chasing chickens

Yesterday morning we vaccinated nearly 800 chickens.  And I learned something interesting:

No matter how athletic, agile, or elegant one may normally be, it is impossible to appear graceful while chasing a chicken. 

Yep, there were guys out there who have chased chickens every day for 40 years, but they still looked like first-timers to me.  Sure, they got themselves into position a little better.  And they did manage to look more natural while actually HOLDING the chickens (once they finally caught them).  But, wow, they looked incredibly silly during the actual chase scenes!

There were young guys who, if they lived in the United States, would surely be the star athletes at their schools — tall, fit, and fast.  But when pursuing poultry, they looked exactly like 7th grade me (albeit darker-skinned):  They tripped over their own legs, their arm movements were reckless and jerky, and they usually did not walk away from the situation, chick in hand.  [I wonder if they were also picked last for flag football every single day at P.E., like yours truly.*]

You see, it doesn’t matter for how many years you’ve kept chickens or in how many seconds you completed your middle school shuttle run, you are going to look a little awkward — and most likely downright clumsy — when attempting to run down a scrambling hen.**

Chasing chickens is, after all, the great equalizer.  They don’t call it that for nothing, you know.

* Not joking.

** Though I do believe a really good shortstop has a slightly better chance of appearing nimble and fluid while scooping up a hen.


Filed under agriculture, slightly humorous or amusing?

10 responses to “chasing chickens

  1. randy morgan

    video! we demand video!!

  2. On a completely unrelated note: remember Meg the intern? She’s in process to come back as a missionary. She’ll be at orientation with Daphne in June.

    The other day, Meg says she dreamt “I was having a knife fight with a missionary in Africa. We had to fight to the death, and the rules were that if I won I could go to Africa as a missionary.”

    The missionary in the dream, apparently, was Brett Harrison. Watch out!

    • uhm… i don’t really know what to say. i hope this dream doesn’t mean anything. is meg moving to mwanza or bukoba? or neither?

      when and where is their orientation in june? and when exactly do you come back?

      • Meg the intern

        Well, that was awkward. I promise I have no intentions of harming you or anyone related to you… or anyone at all, really.

        I read back issues of your blog for a few hours during a stressful finals week and then fell asleep in the sauna that passes for my house. That’s all the dream meant.

        I don’t know where I’ll be moving yet. Mwanza, possibly.

  3. We have chickens at the house and they tend to get out every now and then and I must agree they are very difficult to catch. I often get crack up watching us scramble after them…

    • are you guys’ chickens for laying or eating? here in tanzania, nearly everyone raises chickens that we’d simply call “local chickens.” they’re not all that great for meat, and they’re not all that great for eggs, but they’re used for both. they’re also used as kind of checking account or small trading currency. about 10 good-sized, healthy chickens will get you a goat. and around 5 goats will get you a cow. cows are the goal, and are used more as savings accounts and inheritance for children, etc.

  4. Daniel

    What are ya’ll vaccinating for? I’ll send AnnElise over to help catch the chickens; she has no problem with ours.

  5. we’re vaccinating for newcastle’s disease. estimates are that it kills around 40% of all chickens in tanzania. that’s not “responsible for 40% of all chicken deaths.” rather, it is 4 out of 10 living chickens die from newcastle’s.

    we’d be happy to have annelise. we have an extra female intern spot if she wants it. when are you guys going to come and visit?

  6. Pingback: june-november work report | aliens and strangers

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