Well, I don’t know for sure but last Thursday, when one landed on my hood at a local “pasture-raised” poultry farm, I decided I would just sit still as much as possible. I reasoned that if I left the thing alone, it would do less damage than if I scared it to get it to jump off.
And so that’s what I did, left it alone until a second one was about to climb up on, too, and I decided it needed to go. Sitting in the driver side of my car, I shooed him lightly with my left hand and he eventually took off, over the edge of my passenger-side fender, where he dug his claws in and jumped onto the next vehicle over.
It was a not-so-welcome welcome to the farm. I knew the owners would have cage-free animals; after all that’s part of why we’re featuring them. But I didn’t think I’d get surrounded quite the way I did.
One of the owners told me she knew the problem — my car was much shinier than the chickens were used to seeing — and that was probably why they attacked.
They had me go park at a nearby farm, where they said would be chicken-safe. If I had left my car at the main farm for my interview, there’s a good chance it would have been covered in scratches when I got done.
That was a good idea, except when I went to get back into my car, the farm dog jumped in as well and walked across the seats. Needless to say, he had walked through a few things and his paws were just a little dirty and so were my car seats.
The scratch marks were mostly around the curved part of the front hood, where the roundness prevented the bird from getting a grip, and then near the fender, where he crouched down to jump.
After I left, I took my car through the automatic wash and that seemed to help. Then I took it home and rubbed some Turtle Wax on the scratched parts. I was surprised at how much a difference it made. With a little rubbing compound, I probably can get the rest to come out.
As a farm reporter, you come to expect the unexpected and I keep a change of extra clothes in my trunk, as well as a few other “extras” for that reason.
Chickens on the car is a new one. And I’ve managed to stop every dog that even thought about jumping in. But this dog didn’t do much thinking; it kind of just hopped in with one giant leap.
I was glad I got to visit the farm. They’re doing good things there and selling products that are in strong demand. We’ll have a feature on the farm in June and I look forward to writing it.
But for a few moments, I had a very “wordless Thursday.” And, I had my wits tested, just a bit.