My Mum had chooks.
Lots of them.
40 in fact.
Mum decided to go to the UK to the Chelsea Flower Show and asked me to care for her beloved chooks.
Ok, so my sons and I moved out to the farm for a month so as to care for these creatures.
I have never liked chooks.
Dirty filthy things that they are.
Chooks are canabalistic, they will attack and eat a sick member of the flock.
All in all, I do not like them.
Heck, I do not even like eating eggs, but, Mum loved her chooks so I steeled myself to care for them in the best way I could.
The first week went without incident. Let them out into the paddock in the daytime, collect eggs, feed them some grain and lock them up at night so the foxes do not get them.
Nothing to this I thought.
One morning I went out to do the daily chores and disaster had struck.
Every chook was covered in fleas!
I know not from where these fleas appeared.
What to do.
The chooks would surely die if not relieved of their fleas.
I remembered I had some chemicals to spray on my horses when they got itch mites.
Maybe this would do the trick.
I sprayed the chooks, actually almost drowned them, but they recovered and no more fleas to be seen.
Phewww that was a close call.
A friend came to visit.
Between us we had 4 black dogs.
These dogs had never shown any interest in the farm animals so we went inside for a cuppa.
All was quiet , we talked and talked, then it was time for the friend to leave.
Where were the dogs?
After a couple of whistles ,the dogs appeared, oh no, was that feathers on their mouth?
Better check the chooks.
8 black chooks and 7 white ones dead.
Dead as dodos.
Just lying there like they were sleeping.
What was I going to do.
Mum was due home in a few days.
I dreaded facing her.
She was a savage woman at times.
Especially if something happened to her darn chooks.
I was beside myself with worry.
I sat there aimlessly flicking through the local paper, looking for I don’t know what.
Suddenly I saw it.
Chooks for sale.
I quickly rang the number.
Do you have any black and white chooks I asked.
Sorry was the reply. Only brown ones.
Oh no, I can’t replace them with brown ones.
The place down the road has black and white chooks the lady told me. Maybe you can get some from there.
I rang the next place. It was a chook farm. Poor things locked in small cages laying eggs all day and night.
Heck, now I was feeling sorry for chooks. Must be getting soft.
The man agreed to sell me the required number of chooks. Not cheap either.
I went to collect them.
Golly gee, the chooks barely had a feather on them but you could just make out their colour from a few tufty feather on their heads.
Ok, put them in boxes, load up the car and off we went home.
The noise and stink was bad. Very bad.
By the time I arrived back at Mums place the whole car stank and was covered in liquid chook shit. Ughhhhh
I released the critters into the pen, they were joyous little bald things
savouring their freedom.
I could relax a little now.
Next morning there were loads of eggs in the nests. Must have been a thank you from the new residents.
Mum returned and first thing she did was to go out and count the chooks.
All there! Whatever happened to the feathers she asked.
I pleaded ignorance and said they just dropped their feathers overnight. Maybe I fed them too much barley and they got hot.
They are laying well though.
Til the day she passed, Mum never ever knew the truth.
As a goodwill gesture, she left me the chooks when she passed.
I gave them away!