Chicken Mission · General

Poultry Parade

My chickens are divas.  Not only do they lay extraordinarily tasty eggs, but they are tremendously amusing to me.  They’re greedy, messy, ridiculous and sweet.  And although it’s been quite a while since I posted about them, they take up quite a bit of my time and energy, and deserve a little press.

I have six chickens in two domiciles.  Four (The Hogwart’s Four) live in a split-level ranch kind of chicken coop with an extension.  The other two live in a chicken tractor-or what I like to call the chicken equivalent of a classic Air Stream travel trailer. Let’s do a roll call with their updated head shots…First, there’s Hermione

Hermione is a Barred Rock and the undisputed Queen of the coop.  She’s a real diva’s diva.  She coexists with the other ladies in peace and harmony, right up until they cross her.

Hermione’s sister, Luna, however, is more reserved.  She’s the first to move out of the spotlight and the last to investigate when there’s activity in the coop.  Luna is cool, quiet and distant.

Then there’s Minerva.  A Black Sex Link, this lady doesn’t suffer fools.  She just doesn’t really have time for nonsense.  I might even call her haughty. Just look at the disdain in her expression…

And then there’s Jenny.  Jenny’s the chicken equivalent to Paris Hilton.  She’s a party girl-always the first to the door when there’s company in the coop.  She seeks out the camera like it’s the paparazzi at an after-party. Diva-licious!

 OK, moving on to the Tractor Team…This is Buffy, the Buff Orpington.  I love this chicken.  She’s just sweet.  She’s kind of isolated with a companion who is the chicken equivalent of paranoid schizophrenic (more on this in a moment).  My goal is to integrate her with the Hogwart’s four.  I tried once and she wound up with her ear ripped in two.  I’m not sure if one of the divas did it, or if she did it to herself fleeing their bullying.  I pulled her immediately, though, and haven’t had the nerve to try it again.  The guilt was terrible.  Even with the slight ear deformity, though, she’s a looker!

Catniss.  I don’t even really know what to say.  She’s like a demented version of Miss Prissy (you know, the chicken on Bugs Bunny).  She tends to go into panicked, self-destructive flight.  She does this frequently for no visible reason.  She just freaks out. And when she freaks out she starts flinging herself against the coop.  This always, always results in bleeding along the top of her nose.  I’m pretty sure she’s brain damaged, and I’m starting to think it’s stunted her growth.  I got her as a chick just after Easter, and she just doesn’t seem to be putting on the growth you’d expect from a Rhode Island Red.

One of the reasons I love Buffy so is because she’s so patient with Catniss.  No matter how many times the freak chicken bloodies herself, Buffy never gets aggressive with her.  In fact, I’ve never seen Buffy peck at Catniss at all.  She’s a saint. As I mentioned before,  I separated them once, and Buffy actually acted distressed that she wasn’t with Catniss.  I find this difficult to understand because, again, Catniss is a freak.  I’m not sure what to do with her.  I don’t get that she’s healthy, and I can’t bring myself to bump her off.  For now, I’m watching her closely, and planning another attempt to integrate Buffy with the more “balanced” crew in the Hogwarts Hacienda.  Then I’ll figure it out….

 

So there you have my Diva roll call – five big beautiful hens and a slightly demented ingenue pullet.

 

 

 

 

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Chicken Mission

Bella and Buffy

I love the Hogwarts’s four, but the group just cried out for a little more diversity!  Enter Bella. Our new three month old Golden Laced Wyandotte.

Bella is absolutely beautiful!  She’s also about half the size of the original Hogwart’s four.  Believe it or not, this came as a surprise when I got her home.

In my mind, she’s three months old-they’re about three and a half months old… I figured after a short quarantine period, I’d easily be able to introduce her to flock.  I fully expected the whole “pecking order” thing.  I didn’t, however, expect Hermione to freak out and hammer Bella’s head like she was a snake or something.  Lesson learned.  I quickly extracted Bella and she now resides in our recently launched chicken tractor.  At least until she catches up on the chicken growth chart.  But here’s the deal.  She looked so little and lonely in the tractor all by herself.  Not to mention, the Hogwart’s Four kept staring at her in a relatively hostile way.

I felt terrible for her.

Enter Buffy, the Buff Orpington.

This one’s a corker!

She’s two months old and from the same breeder as Bella.  They bonded quickly and now the tractor is a happy little island of chicken cuteness.

Bella is actually Bellatrix LeStrange, the whacked out witch from Harry Potter.  I love the name Bellatrix, but my daughter argued, “Mom, this is a sweet chicken! Not an evil witch chicken.”  I told her she had a point, but what can I say, I like the name Bellatrix, Bellatrix LaStrange?  I think it’s an awesome name for a chicken.  She thought about it and said, “Well, i guess Bellatrix was actually kind of pretty in a really freaky way…”  We were still mid-debate on Bella’s name when we brought our little Buff Orpington home.  I knew immediately what her name had to be.  There could be no other name for this one.  It had to be Buffy the Buff Orpington.  Buffy, named in honor of  that bombshell demon killer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  That’s it! We all agreed.  Buffy and Bella.  Bella and Buffy. Right about this time, my husband walked in and said, “What? Now we have a group of vampire themed chickens?”  No honey, it’s just a happy accident.  Chicken destiny….rock on….