One Curious Chicken and a Five-Gallon Pot

Author: Meera, June 24, 2014

Rhody, the friendliest, most communicative chicken I’ve ever owned is the smallest in my flock of little hens. Barely 16 weeks old and not yet laying eggs, she would be a teenager in human years, I suppose. And like a teenager, she is curious and appears to thrive on new experiences.


Yesterday, the Rhode Island Red’s curiosity got her into a hot spot, literally.


Rhody with the rest of the flock of nine chickens

Rhody with the rest of the flock of nine chickens



The blood orange sun had nearly disappeared over the farmette’s western fence when I noticed a chicken missing from the flock. I was sitting outside trying to feel cool for it had been a searing hot day. As dusk set in, I noticed the chickens moving toward the hen house.



It didn’t take long to figure out that Rhody wasn’t among them. Panic set in as I recalled a couple of hawks circling the farmette earlier. I ran inside and woke my husband from his nap and the two of us set out on a search.



We covered all of our property and then ventured into the neighbor’s acre. We found no¬† chicken feathers that might indicate a tussle with a hawk and my spirits should have been buoyed by that . . . but I imagined other terrible scenarios.


Fighting back tears, I followed my husband back through the gate to our farmette. Not about to give up the search, I retraced my steps to the garden. On the way, I kicked over an upside down black container that had held a five-gallon fruit tree.


And there stood Rhody. She remained frozen like she was as stunned to see me as I was to find her. She must have been under that container during the hottest hours of the day without water or food. She seemed weak, but not as bad off as I would have expected being trapped in 90-plus degree heat.


She managed to wobble back to the hen house on her own two legs. Eschewing the perch, she crouched down for the night in a straw-lined nesting box.


This morning, curious Rhody was the first out of the chicken house. As she made a beeline for the garden, I found myself remembering that old adage about how curiosity can kill a cat. In Rhody’s case, it almost cooked a chicken!



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