Chickens are good pets, but after a certain point, they cease to be good roommates. The Bond Chicks reached that point about a month ago, so I was pretty happy today when Ron put the chicken tractor in the garden and asked me to help him transfer the girls to their new digs.
They had a bit of an adventure when Ron made the mistake of grabbing their old cage by the bars — instead of supporting the bottom — and the whole thing gave way, dumping chickens, shavings, and feeder out into the yard. Ron, having grown up on a farm, hollered, “Grab ’em before they figure out what happened!” — so I grabbed two chickens, he grabbed four, and we took off running across the yard to put them in the tractor before they had a chance to figure out what was going on and take off. Wish we’d had video of that, because it was hilarious. Those poor birds looked so bewildered….
(DISCLAIMER: No chickens were harmed in the making of this anecdote. Confused, but not harmed.)
The girls haven’t yet figured out that it’s warmer inside the enclosed part of the tractor, so they’re all huddled up together next to the feeder. Truth be told, I think they’re afraid of the dark. They used to peep and cry and carry on something fierce when I shut the light off in my office. I felt sorry for them, so I came inside and got about a gallon of pine shavings and dumped them out there in the corner where they were huddled. I figured it would help keep them warm and make their new house smell more like home.
I think they’ll get used to it. They seemed to be having a good time scratching around and eating grass and playing in the dirt today.
Here’s Ms. Pushy Galore, trying to figure out what I’m doing. It’s hard to tell from the picture, but she has beautiful gray-green eyes. All the other chickens have dark brown eyes. I didn’t plan to have a favorite, but Pushy has so much personality, she’s really more like a funny little dog than a chicken.
The two chickens in the foreground above are Solitaire (left) and Elektra. Solitaire is supposed to be an Araucana, although she bears absolutely no resemblance to the breed standard. Elektra is supposedly a Barred Rock — although, again, she bears absolutely no resemblance to the breed. Solitaire actually looks more like a Barred Rock, with her pretty black and white feathers, and Elektra looks like she could have some Ameraucana in her. I think maybe they got the cages labeled wrong at the feed store. It’s not unusual to find Ameraucanas being sold as Araucanas, so it makes sense to think somebody just slipped up when they were labeling the cages.
Whatever they are, they’re awfully cute. I don’t much care what breed they are. I didn’t buy them for show. I bought them to work in my garden and entertain me … and I must say, they’re doing a fine job of both.
Hope your day was a Rare Entertainment. (Bonus points if you can identify the source of that phrase … and no fair Googling it to get the answer!)