In the meanwhile, while Elke is away, I am caring for her animals. The menagerie includes two cats (her adorable kittens have another home for the summer), four rabbits and a chicken. The cats require little care. They’re sassy, but I don’t have to touch them. The same goes for the bunnies. They have their own large cage, and all I have to do is fill their food dispensers and make sure their water jug–which sends water to several nipples in the cage–is always full. They don’t seem to like being molested.
The chicken, on the other hand, is the most demanding of all. She doesn’t really like her oats as much as she likes the rabbit food. That’s fine; I’ll give her what she wants. But she’s always getting under my feet, and if she thinks I am holding something she can eat, she’ll jump up. I am a six-foot-tall, 190 pound man, but it still makes me a little uncomfortable having a chicken lunge at me. After school every day, I let her out of her cage, and she pecks around the yard for a few hours until I come by later to put her back. Once it’s dark out, she goes to sleep near the back door, and I have to pick her up and carry her to her cage. She doesn’t fight me, but she does lift her wings up when she knows I am about to grab her. More troublesome is the way she knocks over her water bowls. She tries to climb up on them, and ends up dumping the water out. I make sure to check on her several times day because of this.
I also check for eggs every day. I never really gave it much thought before, but eggs are completely bizarre.