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Old 11-28-2014, 05:27 PM
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For Betrisher: The sory of Flap-Flap-Bonk the chook

Trish,

Terribly sorry to hear about Barneys' disappearance; I live in hope he will return to regale you with stories of his adventure in the near future.

In an effort to lighten your load somewhat, here is the story of the life and times of my best chook ever; named Flap-Flap-Bonk.
[For those readers from across the pond, a chook is a chicken in 'Australian']...
Flap-Flap appeared in my life mid 2005, when I bought 2 extra Isa Brown chickens about 6 months after the first 10(Named the Cackle Sisters).
The pair were much younger than The Cackle Sisters, and so got picked upon, as chooks are inclined to do. For the first year of their lives, Flap-Flap and her partner slept their nights separately in the cabin of the old Austin truck, rather than the chook-pen.
Flap-Flap got her name from a little episode early in her years, where she decided she would lay her eggs on the evap aircon unit beside the kitchen.
The spot is about 8 feet off the ground, and takes a bit of serious flying to get there. It also takes a fair bit of effort for us to collect the bloody eggs!
At one stage, we were hanging a visiting 10-year-old boy out the kitchen window, just so we could retrieve the eggs!
This went on for 3 weeks, with various efforts to discourage her(no success). Eventually, I trimmed her wings, but I hadnt realised you are only supposed to trim one wing.
Well, I trimmed them both...
Next morning, I hear the chatty 'Berk Berk Berk', which was Flappy's prelude to launch. I then hear 'Flappity-flappity-flappity-BONK!' as Flappy impacts the plastic side of the aircon, and bounced off. No damage to chook or aircon, but a lot of chicken-speculation about how could she possibly have messed up the takeoff??!
Round 2. 'Flappity-flappity-flappity-flappity-BONK!' - Roddy cant help have a quiet giggle. More speculation about wind vectors, wing pitch and takeoff power, and then we are on again.
Round 3. 'Flappity-flappity-flappity-flappity-flappity-BONK-SQWAAAARK!'.
I lost it at that point; I just had to laugh. I think she heard me, as the discussion moved on to what a right heartless barstard I was. The speculation faded away, as she wandered off to join the other chickens under the house. From that day on, she laid her eggs with everyone else, and retained the name of Flap-Flap-Bonk.
About a year later, I hopped into my Landcruiser 4wd Utility(parked outside the front gate), to go check some dams about 5 miles from the homestead.
When I arrived at the gate beside Skeleton Dam (approx. 3 miles), I stepped out to open it. I become aware of what sounds like a chicken???
As I stand in amazement, Flap-Flap hops down off the rear fuel tank under the utility tray, and I can see she is most concerned about where the bloody hell the house had departed to???
I am amazed she didn't die.
I reach for the idiot chook, but she is having none of this; I am OBVIOUSLY responsible for the vaporisation of the homestead, and she wants NOTHING to do with me!!
If we pan the camera back, we would see a scene of a grown man; chasing a brown chook around a car, in the middle of nowhere....
Eventually, on lap 8, I decide to wait and see what she will do (mostly because I am out of breath).
After much discussion on exactly how I had vanished the house (I would describe the tone of the conversation as "Speculatively Condescending"), Flap-Flap hops back up onto the rear fuel tank.
I quickly reach in, grab the little bugger, and drag her sqwarking little backside out through all the fuel hoses.
After locking her in the grey storage box in the back of my ute, I fast-track it back to the homestead. Opening the box, I take the offending nutjob chook, and throw her through the front gate into the garden.
As I turn to climb back into the drivers seat, I see a brown streak from the corner of my eye; she races back under the ute.
This time, I needed a freaking shovel to extricate her from the fuel tank...
THIS TIME, I hurl the little bugger through the gateway, and SLAM the gate shut. I only just beat her to the gateway....
In the time it takes for me to drive away, I see in the mirror that she has arrived at the front gate, after finding a hole in the garden fence somewhere... I wave to her as I drive away..
After this strange morning, Flap-Flap never tried to roost or lay eggs on the utility rear fuel tank ever again. Why this particular morning it became so important, I still have no idea.
Over the next couple of years, the Cackle sisters started to die off from old age (and occasional misadventure), and yet Flap-Flap hung in there. Her companion passed away about 3 years back, but Flap-Flap started gaining seniority by simple attrition. I did wonder if some of the Cackles were actually 'nudged' into permanent retirement, but could never point the finger...
One day, we only had Flap-Flap remaining, and she worked hard at organising us all to suit her busy lifestyle. She didnt seem to mind being the only chook; I think she found it easier to keep us in hand.
