Chicken Problems and Other Wildlife Concerns


Last week, I came home and found two chickens in my yard.

Now just so we’re clear, I don’t own chickens and I don’t live on a farm. I don’t know why they showed up or where they came from.

Our subdivision is a nice, peaceful place that was fairly quiet until a few days ago when these chickens began crowing in MY BACKYARD at 4AM IN THE MORNING!

There is no snooze button for that wake-up call, my friend.

So far, all of our attempts to shoo them away have failed. They tried our neighbor’s backyard for a few days, but decided to come back. They have moved in a made a nest.

Perhaps they considered that with five kids, a cat and a dog they wouldn’t be noticed? And for the most part, they’re not…until 4AM IN THE MORNING!

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A couple of weeks before the chickens showed up, two ducks strolled into our driveway.

Why is my home becoming wildlife’s choice for refuge?

My neighbor called animal control about the ducks and asked what could be done.

The lady at animal control asked her how old the ducks are. (You may be wondering, as I was, how one can possibly determine the age of ducks? Glad you asked.)

My neighbor replied that the ducks don’t have any feathers. To which the animal control lady decisively said, “They’re teenagers.”

I’d never heard of teenage ducks, but I guess it makes sense. She continued to say that teenage ducks behave very similarly to teenage youth.


She surmised that these ducks were mostly likely asserting their independence from their mom and taking a whimsical adventure for the afternoon. They had probably wandered further than anticipated and just needed to be walked home and reunited with their mom.

But where is that? They must’ve found their way home because they haven’t come back.

I digress. Back to the chickens.

This morning I called animal control to see what my options are.



She explained that feral chickens are a big problem here. I told her I’m aware of that – my kids’ school has close to fifty chickens roaming around campus. But this is different.

This is my not-so-very-big BACKYARD!

Sleep-deprived and desperate, I pleaded with her, “What can we do?”

She responded that legally she cannot give me advice or options, but the Humane Society will take them for free with no questions asked if I bring them in.

Incredulous and for the sake of clarity, I asked, “So what you’re saying is that I’m supposed to CHASE these chickens down, CATCH these chickens, with their CLAWS and BEAKS and COMBS and WATTLES, and then I’m supposed to figure out how to PUT these chickens in my MINIVAN and DRIVE them across town to you?”


Did I forget to mention that this conversation came on the heels of my son announcing to me that he was going to SWIM WITH SHARKS this afternoon and he’d see me later.

Apparently, there’s some guy on the North Shore that will take you on his boat and let you swim with sharks…WITHOUT A CAGE!

Really? What parenting book prepares us for this stuff? 

Welcome to my world. This explains my ongoing battle with gray hair and why I always have a secret stash of candy in my bedside table.

Not sure what we’re going to do about the chickens.

Any humane ideas we should consider?

The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it…” Psalm 24:1





Drop Da Mic

One Sunday after church, Gregg and I did our customary debrief of the morning services – how the day went, what we did well, what we needed to work on.

Gregg shared with me his frustration regarding the message he had just preached. It was a really powerful message on faith; however, he felt that he received his desired clarity regarding his main point towards the end of the last service.

Don’t you hate it when you think of the perfect thing to say after you have the conversation? When you think of the perfect idea after you have the project? When you find the perfect design idea after you’ve remodeled and decorated the room?

When it’s too late to go back, undo what’s been done and redo it?

Anyway, I reassured him that despite the fact that the services are over, it was still a great message that had impacted a lot of people.

Our 12-year-old son, Jordan, just happened to be in the living room with us while we talked. He was minding his own business playing games on his itouch when suddenly he lit up with excitement.

“Dad, Dad…Dad! I know what you could’ve done to end your message. It would have been perfect!”

Jordan was now visibly engaged and eager to add his ideas to the conversation.

“What do you think I should’ve done, Jo?” Gregg queried.

Super animated that he was invited to contribute to the adult dialogue, “Dad,” Jo began, “you should’ve said what you just suggested (because that was really good), and then… you should’ve DROPPED THE MIC, and just walked off stage and not said ANYTHING else after that. THAT would’ve been AWESOME!”

Kinda like this…

After Gregg and I picked ourselves up off the floor from laughing hysterically, we responded with something along the lines of…

“Jordan, that would be a great idea… if your dad was a RAPPER; however, your dad is a PASTOR. Therefore, a more subtle approach is required. We’ll keep it in mind for next time though.”