• Mike Fawcus

Alektorophobia…yup I got it!

Alektorophobia is a fear of chickens – and yes I may in fact be alektorophobic…actually I think there is more to the actual or clinical definition of the word; but based on this evenings “event” I think we can leave it as fear of chickens…not a great thing to realize at this stage of the game.

In actual fact I’m pretty sure I suffer from a degree of Ornithophobia (fear of birds) and my concerns are not specifically related to chickens…and “suffer” is a pretty melodramatic description – it’s not like I lie awake nights anxious about birds…basically if I don’t have to touch them; and they aren’t flying at my face with talons at the ready (and their talons are always at the ready) I’m fine with their existence.

At this point in my little tale you are probably wondering why would anyone who is not comfortable (or down right terrified) of handling birds, decide getting chickens was a good idea; and that question is fair enough. Let’s just say I figured it was time to face the fear; that the fear was illogical and something I would get over as a necessity (and maybe I will at some point)…turns out that time isn’t now.

Ally has always known about my discomfort with birds; but sufficed to say has never had to witness it in real life – and man did she handle it well – maybe too well as she could barely catch her breath she was laughing so hard after the winged beast actually took flight in the brooder and came straight at me with the look of death in it’s beady little eyes…ya so maybe I yelled (some may even say screamed); and cursed; and ya maybe I jumped; dove; and ducked all at the same time…but that little bugger didn’t get me (or actually make it out of the brooder I guess), but I tell you…it tried.

It turns out one of the birds is still having some problems with it’s legs. When they first came out of the incubator into the brooder he couldn’t walk all that great – he even had enough trouble standing, and looked like he was always on the ugly side of drunk; so we had him in isolation for a spell.

After a while he looked like he had strengthened up; or caught his equilibrium; and he was able to join the rest of his cohort in gen pop (general population if you don’t watch prison shows and speak the lingo); but alas he is once again topsy turvy and likely going to have to be culled – which is where the opening narrative of today’s blog comes in.

Ally was trying to rescue him from the far corner of the brooder – the corner just out of reach for her little arms – and asked me to “just come give her a hand reaching something”…well ya that something was a bird…a chicken bird…

I thought to myself “here we are…moment of truth…can I get over this stupid fear?” – nope!

I think my exact phrasing as I approached the brooder was “Are you F-ing kidding me…there is no way!” and although she was chuckling, Ally was a good sport and said she would just use a stick to sweep him within her reach.

“Well come on…you can’t use a stick…fine I’ll give it a try” – what was I supposed to do? Admit defeat AND let her sweep a bird with a stick? So I decided to actually give it a go, and I almost was able to try…right up until the point that the most aggressive of the flock took a flyer right at my face…and here I do not exaggerate...the damn thing flew right at me and almost made it out of the box.

Needless to say the “sweeping” technique worked just fine, and gimpy bird got to rest in Ally’s arms for a short spell.

No we didn’t cull the poor thing…that is going to be a hurdle for another day, as it turns out culling is something we are both going to have to overcome…


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