Georgia is a curious chicken. She's friendly, talkative, likes to sit on your shoulder like a parrot, and especially likes to escape from the coop. This morning I took Jip out for his morning romp around the yard and there was Georgia, inside the chicken run saying "whaaaat?" in greeting. When she spotted us, she jumped/flapped up onto a stick (o.k., so it's the hand railing that we tore off the stairway) that Joey stuck into the coop to create a perch. And when we didn't come say 'hello' she squeezed through the fence and jumped to freedom.
So I put Jip back in the house and decided Georgia could be free-range while I filled up the chicken waterers with the hose. And when I went to put her back in, two more got out. So basically, I spent 20 minutes chasing chickens around the yard, trying to get them in the coop while keeping the others from escaping.
I probably looked like a chicken myself. At one point I was actually singing, "coooome on Blackie, thiiiiiis way Blackie," as if a chicken could understand what I was saying. Georgia, maybe. But not Blackie. And Georgia is easy to catch, because I think she actually likes being held. That damn little black one, not so much. I tried shaking a scoop of food (usually works with the sheep) and I left some chicken food on the step up into the coop. I even tried walking behind the hen with my arms spread wide saying things like "gooo on, there's the door, there's your friends..." She was way more interested in scratching in the garden than going back into poultry captivity.
I'm pretty sure this was the same chicken that Joey was chasing around in the sheep pasture last night when I got home from work. All the other chickens watched from within their coop as Joey tried to grab the black hen, chasing it around and around a round bale of hay, causing the cow to become alarmed and jump over the hay bale. When the wily hen was finally captured, the ram butted Joey's hand for good measure on his way out of the gate.
So yes, I spent my morning trying to reason with chickens. And yes, I think sometimes the animals like to have a bit of fun at our expense.