So, I have chickens. I got six back on Palm Saturday. One went to chicken heaven a couple of weeks later, leaving me with five. They are White Rocks, and they are very sweet. A couple of weeks ago, I decided to add a couple more, so I got two Red Star Sex Links and a Barred Rock, plus two baby Easter Eggers. The Red Star (Thelma and Louise) and the Barred Rock (Mabel) were already laying, so we have been having a nice little influx of eggs. At least one of the White Rocks (as yet unnamed, but keep reading) is laying now, so we get to have eggs a lot.
The only problem is that two of the White Rocks are chicken stalkers. As soon as one of the laying girls goes up into the coop, the two stalkers follow them up. As soon as the egg hits the coop, you can hear peck, peck, peck, and those two bad girls eat the eggs. BAD girls, I tell you.
Now, I have read all of the solutions to this problem, and they are few. I put a couple of Easter eggs in the coop with them, and they rolled one of them right down the ramp, just to let me know that they knew it was fake. Add to it that the girls don't lay early like the books say they should. They lay between 11 and 2, which makes it impossible for me to stalk the coop to grab the eggs during the day. It's been a challenge.
I had built a little pen for the girls to free range in during the day, but they fly out, so the past couple of days, I hung a sheet over the top to keep them in, till I could figure something better out. This, while reading up on how to butcher a chicken, just to keep my options open. But every time I put the girls into the pen, one of them flies out, and sometimes two. I sat out there for a couple of hours this morning -- it's really quite relaxing to watch them -- and watched as the same silly bird kept escaping. And yep, she was one with egg yolk all over her. Busted! So I quarantined her to the garage. Then another one kept doing the same thing. One with even more egg yolk on her than the first. ERRRGH! So I threw her into the garage as well, and figured I would deal with her after church this evening.
Seth had been gone all day to GENCON, so when I got home, he was back, and one of his buddies was here. I yelled down the stairs and asked if they wanted to help me execute a couple of chickens. Seth said now, very quickly followed by his buddy yelling "I want to." They came flying up the stairs. Seth asked how I wanted it done. I told him I'd been doing a lot of research, and couldn't decide.
The quickest way to do it would be to use my stun gun, but at a million volts, I'd be afraid that she'd explode, and what kind of bloody mess would that be? Seth's jaw dropped. Nick thought it was a cool idea, then silently picked up a hammer that was sitting on the kitchen counter and looked at me with an eyebrow raised. "That's another option," I said. "Yeah, or we could hit them on the head with a baseball bat," Nick said. At this point, I told him he might be a little too enthusiastic, and if he ends up being a serial killer, I am not taking responsibility for it. So he started coming up with other interesting ways to send the girls to their demise. This included dropping the garage door on them -- which would work, since I have an old garage door that doesn't stop if anything is under it. Seth said no way, because that was just plain freaking him out. I told them it would be too hard to hold the chicken down so that it worked, and that it was cruel. I suggested the old bop 'em on the head, wring their necks, or the broomstick trick.
I think it was at this point that Nick suggested burying them alive, and Seth pronounced that that was one of his nightmare ways of dying: being buried alive, or drowning. I added dying in a fire, which Seth said wasn't as bad, because "at some point your nerves would die, and it would stop hurting." No comfort, man. No comfort. Nick said that it would be even worse if some good Samaritan decided to rescue you. "Hey man, my eyes got burned off, I'm missing four fingers, but hey, thanks."
Meantime, Seth and I were still sitting there holding the chickens.
His argument was that we'd raised them since they were babies, and we just couldn't kill them. To him, that was even more true since they aren't fat enough to eat. He said if we were gonna eat them, it would be different, so I said we could kill 'em but it would be too much work for the little amount of meat it would give us. He said we needed to eat their bones, or we couldn't do it at all. Nick decided at this point that he couldn't kill them, rendering his future as a serial killer useless. And meantime, we are still sitting there holding the stalker chickens.
I told them that we could try clipping their wings so that they couldn't fly out of the pen, and try leaving them out during the day while the other girls laid their eggs, and see what happened, but if they kept causing problems, they have to go. They agreed to this, but we couldn't tell these girls from the other White Rocks, so I grabbed some nail polish and some scissors. We clipped their wings and painted their legs and a stripe on their heads, then tossed them into the pen.
The two stalkers have been named Beyonce (because her nail polish is blue, like Ivy Blue) and Shawna (and if you don't know why, don't ask, but Seth said he wouldn't have as much of a problem killing Shawna). Meantime, the patio looks like a chicken massacre, because you know what? Feathers aren't easy to sweep up. And the girls are back in the coop with a stay of execution that will last only as long as it takes before they eat an egg.
And we still haven't decided how to do it.