Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Please contribute to Phyllis's therapy fund

I'm skipping over a whole week of crazy develop-ment, but I just can't resist quickly posting this picture of Phyllis in what has to be (please!) one of the most train-wreckish weeks of her life. I should just start putting money into a fund now for the therapy she's going to need once she realizes how I mocked her in public during her vulernable adolescent period.

In other developments, Phyllis finally made it to the rim of the brooder last week. Only Flo has actually jumped off the edge to the outside of brooder. We were out of town, but our expert chicken-sitter, Chris, reported that as soon as she reached freedom, Flo did...absolutely nothing.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Week 3

We've had to face a cold, harsh reality this week: the girls are getting ugly. They've hit the equivalent of the acne and braces stage, and it's difficult to watch. We still love them, of course, but it's the unconditional love of a parent who knew them as adorable babies and who can anticipate their potential. But right now, Phyllis is looking kind of hideous. Her feathers stick out every which way, and every time she turns her neck to preen, big patches of dark pink skin are visible between the clumps of incoming, disorganized feathers.

Flo is losing ground as top of the pecking order as Mildred's mad flying skillz have improved. She spends a good deal of her time on top of the feeder or the waterer these days, and she happily flies up to get a better look at us every time we take the screened lid off. She's definitely vying for favorite chicken status as well as top of the pecking order. She has also somehow managed to stay somewhat fluffy and keep her cute chipmunk cheeks despite her tremendous growth spurt this past week.

Until a few days ago, Flo was definitely top dog, and she was fearless in her defense of the other girls in the face of intruding cameras. This photo is from last week, when she was still the largest. This week she's the smallest chicken, but we expect that will change again.

We just really, really hope Flo doesn't turn out to be a rooster. Apparently you only learn for sure about five months in, when they either start laying eggs or start crowing.

One cock-a-doodle-doo, and Flo will be packing those bags for a more rural locale.