Better boxed chicken than KFC

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After a glorious Easter skoolio holibags fortnight of weather – apart from the odd day of coolness and raininess – we went up to Jean’s to bring home our new turkey boy.

Picking up a new turkey is not like picking up a new chicken. Chooks are easy. We have transported chickens in a variety of sturdy cardboard boxes.

House removal boxes are the best, nice and thick, and you can flatten them down and build them up again several times. We keep a stash of them and a roll of duct tape – you know, the silver tape kidnappers always put over victims’ mouths – handy.

Not that we have ever been, or ever will be, kidnappers. You just can’t get the chloroform these days. I am sooo joking.

Anyhoo, removal boxes are not essential. We have transported chooks in all sorts of sturdy boxes, including a cockerel in – ironically – the box our new microwave came in. Poor soul.

The ex-cage chooks we acquired recently from Wing and a Prayer, the rescue charity, came home in pet carriers.

Pet carriers are fab. Those suitable for a good-sized terrier can hold a couple of hens and, unlike cardboard boxes, they come with handy handles for carrying. Big boxes or hefty chooks in boxes are hard to carry.

And pet carriers have lockable doors, unlike cardboard boxes. I always have a bit of a satellite delay when I pop a chook into a cardboard box.

There’s a couple of seconds when I know I need to close the box quickly but forget how the flap thing works – the flap thing where you fold each of the four flaps in under or over each other to seal the top.

This is the same couple of seconds when whatever is in the box decides to hop out whilst you’re faffing about and tries to make a run for it. That’s the beauty of pet carriers. No flap thing, no escapees.

A couple of years ago at the Peebles Poultry Show, just at the end of the show when exhibitors box their birds and stack tbem up ready to go home, the Young Mistress stepped back, lost her balance and fell backwards on to a stack of boxed chooks.

As she fell against it (thankfully not right on top of it, or it could have been carnage) the flaps popped open and out shot a sqwawking cockerel which then shot up one of the aisles of show cages, its owner in hot pursuit.

Anyhoo, about our new boy. He’s last year’s hatch, a handsome Norfolk Black, just ready to move on to his own lay-dees instead of fighting with his two brothers over a shared harem.

So, extra large removal box with extra large holes cut into it, we set off to Jean’s in the truck. As I said, picking up a turkey requires everything to be super-sized.

He may still be fairly young, but he’s a solid boy. It took two of us to manhandle him to the truck, and once home, two to carry him out to the run and carefully lower the box over so he could step out.

With a look that said: “Hello girls!”, he threw his head up, fluffed out his chest, hissing like an air hose. Phssst! Phassst! Phsssst!

I can report he spent a very happy first – if very Bacchanalian – afternoon.