Then I babysat some chickens. Now I’ve seen stupid.
So I’m trying to put the ladies to bed for the evening, right? Because it’s four o’clock, and even though it’s uncommonly mild for late November it’s going to get cold fast and I don’t want to be out futzing with chickens when it does.
And the chickens are having none of it. They absolutely do not want to go into their coop, and are practically committing sepukku on the fence wire to prevent it.
So I take the pan of fried rice leavings and greens I’d saved for them, and pitch them into the coop. Usually I give it to them after they’re in, but this time I’m using it as incentive. And at first they ignore it, but finally one goes to check it out and right away she’s in chicken nirvana. Here’s a pile of people food, and only one chicken to enjoy it.
Of course the other two see this through the wire, right? And I’m expecting a stampede through the door they had previously avoided like slow painful death.
Except neither can make the mental leap that one enters the coop and arrives at the lovely pile of food by rounding the corner and going through the big open door. And so they start raising hell and throwing themselves at the wire, trying to batter their way through the SIDE of the coop. It actually take three or four minutes – I was watching – before one works this out, by which time there’s only about half a pile of food. The third sees what the second has done, and from then there’s no problem.
Chickens, like cattle, must have been bred to be this stupid. There’s no other explanation. Otherwise they could never have survived as a species without human intervention. They really ought to be allowed to vote – they’ve got the aptitude.