I started writing this post a week ago, but lots of rain fell from the sky and terrible things happened making me wonder if I should post it. But I have decided that the story of these chooks should be told, because they were awesome.
For two rainy weeks, Mark and I house-sat for my dad (I’m not sure if house-sat really is the past tense of house-sit, but just go with me. Now the primary reason dad wanted us to house-sit is that he wanted his chickens looked after. I’ve looked after dogs and other pets before, and assumed chickens would be fairly low-maintenance. I was wrong. Dad took a good half hour to explain how to feed, train, love and protect the chickens.
Dad’s pride and joy was Schnitzel. A little recently pubescent rooster who was hand raised from and egg and squeaked when you patted him. He also decided he liked to peck my feet.
At the top of the pecking order (definitely above me) there was Stew, a very good-looking rooster who could do a good cock-a-doodle-doo on top of the camper van.
My personal favourites were Charcoal and Chips – two very sexy young ladies who hadn’t been… um, loved by Stew yet, so their feathers were all white and fluffy. Anyway these chickens all had personality and were awesome. Eight chickens in total, who were all loved and who all ran hilariously.
Well, now here’s the sad part.
On the 10th of February 2012, Picton jot some rain. Some real rain. My dad’s house flooded. Water flew off the road into his frontyard and filled his backyard. His shed had almost a meter of water in it and the chicken coop and their area was totally flooded. Dad was out and when he got back to his house it was too late. Four of the chickens had managed to get on a pile of wood and stay above the water, but Charcoal, Chips and Schnitzel had huddled under the caper van for shelter – and when the water rose they couldn’t get out. These gorgeous chickens lost their lives. Dad’s shed (HUGE shed) was flooded with too-many dollars worth of tools and machinery ruined. He didn’t care too much about that though – he wished he could have saved his chickens.
Dad was too stressed at the time and so didn’t take many photos, but this video is of the Picton Floods on his street was taken by one of his neighbours.
The next day was a huge clean-up. My main job was sentimental-item rescuer. All dad’s photos and sentimental documents like his TAFE certificate and first resume were in a draw. A draw that was below water level. But I washed and very delicately peeled and eventually saved everything.
The only good thing in all of this is that dad was forced to clean up his shed. He moved in a couple of years ago but kind of just dumped everything on the floor. Now it’s going up on shelves, and some things have been forcibly made garbage. Dad’s also going to be incubating some eggs, so hopefully there will be some new cute chicks to join the family soon.
So tis blog goes out to Schnitzel, Charcoal and Chips, who lost their lives in the Picton floods: