Chicken Freak Out!

You won’t be surprised to learn that it was insufferably hot here all weekend.  I’m not sure if it was really HOT as much as it was HUMID.  Either way, I spent a lot of time griping about the heat and wearing my hair in a pony tail because I’m out of the hair spray that allows me to turn it into a brown football helmet.  I also spent a lot of time keeping the chickens cool and the pile of melon skins in the run is getting to be almost embarrassing…for them….not me…well, I guess for me too because if I was a good chicken mama I’d go into the run and get them, right?  Well…the run doesn’t have a man door yet.  We’re working on it.  Once it’s in, I’ll go in there with a back hoe and clean out those melon skins IF the chickens will let me have them.

Last evening, I went out to check on the Beaked Freaks and they were all calmly lying around in The Dust Bowl and preening in the twig pile at the end of the run.  Tom was walking the dogs (there are seven…it takes a while) and when I’m sitting by the run, he’ll bring whatever dog, or trio of dogs (the Chihuahuas all go out together) by the run so that they can see the chickens.  They are all curious about the chickens, so we’d rather let them see them close up through the run than have them obsessed with trying to go back there because we won’t let them.  The chickens could care less that there is a dog parade is going on.  In fact, the dogs could care less that they are IN the dog parade.  Anyway, it was just a typical evening.

All of a sudden, Opal started cackling like she was really upset.  All the chickens stopped doing whatever chicken activity they were doing, and looked around.  Opal kept looking back at the tree line and just wouldn’t stop.  Tom came by with one of the dogs to see what all the ruckus was about (“Can you describe the ‘ruckus’, sir?” <–Breakfast Club reference).  By this time, Opal was in full siren mode and couldn’t seem to stop herself.  Her face was bright red and I’d never heard her make this noise before.  She didn’t notice the dog that Tom was walking, she was upset with the tree line.  REALLY upset.

I’ve noticed when one chicken gets upset, the rest of the flock follows suit.  Cluck had gone into surveillance mode and was scanning the sky, but he made no sounds.  The rest of the chickens were quiet too.  Much quieter than they normally are.  Except for Opal who was clearly out of her mind about something she was sure would kill them all.  Vinnie was sort of a mess and was trying to look at everything at once and his comb and wattles were flying in all directions as he tried to keep an eye on everything and then he got so excited that he sounded the same alarm.


Then he looked around like he had no idea where that sound even CAME from.  Hey…he had a rough weekend.  First Cluck chased him around for about 12 hours and then there was that whole fight with Opal and there was no more melon in the run which was really the biggest problem as far as he was concerned.

Gloria crept up to Opal as if to ask “What’s wrong?” and Opal just continued sounding the alarm.  I saw the neighbors’ cat through the bushes in the tree line, but they usually don’t care about that cat and in fact, there are a couple of neighborhood cats (including our cat Pandora) who come to lay outside the run on some old shingles that are part of the woodpile.  So cats aren’t a “thing” for the chickens.  They are curious about them, but they’ve never acted afraid of them.

Even after the cat was gone, Opal continued to freak out and the others were getting decidedly more nervous.  Suddenly (and you can barely hear it in the video, there was the sound of something large in the trees next to the run…like WAY up in the trees.  The branches rustled and it sounded as if something jumped to another branch.  We have a lot of squirrels because of the oak and walnut trees on the property…this didn’t sound like a squirrel.  It sounded a bit….bigger.

Here’s what we heard:

I never did figure out what she was so upset about.  I suppose there could have been a raccoon in the tree, but we’ve never seen one around the house.  It could have been a large, clumsy squirrel…but something tells me it wasn’t.  Frankly, I have no idea what it was, but it sure scared Opal.  I actually took several videos of her making that noise, because I think she probably carried on for at least ten minutes.  So it remains a mystery.

sasquatch chicken

But I told the chickens it was a Sasquatch.


7 thoughts on “Chicken Freak Out!

  1. Well we just found out that groundhogs will climb trees. I walked by one of our many wooded areas on our property a couple of weeks ago and what I thought must be a really large squirrel was not. We could not believe our eyes because there was a pretty big groundhog perched in one of the really tall pines. Had to google it and found out not as unusuale as we thought.

  2. You know….between the attack on Vinnie the other day and this little bit of hysteria….I’m wondering if Opal is Oliver? ……I hope not……Our Fifi turned out to be Frank!

  3. You will get used to that sound believe me. . That’s what they sound like after they have laid an egg. .. Sometimes when one gets going everyone begins to chime in!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s