Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Nosey Josey and the Mouse

For those of you who have never had chickens this story may not seem believable but I assure you, it happen right before my eyes.

I had gone out to the barn at lunchtime to see if the sheep had enough water and some hay to munch on. After filling waterers, I decided to open the feed room and grab just a few handfuls of hay as the sheep keep telling me that my DH doesn't feed them enough. Of course, my sheep would tell that to any and all who even get close enough to hear them, but that's another story. :)

After I gave out treats and hay, I was getting ready to close the feed room door when I heard a high-pitched "Eek, eek, eek!" I look down at the mousetrap we usually keep set and sure enough, there was a young mouse with its leg caught in the trap. I didn't have my reaching device my DH got me after surgery so I could pick up things off the floor, so I kept my back straight and reached down to pick up the trap. (See, Family...I'm trying to be good!) I thought I would kindly "whack" the mouse to put it out of its misery but as I tried to do this gracefully, the mouse came loose and dropped from the trap in my hand to the ground below.

Little did I know that the Queen of the Barnyard herself, Nosey Josey, was right by my side watching...and waiting for just the right time. No sooner had the mouse hit the ground than Josey grabbed it and started "whacking" it herself! This drew the attention of the other hens and all came running to see what Josey had gotten, and they didn't have.

Well, Josey took off - 'round and 'round the barnyard she went, clutching the mouse tightly while trying to escape the others and keep this treasure to herself. The others, having the pea-sized brains and short attention span that chickens do, stopped dead in their tracks when they discovered uneaten scratch-seeds they had leftover from this morning. Unbelievably, they started eating the scratch grains while Josey ran past me to a safe place in the barnyard.

Incredibly, Josey had killed the mouse and now laid it on the ground in front of her. Then - I kid you not! - she took the mouse by the head and swallowed it whole, just like a snake. I was astounded at this sight. No, it's not that I'm squeamish at all and I have seen my flock of chickens share baby birds that have fallen out of the nest, bugs of all sorts, and even small snakes. But I had never seen a chicken eat a mouse, whole, head-first, tail and all. All I could think of, saying it to myself, was "Eew!"
I must remind myself to always carry my cellphone to the barn from now on...if I ever fall I know, from what I saw today, I'll be done for sure! There will only be pieces of me left after the chickens get through with my poor body.

But then again...maybe I should let the chickens in the feed room more often and do away with the traps. (?)

Shhhh...don't tell Bran Josey stole one of his mice...

14 comments:

Lauren said...

I have witnessed this running-with-treat behavior multiple times with our chickens. As chicks, we would give them alfalfa sprouts and this mayhem ensued. I've seen this repeated many times with, as you, baby birds, other hen's chicks, strawberries, and other chopped up turning fruit we have given them. It is such a scene to behold and entertaining (except when it involved baby birds) each time.

Thanks for sharing!

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

As I read, "I must remind myself to always carry my cellphone to the barn from now on..." I was thinking you were going to say "so I can document events this with a quick photo on my cell phone." When I read what you ACTUALLY wrote, I burst out laughing! (And I thought you only had to worry about that with pigs....)

It does make me wonder why all the other scavangers are not considered food ("clean") by God as recorded in the Bible, but chickens are okay. It doesn't make sense to me, after having chickens myself! Like you said so eloquently: Eew!

Kelly said...

Eww! Ewwww!!!

That being said, I'm glad to know your secret plans to train ninja attack chickens are coming along well.

I might call you tomorrow morning; would be nice to chat!

Kathy L. said...

Anytime my DD! :) I will be home tomorrow...unless felled by the Ninja Chickens. ;-)

melanie said...

I SO love that chicken! (Not being a fan of rodents, myself...)But, yeah, EWWWW! And I can't believe you actually put your back at risk to pick up a mouse trap. If that thing had hit my hand I would have run all the way to Texas to escape the cooties.

Tina T-P said...

OMG, I'm laughing out loud at this story - No, I've never seen a chicken eat a mouse (and never hope to see one - kind of like the purple cow episode) but I knew exactly where you were going when you said you should always carry your cell phone down to the barn now - sort of "Alfred Hitchcock-isk" don't you think? I, also, would be pushing and shoving Melanie to get out of the way of that falling mouse - Eeek, indeed.

Now, if we could only get our chicken girls to eat rats.... T.

Leigh said...

Wow! I've had chickens before but never a chicken like Josie! What a story. Good chicken! (I think).

Lisa said...

I've seen the same thing, and always applaud and praise them. Go get 'em girls! I feel sorry for the little orange salamaders, though.

I saw a pig eat a chipmunk yesterday, poor thing.

Kat said...

Oh my! (Fanning myself in a theatrical manner.) and EWWW! At least it was dead when she swallowed it. EEEWWW EEWWWWWW!!

I agree with Michelle's comment--I thought that the cell phone was for pictures, too! LOL!

shepherdchik said...

Thanks Kathy, I needed a good laugh. Its just too bad you didn't get that on video, the camera is never running when you really need it.

Nancy K. said...

you've got a priceless chicken there! Perhaps you could raise a strain of "rodent patrol" hens to sell for profit.....?

I'd buy one!

;-)

Val said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barbara from Nova Scotia said...

Do NOT let chickens into feed room. They will not only find way to get at the feed but the mess left behind will be more than you'll want to deal with. Trust me. I speak from experience. Unfortunately.

Kathy L. said...

Not to worry...the chickens are NOT allowed in the feed room at all.