Saturday, September 17, 2011

Chief Chicken Catcher

I have a new skill to add to my resume.  Once again, my skills and abilities are being increased in ways I never imagined by the farm.  My most recent skill is chicken catching. 

Every so often one of our layers gets out of the hen house yard or one of the meat birds escapes from the chicken tractor.  That kind of escape has gotten to be a routine event.  The key to catching a runaway chicken is to surround and pin down.  If the bird has no escape route it will usually hunker down in confusion.  This momentary inactivity on the part of the bird makes grabbing it a fairly easy job.  Grabbing a chicken does require both hands.  The key when grabbing a chicken is to make sure the wings are folded next to the body and the feet and beak are facing away from the grabber.  If you have the wings down and the feet and beak away from bare skin there really isn't much the chicken can do to escape.  As long as you have a good grip, carrying the chicken and putting it where you want it to go is easy. 

A few weeks ago we transferred half of our meat birds from a single chicken tractor into a second chicken tractor.  Moving 50 birds from tractor one to tractor two helped me perfect my chicken grabbing technique.  Having the boundary of the tractor certainly made the grabbing easier.  Also having plenty of chicken targets increased the odds for success.  I was even able to share my chicken grabbing expertise with my brother in law.  While he doesn't have nearly as much chicken grabbing experience as I do, he learned quickly and, because of his help, the time and energy required for moving the chickens was much less.

I'm not really sure how I'll list my new chicken skills on my resume.  Chicken grabbing expert doesn't sound quite right.  In fact, it sounds a bit perverted.  Chicken catcher might work.  Chicken wrangler?  Chicken coordinator?  Chicken director?  Any other suggestions?

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