This happened yesterday morning:
So my mom is sick and Dad went to church alone Sunday morning. He has issues with on-time-ness when left to his own devices and so was running late. Mom asked if I could let the chickens out into their pen. I leave a bit later than they do (different churches and all - they have to get their early for practice since Dad's on the 'worship team') so it wasn't a problem. I knew that the chickens needed their water refilled and they needed food and some more of this stuff we feed them to help them have strong shells on their eggs. It's ground up and baked (?) oyster shells. Anyway. I got the food ready and grabbed the bag of shells and then the water bucket and trucked on down to the pen.
I set everything down and opened up the gate to the pen and then I decided 'Oh, I'll leave this open while I get the food into their feeders and get everything all set up and then I'll close it before I let them out of the coop.' Brilliant plan, right? Right.
So I get the feeders filled and the water set and all that good stuff and then I roll the tarp back (we have it on to help keep them warm since it's been so cold at night) and open the coop door. Out pops Henzilla (our giant hen - seriously, she's the size of a small turkey) and I'm busily latching the coop door open so it won't swing shut in the wind or anything and I see Rocket (the rooster) hauling chicken butt toward the corner of the pen where the door is. And I look and think, 'Huh. Where's he going in such a hurry.' Then I swung my head up to watch him and went 'OH SHIT!' because, you guessed it, I forgot to close the gate.
Of course Rocket was already out in the yard by this point. I shooed Henzilla back farther into the pen and tried to coax Rocket back into the pen with sweet words and some food. No go. He'd sort of come but then he refused to go past the door. So I went out of the pen and went and got the work gloves that were in the big shed. I though maybe, since he's an old show rooster and used to people handing him, that he'd let me walk up and pick him up if I moved slowly and didn't startle him.
Hah! I 'chased' him around the pen and the shed twice. Very. Slowly. Well, I'd left the shed door open and on the second pass he decided to run up the ramp and into the shed. Great! So I followed him in and closed the door behind us - now I had him in an enclosed space and at least he couldn't fly off. Easy as pie from then on, right?
Clearly you have never tried to catch a chicken.
Ten minutes, at least. Because it's a rather large shed - more like a workshop and it's full of stuff because Dad's working on building Chicken Palace so we can get some more hens. So there's wood and things just *all over* and it's like a chicken sized maze! I finally got him cornered between two spools of extension cords (I'd given up the nice and slow approach by this point and chased him there with a broom) and managed to get one hand on his back over his wings and then scooped him up with the other hand.
And then the bloody bird just laid back and looked at me like, 'Well, that was fun!' Henzilla was down in the pen making very unhappy chicken noises and Rocket just let me carry him down and even shift him so that I had him pinned between my own arm and my side so I could open the gate. No trouble. Bloody bird!
In the middle of it all when he had just like...chicken commando crawled between two levels on a shelf so I couldn't get him I was thinking, 'Stupid bird!' and then it occurred to me that he couldn't be *that* stupid since I hadn't caught him yet. :)