I don’t live in the country. Sometimes I’d like to. I’d plant my own garden and maybe get a fainting goat or a miniature pony. Definitely a tiny pig. For now, I live on a street with many other houses. We aren’t close enough to pass sugar to each other through the windows, but there is not much land. That’s ok, I’m happy with our house… for now.
The thing is, some neighbors down the street recently got some chickens. Hens and roosters. I always say to do what makes you happy. I have two family members that own chickens. I think it’s great. They have fresh eggs and cute little feathered friends walking around. Here’s my issue, these neighbors just let their chickens run wild, they’re not enclosed in any way.
I thought for a while maybe they just escaped. I’m all for helping people, but this month is insanely busy. I couldn’t find anywhere to pencil in chicken chasing. I just couldn’t. Don’t judge. Either way, they didn’t escape. There was never a fence.
I often see them hanging out in the front yard of nearby houses. The chicken show is actually a street over from mine, which is a much busier, much higher traffic street as well. I just mentioned to my husband a few days ago that they’re going to get hit. Are there “loose chickens in the city” laws? If they lay an egg in my yard, can I keep it? Would they even lay eggs in random yards? I’m so confused.
I have no idea about such things.
Today, as I was driving to pick up my child from school, it happened. I was driving fast (as usual) rolling down the windows (it’s a beautiful day) and turning up the radio (who doesn’t need music to go with speed and wind in their hair?) Out of the very corner of my peripheral vision I noticed a black blur. Just as I rounded the hill, a giant rooster decided to run for it. Across the street. Right in front of my van.
Someone needs to discuss street crossing safety with these loose in the city chickens. They obviously aren’t aware of such things as cars that can hurt them. The whole thing was less than 5 seconds, but it played in slow-motion. I can still picture this poor bird’s face as he charged into full speed after noticing my van. His eyes grew very large, his wattle began to swing furiously, and I’m pretty sure his feet started moving in a circular motion like a wheel.
My brakes nearly locked up. My tires squealed, although thinking back, that could have been the rooster screaming. The thing that really confused me though, I never saw it reach the other side. I looked back many times with clear view and… nothing. I didn’t hear or feel a hit, so I began to imagine the worst.
I was picturing this poor wide-eyed chicken being drug under my van. I just had to pull off and check. Of course, mostly for the safety and well-being of the rooster, but also.. being honest here…I couldn’t imagine rolling into the school pick-up line with a rooster under my car. Windows down, music up, rooster dragging… not a look I’m comfortable with.
I pulled off in a restaurant parking lot. Some men were standing outside talking. Who eats at 2:30 anyway? I was so glad they got to witness the hilarious view of a mom squat-walking around her van to look underneath, (That’s a workout by the way) as her child kept screaming, “Mama, is the wooster under dere?”
I never found it.
As I sit here writing, my mind is now curious if I imagined the whole thing. I mean, how can a giant chicken just disappear? How? Also, is there a name for rooster hallucinations? His eyes were so big though.