I just reinforced the chicken coop the other day because my neighbor lost 3 of her 6 chickens to coyotes during the day, so I reduced the chicken coop/run into a dedicated coop by eliminating the run and reusing the materials to reinforce the run. (Reduce/recycle/reuse) The new coop is about 20 x 50 ft, but has 10 ft high welded steel fencing to keep out anything that goes bump in the night. I created a gate/door . . . well more of 2 - 4 ft high pieces of fence stacked up to create an entrance into the enclosure to keep the chickens in.
So I asked Janis to help me chase the chickens back into the new coop. Actually, I think I said, "Honey can you help me with something." ( Famous last words :) ) She comes walking over with a Rum and Coke in hand to help. I show her the new enclosure and the gate/door thingy and explain that I need her to keep the old flock in place while I chase the new flock in . . . Mistake #1 - Asking a city girl who is still timid around chickens to guard the gate. She heads over to the gate thingy and stands there with Rum and Coke (RnC) in hand. I proceed to chase the chickens all around the garden while she is laughing hysterically because I am waving my hands around trying to herd the chickens in a straight line . . . Mistake #2 - Never try to herd chickens, much less in a straight line. At this point, I see a chicken run right by my faithful helper so I explain that her job is to keep the chickens in, while I get the rest of them in. (Chickens 1, Humans 0) I return to my previous chicken chasing duties and manage to get 3-4 of them running her way . . . and she stand there and watches them run right by her into the orchard. Ok, I didn't explain that part of the job was turning them into the coop when they head her way.
Back out in the yard . . . down by the pond there are 3 chickens . . . get them running the right way and right before they get to her, they do a split and 2 of them head the wrong way while the remaining chicken runs into the coop squawking and chasing 2 more out of the coop. (Chickens 3, Humans 1) So, I head back over to the gate to explain that her job is to keep the chickens in, while I try to get the REST of them in. Back out to the yard, more hilarity ensues as I proceed to chase a particularly stubborn rooster around a tree about 3 times and finally into the coop! (Chickens 3, Humans 2) I head back out to the garden to chase a few and hear a batch of squawking, so I turn around and "Her Royal Guardianship" is holding one chickens by the tail while it squawks and flaps its wings in all manor of panic and three more chickens run out of the coop. (Chickens 6, Humans 2.5) I run over and show her that by grabbing a chicken by the legs and turning it upside down they calm down and quit fighting. (Chickens 6, Humans 3) . . . Mistake #3 - Chasing chickens while your partner is holding an RnC. Out to the workshop, 2 headed in the right direction, right into the coop as another one passes right back out into the yard . . . (Chickens 7, Humans 5) At this point, I'm getting a bit frustrated because the chickens are beating both of us worse than the Patriots beating the Cowboys in their own stadium. So, I ask her to put down the RnC and show her how to wave her hands to scare the chickens further into the coop when they get too close to the gate thingy. Now she's practicing her chicken hand waving skills and it's my turn to chuckle. :)
Back to the yard, 2 chickens in (Chickens 7, Humans 7), I'm winded and tell J I'm going to take a smoke break and she heads over to the smoking area and 3 chickens run out because the gate pops open . . . Mistake #4 - Make sure that the gate thingy has a reliable clasp. (Chickens 10, Humans 7) I have a great idea during the smoke break to use a length of black irrigation pipe because several of the chickens are hanging around a thicket of brush that they can run through and I can't. Technological edge baby, 5 more run in. (Chickens 10, Humans 12) We're starting to work as a team, I'm chasing 2 back, she jumps out to scare them in and they run the wrong way and take 4 friends with them . . . (Chickens 14, Humans 12) and she is laughing hysterically as the RnCs are kicking in and I'm chasing chickens, flopping this irrigation hose like a demented scarecrow, cursing epitaphs about hot wings and chicken soup. Time for her to chase the chickens for a bit. Suddenly, chasing chickens around the garden isn't so funny. :D We manage to get all but one in and decide to take a break. We're sitting there in our chairs enjoying a cig and a drink when suddenly Janis sees the last roo over by the gate. She's holding her drink but does this pass hand flip thing with the drink while grabbing the irrigation hose and breaks out in a dead run towards the coop. The chicken panics, jumps up squawking and flapping it's wings and Janis stabs the hose through the fence and it falls onto her thigh, the chicken lands on the hose and she grabs it by the leg and flips it upside down almost ninja style while never spilling a drop and with her cig still in her mouth . . . looks at me and says, "That's how you chase a chicken . . . city girl style." I love my city girl . . .