This mommy-to-be (that's right, if you missed our Facebook announcement, we're expecting!) has already played her entire hand of energy cards today, and I've only made it through morning chores. It all started with the cries of a farm cat coming from the shed. Tiger had apparently fallen asleep in there and been locked in overnight. Don't worry, she made herself at home with the free buffet of open feed bags.
As I was searching for her hiding place, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye by the grill. It wasn't Tiger colored, and I didn't think we could have possibly got two cats stuck in there overnight. Had we locked someone else in the shed?
Wait... that's not a cat!
The meat birds got out of their brooder!!!!
Yup, that's right the meat birds that have been hanging out in their brooder have made it to the age that they should go out on pasture. We just happened to be 12-hours too late with our plans for this evening, and the birds managed to fly up and pop the top cover of the brooder and four of the sixteen found their way out into the shed... chowing down in the feed bags, balancing on flower pots, and making themselves a nice comfy roost on a pile of pallet boards.
This left the now tired pregnant woman, who hadn't eaten breakfast yet, let alone fed anyone else, a dilemma. How was I going to get these birds back in?
I'd move within three feet of them, and they'd frantically fly looking for a safe place out my reach, and pooping whenever I got close enough to grab them out of fear. Now they were wedged between flower pots in positions that I could not get to them in, clinging off the spokes of a mountain bike, perched on the windowsill, and one almost made it to the rafters.
In the meantime, the birds still in the brooder were trying with all their might to once again pop the top and join the escapees in their perceived freedom. I refilled their feeders and tossed two boards on top of the brooder to try and hold down the screens that covered it.
Defeated, I called my husband for a second time; the first time having been to inform him of the situation that I found myself in ten minutes before.
"Do we have a fishing net on a big pole somewhere?" I asked meekly.
"Nope, just the ones downstairs... can't you just corner them and grab them?"
"I haven't eaten breakfast yet, or even touched the rest of the chores, and every time I bend up and down I get more and more lightheaded," I sighed. "Could I just put a container of feed and water in the shed for them and leave them for when you get home?"
It was a last resort for the now exhausted pregnant lady who could hear the farm cats scratching at the door I had managed to tie shut with a piece of bailing twine. Purrball was adamant that I was way too late with his breakfast. Even Tiger seemed to want back in because at least then she'd have her free-choice feed sack buffet back. I shooed the cats away from the door, and completely defeated and exhausted set out containers of water and feed on the floor of the shed next to the brooder. It's just four of them, I reminded myself as I went out to finish the chores.
Here's to hoping the Mr. has better luck catching "just the four" escapee meat birds tonight so they can head out to their new homes on pasture. There's officially never a dull moment around here.