Friday, June 8, 2012

Friday Retroflective: Chickens are More Complicated Than You Think They Are

Thoughts and Images


This week, we got our first chicken. Henny Penny has been living for a time in my friend Katy's backyard after suffering the vicious attack of her fellow hens. When they brought her home from her coop at the stables–bloody from constant pecking and deprived of food and water–Katy and her kids nursed this hen back to health and were then stuck with her living in their small backyard. At some point, she called and asked would we like a chicken or two. Do you even have to ask?

The Saturday morning of Mikalh's birthday party we spent some time getting to know our new hen. Chickens, it turns out, are distinctly more intelligent than ducks. A low bar, yes, but one Henny Penny cleared with no difficulty. Just like she cleared the fenced enclosure we first installed her in. She flew up, snagged her talons onto the footrest provided by a dolly of Mike's and was out. We moved the dolly. She hopped the gate. We secured more chicken wire around the gate. She flew up into the rafters of my storage shed and met my dog. At this point, we decided to install a short gate across the yard separating her from the ducks. She'd be able to clear it, but they wouldn't, which should protect her from them. She found our front gate and got ready to tour the cul-de-sac. Three of us all worked double-time to prune back a rampant virginia creeper and turned on our electric fence. She was undeterred. Finally, in defeat, my husband, declared his intended absentia from the birthday party to build a proper, much taller chicken enclosure.

Now she's in.

But we are worried she will get lonely so I called Katy back to ask for another hen. At this point, worries began to surface about reuniting Henny Penny with any of the chickens who previously tried to murder her. Good point. I did a little research and it seems that, if I get her an adult hen, they will likely fight, and if I get her a younger hen, she will likely attack it. I have seen several schematics of subdivided chicken enclosures for the introduction of chickens–chicken jails. More construction. How appealing.

I think I may try a pullet. Good grief.


Posts

This week, I guest blogged over at the lovely Word Nerd's on the subject of a blog-eating cat. I finally answered my tag meme (and did it all wrong, on purpose, just like everything else I do) and I ruminated on high school for my GBE2 prompt. I am brewing a Team Ambiguity post for next week on the subject of race. If you've got a great article send it my way. I'm still looking for the perfect one.


Finds

From Maggies's Farm has the most incredible, soothing images on her blog, like grass and light and children melted into grace. All is right with the world.

Southern Fried Children is now doing sponsored posts. Here's her first:  "Monistat Anti-Chafing Gel: Not your mama's vag cream!"

I don't have enough finds this week. It would be easier to find you new stuff if all my Twitter friends weren't selling porn. I really think that's the easy way out–much lazier than writing good content to just keep talking about dildos. I try very hard to stay away from that no matter how dried up I feel for material.

In fact, you should probably start thanking me for not talking about dildos every time I post, especially if it's crap. Because that's when you know it was really tempting.

Oh, and in advance...you're welcome.


19 comments:

  1. Who knew chickens were nothing more than streetyard thugs? I think I'll order grilled chicken fajitas at the restaurant tonight, just to do my part in the Stop the Bullying campaign.

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    1. lol love the comment. Good luck with the pullet! Your animal stories always make me smile, Tara:)

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  2. PS: Neither the link to Maggie's place or SFC's worked for me.

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    1. I think they're fixed now. Thanks.

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  3. I enjoyed reading this. I had no idea chickens would do this sort of thing! Glad Henny Penny found you! I love the pictures too.. I had no idea of their intelligence, or that of a duck. I am a NYC gal, and no little about farm animals...Fun!

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    1. Chickens are spunky. I am really surprised how much personality they have. Glad you enjoyed it. :)

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  4. Poor poor chicken. Our chickens rarely fought I don't know if buying them all at once and having them "grow up" together has anything to do with that fact, or whether having two roosters that tried to murder each other incessantly everyday was enough bloodshed for that chicken coop. Let us know what happens next ...

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    1. I wonder if it's the breed...They seem unusually bloodthirsty. They were all chicks together. Hopefully, this little hen won't try to kill her new buds when they are old enough to join her.

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  5. All I know of chickens is the encounter I had with my friend's rooster. Tried to kill me, I swear.
    Twitter friends selling porn? Hmm. Sometimes silence is golden.

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    1. Roosters can be scary. My kiddos have been attacked by them, too. We just have hens. Actually, most of my Twitter FOLLOWERS are porn stars and MLM marketers. I tend not to follow them back. At least not on purpose...All I ever look at is one little cherry-picked list of people I actually want to see, though. :)

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  6. Thank you so much for featuring my blog! What a joy (on a rather dreary day, I might add.)!

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    1. No problem. I love your blog. It makes me dream of expanding my farm activities...right into my neighbor's backyard. :)

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  7. I love chickens so much. They are so ridiculous.
    I thought you promised you wouldn't tell about my porn-selling Ponzi scheme.

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    1. For instance, my hen right is engaged in loud, tortuous cackling due to the presence of chicks in a coop nearby. It's like a mourning keen.

      Ssshh, no one knew they meant you...

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  8. I've been thinking of getting a few chickens because I would really love to include eggs back into my diet. However, I remember having hens as a child, and they never laid a single egg. I am missing something here, and you can feel free to laugh at me if you want.

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    1. They should definitely lay eggs, after the first few months. Some lay more than others. The one I have now lays an egg every day. :) They go off when they molt, etc.

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  9. Nancy PocklingtonJune 12, 2012 at 7:43 PM

    Tara- We could have a long discussion about the ins and outs of having chickens. I've had various negative experiences- free ranging them to find that a hawk will eat a chicken's head off and leave the body for you to find- possums will sneak in at night to feast on chicken- and the strangest of all, a chicken can gorge itself to death- literally! Having fresh eggs is wonderful, hand raised chickens are the bomb because you can pick them up without having them freak out on you, they eat all your weeds, slugs and garden waste and they create the best compost. All this happens in the city too- I have a small backyard "farmette." Good luck with your hen!

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Nancy. I have chickens in the backyard of my duplex in a suburban neighborhood. I love when I hear urban chicken stories. YUK about the hawk. Nature is mean sometimes, isn't she?

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  10. I just got the best spam comment on this and it was filtered out by Blogger, but not before getting into my email. It takes a real talent to relate dildos to chickens. Hats off to the spambot.

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