Tuesday, August 25, 2020

A Whole Bunch of Chickens and Some Goats

Tasha? Would you like to explain what's going on here, at the Bird House?

I could let the goats tell all, but their perspective on recent events might be a little melodramatic, and even though it's been a little crazy, things are actually going quite well, all in all.

If the Chicas, or even the Chiclets, were to blog about this, it would definitely be biased reporting. The old hens, evidently, have no room in their heads, nor hearts, for change, for accommodation, for compassion. The Chiclets, newly introduced to a flock and still smarting from the pecks and abuses of their elder hens, ought to be sympathetic, but no. No. Chickens are, on the whole, testy, short sighted, dim, petty, jealous, territorial, feather brained dinosaurs. Mostly.

Sometimes, they surprise us, though. Sometimes there are exceptions. Some hens are exceptionally nicer.

And some hens are downright darling. I will explain what is going on here. I'm sure I have biases, too, but I will try to give a fair account of everything, without too much favoritism, or lack of empathy. But it won't be easy.

Joy! Chicken joy!

What's Going On: Someone found themselves in a bit of a bind, and with five beloved pullets that need a home. Queries were made, precautions were taken, and we decided to take the leap, and bring in more chickens. Faith, is their mom, and in a matter of minutes it was plain that her darlings are not only very pretty, they are very sweet, and charming, and super friendly. Like, really, totally, super friendly!

Say hello to SweetPea, she's aptly named. All five of the new ladies, pullets that hatched in April, are Ameraucanas. There are two blondes, and three silver feathered. Our original flock are the Chicas, and the pullets that came in March are the Chiclets, and these new girls are our Happy Campers, and they may be here for keeps, but if Faith's circumstances change, I couldn't blame her if she wanted to take them back.

I am not going to sugar coat this: The Chicas, and even the Chiclets, have been horrible. And, another update: Pippi, the Silver-Laced Wyandotte that ruled the roost with her sister, Pepper... she died last week, very suddenly. Pepper has been a bit turned around without her partner in crime, and the pecking order has been turned all around. I never could have guessed who would come out fighting, and ruling the roost now. It's Trillian! I named her for a character in a novel that left Earth to travel the Galaxy. Trillian, was at the bottom of the pecking order, together with Liberty, and she was always staying away, avoiding the flock, trying to fly under their radar. Without a moment's hesitation, she rose to the top, and is running around pecking everyone, especially the Happy Campers, into place. She is a terror!

Now, here are loads and loads of chicken pictures, with their names, and general descriptions.

Naturally, I assume everyone in the world is as riveted as I am about their lives, and backstories, about their narratives, names, and endearments. But, I promise not to quiz you when next we meet. Just, please, nod politely, when I gush about their sweetness, and don't point out the inconsistency of my affection when I bemoan their abject horribleness. I love chickens, but they are smelly, messy, mean, funny, precious, and feather brained.

Ventura, Black Australorp. She, or Maya, or Puanani laid an egg this week. A tiny, pale, café au lait egg. It's adorable.

The goats would like two things... for the heat wave to be over, and for the chickens to settle their squabbles, once and for all, amen.

The Happy Campers are... Dolly, Thistle, and in the back, SweetPea, Heidi, and Tiffany (a name that might change.)

Dolly is a big blonde girl. She does a good job minding her business, and isn't easily ruffled. Thistle hops on my shoulder at any sight of Trillian, which is smart, and sweet.

And... after Trillian has had her fill of chasing and pecking, the Chicas, and the Chiclets, all, congregate at the east end of the run. They huff and conspire, like bunch of old hens. It's a tight knit club, and not at all welcoming.

Hello, Dolly.

Hello, Heidi. She is so mellow, and she looks like an inflated pigeon, all of which is purely wholesome and endearing. Sweet Heidi. Also, she does this funny yodeling sound when she turns her head down to preen. It's a bubbly little gurgling sound. She doesn't know it, but she's funny, and easy to love.

Here comes another that's easy to love... and we are still talking about her name. We thought it was Tiffany, but somehow it feels like that could change. She is beautiful, a jewel. And she doesn't make a fuss about anything.

Without a doubt, this is SweetPea. If we sent some DNA to 23 And Me, it would come back: 2% Snowy Owl, I think. SweetPea cuddles, and she fixes my hair. If she were a girl, she would have a sticker collection, drink pink milk, and wear tutus everywhere. I love SweetPea. Everyone loves SweetPea.

Oh, Thistle. I love you, too. Everyone loves Thistle.

Hello, Heidi.

SweetPea and _________.

Faith, you did such a loving good job of raising your first flock. They are healthy, and beautiful, and lots of fun to be around.

Oh. Hello, Trillian. Wow, girl, you kept your Rule The Roost Agenda well hidden. Seriously. Was this always your plan?

Hello, Dolly.

Lucia has already laid four eggs.

And they are beautiful.

Pepper on the nest, and watching Heidi and ______.

Thistle and Dolly cruise by. Thistle peeks in at Pepper.

The rest of the Chicas, and Chiclets, are shut out of the run, enjoying the garden, and giving the Happy Campers a chance to relax.

Thistle decided to have a closer look, and Pepper is so flummoxed she couldn't even think what to do.

The Happy Campers have never met goats before.

They'll get along. But SweetPea is not sure what to make of Ada's sneeze, except to step back six feet!

Well, Tasha, how did I do? Did I leave anything out? Should we have a quiz, all about chickens and goats?

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