Lucy and Ethel are still very good friends and the head chickens in the pecking order of our little flock. They are getting a little older and are not laying quite the way they did in the early days, but both are doing well. Ethel is actually something of a social butterfly/escape artist. We are always finding her in the main part of our yard, playing with the kids. Often, she comes up onto our deck to peck/knock on the back door.
Charlotte is still very much a blonde diva. She truly thinks she is above all those other hens, and is not the nicest hen you’ll ever meet.
We are sad to report that Henrietta passed on to that big coop in the sky. We don’t really know what happened, just that we found her, keeled over her food dish one morning. At least, we think, she died happy.
Madge and Mary are doing well. Mary is known by the children as the Fat One. She is quite plump and would probably tell you, if you could that it’s her feathers. She’s very fluffy.
We adopted 3 additional ladies a while back. They are Babette, Cosette, and Nanette. They mostly stick together, with the exception that occasionally, Babette gets it into her head to eat before Lucy, or go exploring with Ethel. She has delusions of grandeur which are quickly nipped in the bud by the hens higher up.
Even more recently, we adopted some neighboring hens whose coop crashed down around their ears in the last wind storm. As refugees, they have been given safe haven here. One of them is a bit scrawny. One of them was black. A lovely shiny black with irredescent feathers when the sun hit them. She apparently found conditions here unsuitable and ran away, just the other day. Searches for clues leading to her disappearance were unsuccessful, until an observant neighbor alerted us to a previously passed over hole in the fence, where, it can be assumed, she made a break for it. Sadly, it’s a cruel world out there, for a chicken alone, and we fear she has met a bad end.
A few days later, a man rang our doorbell, (despite the sign posted that clearly states Please Use the Side Door) and informed us that a chicken was crossing the road. Leaving my assistant to start snack, I quickly walked up the sidewalk to catch the fleeing fowl. However, upon spotting me in pursuit, the little jailbird started running. Fast.
Have you ever seen a chicken run? No? It’s hilarious.
She ran into a neighbors front yard, and just when I thought I had her, she jumped about 4 feet in the air, squawking the whole time, and took off like a shot! I realized that running after a chicken in this neighborhood is a reputation killer, so I walked home to get a treat to lure the runaway hen back home.
I came back a few minutes later with graham crackers, which the chickens all love. I found Miss Naughty Chicken Legs calmly resting in the aforementioned neighbors flowers. Again, when she eyed me coming, before I had a chance to show her the treat, she jumped to her feet and sped away! Thankfully, this time, toward our yard. Suddenly, she disappeared. I slowly perused the perimeter of the fence, waiting for a sign of the chicken, when I heard a soft cluck. (Chickens are not quiet, and, apparently not very good at hiding quietly) She was wedged between the two fences in our yard, next to….ANOTHER HOLE IN THE FENCE! Well, actually UNDER the fence.
Have I mentioned that chickens can dig holes under fences like dogs? Well they can.
Blair is designing a lovely new coop for all the ladies, with more boxes to lay in, room for running about and an innovative feeding and watering system. We will keep you updated. If you live in the neighborhood, and see him out there this summer, be sure to wave!