Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken booty

I apologize for the delay since the last update. Our chicken ladies have really matured over the past couple of months and we owe their fans some photos.

To start, our little Phyllis has become quite the impressive chicken. Even the two elderly Chinese women who live on both sides of us have managed to pull together some English to comment, “BIIIIG chicken,” while pointing at Phyllis and motioning that she is very fat.

Indeed, Phyllis has junk in her trunk. Baby got back. A coworker recommended renaming her JLo.

Her front is also quite plump and attractive.

The other hens are looking healthy and mature as well, though not as large as Phyllis. Millie is kind of tall and lanky, but she has developed terrific cheek feathers (“muffs”) and a little bit of beard.

Flo is very pretty, especially in bright sunlight, but didn’t quite develop as much golden lacing as we thought she would. She is, however, our most reliable egg layer. I’ll provide a more detailed egg update once I remember to take some photos of them.

The chickens’ latest adventures involve two new additions to the yard: a wild bird feeder we’ve been filling and a giant hawk that likes to perch on the chicken coop and drool as she watches the ladies. It is entirely possible that the arrival of the second is directly related to the first, so we may decide that we have to remove the bird feeder.

On the fun side, now when we open up the coop, the hens practically push us down to get out and run to the ground under the bird feeder, where they scramble to find lots of seeds the wild birds have dropped. I’ll try to get pictures of this sometime.

On the not-so-fun side, the hawk, who we believe to be a Cooper’s Hawk, has come around a few times and is very big and very scary. Fortunately, the chickens actually seem to have some instincts, and when they see her, they freak out, try to run for cover, and holler loudly. This alerts us (we only let the chickens run around the yard when we’re home) and we run out of the house and chase her off. I doubt we’ll ever get pictures of her because whenever she comes around, we’re too busy trying to keep her from killing the girls.

This a photo I found of what she looks like. Yikes!

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