Chick Chat

Society's back on the nest.

Society’s back on the nest.

We’ve been gone quite a bit lately, so it’s nice to check in on everything and everybody.

The coop always has lots going on, so I thought it time for a little chat about the chicks. The six chicks that Society hatched in April are now out on their own. It’s sort of funny how one day Mommy chicken is clucking and worried about everyone and the chicks are buzzing around her, and the next day, it’s, “Oh, hello, who are you?” Like they don’t even recognize each other any more. Once the chicks and the Mom are weaned of each other, the chicks hang out with each other like a very tight-knit little pack, and Mom is off on her own again.

Society got broody shortly after fledging her chicks. (Broody means that the hen gets an itch to have chicks, and she sits on a nest and doesn’t get up until her eggs hatch. These girls often get very cranky when they are sitting, and will bristle up their feathers if disturbed. She will also make warning noises and peck you if you get too close.) When we came home, we found Society already sitting on nine eggs. (Once one hen starts sitting, all the other hens lay their eggs in the sitter’s nest, so while only one hen hatches all the eggs, only a few of the chicks are genetically hers.) It takes exactly 21 days for our hens to hatch their eggs, which never ceases to amaze me. We don’t know exactly when she started, but she should have a new little flock of peepers in a few weeks. We’d love to get ALL hens and no roosters, but that would be a miracle, as each hatch is close to half and half.

Too many roosters can be a dangerous thing. Just ask our rooster, Prince. Since he was beat up by one of our other bigger roosters (we think it was Banjo, Portland’s henchman), Prince pretty much lives by himself on and around our back patio. These roosters are not messing around. They see each other as competitors for the ultimate prize – breeding rights to the hens, and have horrible fights to establish the hierarchy. Because of all this potential violence, we limit their numbers. Out of Society’s last hatch of six, we had three pullets (young hens) and three cockerels (young roosters). Two of the cockerels went to our local feed store a few days ago. One of our neighbors said she’d like the little white one, so he is still with us. The feed store owner says people just love our little roosters because they are such a small, rare and friendly breed.

Society's teenagers.

Two of Society’s teenagers.

Prince's lonely domain.

Prince’s lonely domain.

Our oldest rooster, Whitey, is so smart. He fears the big, dominant rooster, Portland, and will not go into the coop until we come out to close everyone up for the night. When we call his name, Whitey comes running from around the corner. We let him into the nursery where he is safe, and alone. He is a gentle guy and likes to hang out with new moms and their chicks. Now that Society is back on her nest and her chicks are teenagers, he doesn’t have anyone to hang out with, so he is usually near the front of the house by himself.

Whitey on his own.

Whitey on his own.

Portland and his sergeant, Banjo, hang out together with the majority of the hens.

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Meanwhile, the grapes are growing fast, and the lavender is nearly in full bloom.

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A few links I thought you might enjoy:

I don’t think this movie, “Fill the Void” is playing locally, but it sounds terrific. I love deep emotional movies of people wrestling with big issues, so I get a feeling I’d love this. We just got one of those new Roku players, and I’m hoping I can find a way to stream it. Have you seen any good movies?

I seem to be less and less adventurous as I age, but these maps make me want to get out in the world and explore.

Emmy Lou Harris is one of my all-time favorite singers. In my former life, I worked for a PR agency, and I had the Country Music Awards Show as a client. (I was in HEAVEN.) We had a meeting at their offices in Nashville, and I saw a beautiful head of snowy white hair float by the window – it was her. I wasn’t able to jump up and accost her like I would’ve liked, but I sent my love her way. Here are several clips of her appearances on another favorite – Prairie Home Companion.

We are hoping to do a few projects to freshen up (and finish) our home this summer. We aren’t going to do anything like this, but it’s still fun to look at.

I think my niece would look beautiful in this dress. She is graduating from 5th grade tomorrow.

Speaking of graduation, this commencement speech by J. K. Rowling is so beautiful. It’s a bit long, but worth it.

Signing off, and sending prayers to all the folks battling fires and severe storms across the country.

1 Comment

One response to “Chick Chat”

  1. avatar erin says:

    Ligeia, I love reading about your little “society” of bantam chickens.

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