The Curious Case of the Panting Chicken

Finally a beautiful day.  No rain, no fog, no clouds, no wind.  Just a beautiful, sunny 70 degree, blue-sky day.  We took this opportunity, Thing Two and I, to wander around the yard and check on things.

Lawn?  Check, green and growing quickly after all this rain.  Garden?  Check, plants don’t appear to be rotting, and some seeds are coming up.  Chickens?  Check, happily in their tractor, hunting and scratc…wait a minute…that one chicken is panting.  It’s Chiffon.

I remember last summer, on some really hot days, the chickens would sometimes do their open-beaked pant when they were overheated.  But it isn’t really that warm today, and I have the tractor somewhat in the shade.

Maybe she is thirsty?  Nope, plenty of water.  Are the other chickens panting?  Nope, just the one.  Huh.  I began to get a little worried.  Chickens, so I read, can be particularly susceptible to respiratory problems.  I took a closer look at this wide-eyed panting chicken and I heard “hee hee hee…shhhhhh….hee hee hee…shhhhhh”.  Then I knew what was troubling this hen.

I opened the tractor, and Chiffon muscled her way past the other hens and made a bee-line for the coop, only stopping a couple of times to peck at something that must have been irresistible.

She hopped up into the coop, and hopped straight into the nest box.  Poor Chiffon was in labor, and she wasn’t about to drop her egg the in ramshackle nest box I rigged up in the tractor.

Just because chickens aren’t the brightest animal in the yard doesn’t mean they aren’t discerning.  Remember your breathing, Chiffon and focus!  You can doo eet!

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