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.
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.