Thursday, June 9, 2011

Chicken rituals

It takes me at least a half hour to put the chickens to bed for the night now.  It's those four little chicks.  They are so adorable!  All are still doing well, and now they have names - the reddest of the four is Lucille Ball.  A beautiful cross between a Buff Orpington and a Campine is called Pretty.  The most beautiful of all is another Buff / Campine cross, and I have named her Goldie Hawn.  Then there is Tiny.  I think this one is full blooded Campine.  She is quite ugly - her neck feathers still have not come in, nor have her tail feathers.  I don't know if there is some genetic mix-up going on, or if she is just staying in her gangly teens a little longer than the others.  She is far smaller, but that is to be expected if she is truly a Campine.  Her neck also seems very long - and being nearly devoid of feathers, it is not a pretty sight.  I thought of calling her Giraffe, but she deserves better than that, so she is just Tiny.

I always put the food troughs into the Moop at night - no sense in attracting any wild critters to the chicken run.  Then I add a little feed, and the big chickens make a run for their bedtime snack.  But the little ones stay out a bit, finding some bits of stray feed on the ground that they don't have to fight for, since the older birds are all in the Moop by then.

I sit on the back step and wait on the little ones to finish their snacks.  Then one by one, they fly onto my lap, even Tiny.  And if you have followed my blog, then you know that is very unusual, as Campines are very friendly - but at a distance!  None of that touchy-feely stuff for them!!  Tiny was the last one to start sitting on my lap, but now she is usually the first one to alight.  From my lap, it is a short flight to my shoulder, and then to my head.  Soon all four of them are on my various body parts, talking to me, chirping directly into my ear, telling me stories that I can't understand. 

All of a sudden, I realize that I have just spent a half hour or more on a job that should have taken five minutes at most.  But it isn't a job.  It is such a lovely way to end the day, and I look forward to it as much as Tiny, Goldie, Lucy and Pretty do.

I have said it once and I will say it again - everyone needs a few chickens.  It is the first step to world peace.

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