Sunday, September 4, 2011

Chicken Chasing... The New Exercise Craze?!

Buffy... One of the 'Good' Girls
We managed to escape major damage from Hurricane Irene. Phew! The girls, Bun Bun, even the gardens survived unscathed. A few stray branches and fallen leaves are all that remain as reminders of the storm.

Everyone enjoyed a bit of sunshine and an extended free range yesterday afternoon.

But then, playtime was over, and we needed to get ready for Cirque du Soleil, all the way up in Hartford, so we had to retrieve the hens in short order.

The whole flock cooperated. Save one. The rebel. Madonna took off in the opposite direction, straight into the woods behind our gardens... and hid.

We spent an hour searching for the wayward hen. She hid very well.
Brie Holding 'The Rebel'

Brie changed into long pants and a sweater for the hunt, and plunged into the jungle. After much poking and prodding in the prickly foliage, Brie spotted the blonde tufted bird, and flushed her out.

The chase was on. She took us for a wild ride around the vegetable garden, into and under a forsythia bush, and 'round the chicken coops. Again and again.

We huffed. We puffed. We ran our hearts out. Our legs ached from the exertion, but Madonna zipped about unphased, dodging to and fro, evading our reach. Endless stamina.

The other girls watched the show in muffled amusement.

Eventually, we cornered the naughty run-away, and Brie scooped her up with both hands.

"Bad girl," she scolded.

Easily forgiven, and hugged, Madonna was returned to her flock in the safety of the coop.

And that, folks, is how we got our exercise yesterday. Which led me to thinking, maybe we are on to something here. I've often said that chasing chickens is great exercise. "Better than a swing set," I often quip, chatting with friends about the benefits of keeping chickens for children.

I do wonder if this could be a sales pitch for daily exercise. Rather than hop on a treadmill or go for a spinning class, why not keep a few chickens, turn them loose once a day, and then chase them all back into their coop?

It may be unconventional, but I'll bet I've burned just as many calories in a Zumba class. I'd be willing to put money on it.