Monday, August 17, 2009

Who you callin' Chicken?

Here's my backtrack on the chicken's post.

4 chicks purchased July 2nd. Partridge Chantecler, Buff Orpington, Silver Laced Wyandotte, Australorp.

BB started picking toes right away so I had to keep them occupied with fresh grass clippings pretty often.
Within 5 days they were flying to the top of their feeder and waterer, and all behaving like Belina, the older, is the den mother. If i take her out the rest freak out and barrage me with a cacophony of peeps.

Dotti grew the slowest. Flew the latest. Got her feathers last.... but then, hmmm.... her wattles and comb are so pink. Crap, a rooster.

One of the things i first think of is how hilarious it was when i discovered the use for the term 'chicken' as in "you're a chicken, or don't be chicken" = Chickens are really chicken! Belina (our buff orpington) was about a week or so old already when we bought all 4 chicks (soot and dotti were 24 hours old). So naturally Belina started flying first. By flying I mean attempting to catapult herself to the rim of the cardboard box or top of my head. Her tottering on the rim was humorous: but watching her gather herself, then 'chicken out' over and over again was quite funny. When finally she did overcome her fear she, quickly followed by the rest, became naughty naughty "house chickens" leaping out of their box whenever given the chance, flying across the house and sliding like Tom Cruise on the hardwood floor.

Transition to the outside coop was made more difficult by the husband's husky, Tela. She wants to eat them SO bad. Electric fence and ground skirt edging added to the coop and i think she's well thwarted. Doesn't stop her from trying though.

I've been diligent in training and friendlifying them... seem to have succeeded. BB is a big shy and skittish but so sweet - i miss her sleeping on my tummy though. Belina is chicken perfection, soft and delightful. Dotty, sadly we have to do something with him... but Soot - Soot our Australorp is the delight of the group. She comes to her name, she hops up on our legs, and just lays in my hand like a limp, obliging, picture of calmness. They all like to ride on our shoulders and are delighting in their small bodies: flying all over the place in the yard when let out.

They're big enough to eat scraps now and I delight in feeding them our leavings - nothing is wasted, not even stale bread and whey from my cheesemaking.
I'm completely in love with these birds and look forward to years ahead, and many eggs! Recipes to follow!

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