, I am REALLY worried about Monday evening’s barn routine. If you two gals have come up with an elaborate initiation scheme and suggested to the barn inhabitants they wreak havoc on me during feeding and bed time… well, I’ll just have to take tomorrow evenings dinner back home with me and you two will go hungry!!!
    Spritely, Gideon, Swinger, Jenny & Winston, Carl, Grammy, Annie & Kissy, Tunie… Pleeeeeeeeease be good for me tomorrow, pleeeeeeease?!!?!?!?!

    😛

  • Jean says

    Ha ha ha – Ellen, I had a little talk with them and told them to behave. Of course, that’s no guarantee (who the heck ever does what I tell them?). But if they don’t behave, at least I’ll look forward to the tales you can tell afterward. It’s so boring when they all behave.

  • Ellen says

    Hey, whatever comes (or should I say whoever comes through the barn door first)… I will just deal with it. Everything will be fine.

  • Maureen says

    All went smooth this evening, except the lights must be on for Carl to come in… Jean I think your instructions say to turn out the lights and go stand by the gate… or else I read them wrong.. in any case I figured it out quick enough & in Carl went.

    Ellen one thing I’ve learned dealing with horses.. watch your toes : – )

  • Ellen says

    Thanks Mo about the light for Carl, I will leave it on until he is in. And I will try to keep my toes out of the way too.

  • Jean says

    Oh – I always have to turn it off to get him in!!! Weird. I thought that was what we’ve done when Carol and I have put them in together.

    Carol is once again blocked from blogging – she got on long enough to make one comment, wrote a new blog entry and then couldn’t post it. She just gets “page not found” when she tries to get the blog page. Nicole? or Chris? she has cleared her cookies – any ideas what else she can try?

  • Maureen says

    Hmmmm just so we are straight, the light near Petunia stall needs to be off , then when Carl has gone in, turn off the lights right by the door. That is probably what the instructions read….

    BTW – I am falling in love with Sanderson… that dog is precious ,please everyone lets try & search high & low for the most perfect home for him .. he is a sweetheart and has lots of spunk in him. Today he got a case of the zoomies in the front yard & that was it, he had my heart. after i took him out back on a leash with Maude & a few others… he is a dream boat of a dog. How sad his people would turn on him after 16 years, I hope one day they experience that kind of loss & feel that kind of loneliness

  • Jean says

    Mo, I always turn out ALL the lights and wait for Carl to go in – and I’m pretty sure that’s what Carol and I do, cause then we just move forward and close the doors. So I guess maybe it depends what kind of a mood Carl is in! LOL. Do whatever works for you.

    I am also in love with Sanderson – he gives the nicest little kisses once he gets to know you. He is just a sweetheart. I just do not understand how they could have thrown him away after 16 years – he doesn’t even seem to have ANY issues at all. And despite the fact they claimed he was incontinent, he most certainly is not. He asks to go out and does his business quickly on or off leash.

  • Maureen says

    I think Sanderson just can’t hold it for 8 hours, the family admitted that when they went to work he would go inside… but they just didn’t have room for him in the new place.. I mean he takes up so much space…

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