Like countless other lunatics in January, I am attempting to make my body a temple. It's not going very well so far, to be honest, but I am trying. One of the ways in which I'm trying is by following a virtual fitness trainer. The emotionless avatar puts me through my paces while I swear inventively at her. It works for us.
I stand in the living room facing the telly and try hard not to asphixiate or fall over. The only problem with this is that the hens seem to find it fascinating. I start my puffing and panting without an audience, but it isn't long before one curious hen spots me doing jumping jacks through the kitchen door. It doesn't take a moment for her to communicate this to the others, and after a few minutes I turn my head to find eight hens with their beaks up against the back door watching me. As I lunge, they track me like spectators at Wimbledon. This usually results in me losing it completely and laughing.
Laughing doesn't impress the virtual trainer, and she with the perfectly sculpted abs tells me off with her patronising lilt. So I close the kitchen door and try to concentrate. Unfortunately, the kitchen door appears to be on a slant, and during my next series of squats it slowly swings open to once again reveal my audience. They are utterly bewitched by my aerobics, and sit along the back step like a luxurious chicken-headed draught excluder.
When I turn off the evil trainer woman, they don't immediately disperse. It seems to take a while for them to come out of their exercise trance. This might be useful if you ever have a handling resistant bird. Trouble doing a health check on that narky hen? Do a few star jumps or knee touches and she will be putty in your hands. A cockerel that would ratehr kill you than eat out of your hand? Have you considered the power of the squat lunge?
As the great Iggy Pop once said, it's just like hypnotising chickens.