Dan (overseer) found that as winter approached in 2010, he was forced to start keeping the outside bathroom door closed at all times, after he met a chatty brown chook; nesting for the night on his next days work clothes.
At about the same time, I was trying to find a location for Flappers to sleep, as the winter nights were becoming quite chill. One afternoon, I was working on my utility, and had the grey storage box opened. Flap-Flap had discovered that if she hopped onto a small drum beside where I parked, had a quick 'Berk-Berk' to announce her flight plans, she could fly the short hop across to the utility tray. She then went investigating, and found the grey box to be a more than acceptable place to roost during these cold winter nights.
Now, for the first couple of nights, I was bemused to let this happen. Each sunset, she would hop onto the drum, hop/fly across to the ute, and then wait for me to open the box, so she could settle in for the night.
I did a badness one day; accidentally parking the ute a foot further away from the drum. After she bounced off the side of the ute(not enough power for the extra distance), and I was laughing so hard I cried, she discussed my poor parentage at length from under the ute. I then had to make amends, and help her into the grey box.
So, I got rather tired with this arrangement. I wouldn't have minded, but it seems that chooks are all talk and no responsibility. I found the removal of the quantities of chook-**** from my storage box became a bit much.
So, one chill evening, I refused to open the lid of the box. About 9pm, when the dew has appeared, I go out to check out what happened to the chook. She is trying to sleep while roosting on the back tray of the ute, and is obviously shivering cold, and now slightly damp.
As I am explaining to her that she needs to find a new apartment, she opens her eyes, looks at me intently, and gives a cough that sounded like she was about to die of lung cancer....
So, She's back in the storage box AGAIN.
[A 42 year old man finds he is being managed by a freaking chook!!]
A couple of days later, I rig up an acceptable alternate residence out on top of the wheelie bins, which was an unused nesting box with some extra weatherproofing.
The new abode got the gold seal of approval, which she then kept as her residence for the rest of the cold weather.
The day I bought 8 new Australorps (Jet black with red combs), and locked them in the chook-house for the morning. I then carried Flap-Flap down to meet them.
While being carried to the chook-house, Flapp-flap was chatting away about my shortcomings in life, when she suddenly realised she wasn't alone.
Dead silence, while she eyed off the 8 (very young) interlopers. At some point, you could see she realised she was big enough to beat them all. Her chest puffed out, and you could see her planning how she'd lick these green recruits into shape! The sisterhood of the Black Shadow lived under the iron wing of Flap-Flap for about 2 years, despite them all growing big enough to beat her if it came to a fight.
Around this time, Flap-Flap decided she needed to become the rooster, and all good roosters need to be able to crow a few times each morning.
Flap-Flap would position herself on a concrete slab out beside the kitchen window, and prepare for her morning show. We would start out with her normal speculation, which would rise in pitch, and steadily build in intensity. She would then position her legs just so, puff out her chest, and let fly with her very best.
Yeah.....imagine the gurgley sound of a cat being strangled under water, and you have a close approximation. This crowning achievement was accompanied by a rather intense wing-flap.
Most mornings, we would be treated with 2 or 3 of these efforts, and at least one visitor wondered aloud who was persecuting a chook??
So, despite some challenging times, Flappy remained at the top of the pecking order until the very end.
After a rapid decline in late 2010, I ended up having to shoot poor old Flap-Flap-Bonk, to save her any further suffering.
For reasons I cant explain, this weird old chook touched all our lives, and I felt REALLY bad about shooting her.
I just couldnt stand the idea of having her getting more and more distressed at being immobile, and her condition was rapidly deteriorating.
And so ends the saga of Flap-Flap-Bonk. A chook in a million.
Well; at least a chook in 2 dozen...
I'm sure there is a heaven for chooks, and if so, Flap-Flap had the whole
place re-organized by late that afternoon...
Pretty sure she will be (conveniently) in charge of it all...
================================================== ===
Apologies for the length of this, and apologies it gets somewhat maudlin at
the end.
However, I hope the roller-coaster ride of the story gives you some relief
from your worries with Barney.
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4051/...5afd9013_s.jpg

Cheers,

Rod.
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