Thursday, September 29, 2011

Meet the Flock

I drove back home this morning after spending two days at the farm visiting K and my girls.  Reunited.  Being away from all of them is definitely the hardest part of embarking on this journey of starting my own farm.  I was especially happy to see Pokey, my little special needs chicken with terrible hip problems.  She has a lot of rough days, but was so excited to see me.  And I was SO excited to see her and the rest of the flock!

Meet my flock!

Pokey has a hard time getting around and spends most of her day hanging out under the lilac brush.  She's about 1/3 of the size of the other chickens (even though she's the same age), but loves eating fruits and vegetables - especially strawberries.

Dottie and Maypearl are the troublemakers of the flock.  They are two of the friendliest chickens, but also the most independent, often escaping the run for grand adventures and turning up in surprising places (like treetops).

Honey Sunshine had the most beautiful whistle when she was a chick - until she matured and it turned into a HONK.  She's by far the fluffiest and softest chicken in the flock and loves to be held.

Marla is the bully with the bad hairdo.  While very friendly with humans, she asserts herself with the other chickens and enforces the pecking order.  She's also the best forager of the group, always chowing down on grass and bugs.

Speaking of bad hairdos, Neckie's toupee has a mind of its own.  Especially when she spikes it like Liza Minelli.  Neckie is a chicken that looks like an ostrich and thinks she's a dog.  She frequently chases birds and squirrels, love treats, and always tries to sneak into the car for a ride.

Saphera was always known as the grandmother chicken, squawking with disgust at the other chickens and going to bed at lunchtime.  Until she disappeared one day and showed up three weeks later with a chick running behind her, making ME the grandmother!  Eragon is now eight weeks old and a spitting image of her mother.  They have separated themselves from the flock and sleep in the forsythia bush, fending for themselves.  They even survived Hurricane Irene outside on their own, but I hope one day soon they will rejoin the flock.

Speckles is the head honcho of the group. As a chick he matured a little late, thus making himself at home with the rest of the females of the flock (until I heard that cock-a-doodle-doo!).  His snuggley nature and skill at protecting the other hens has secured him a space in the flock.  Though he's never more than one step away from the soup pot because of constant need to practice his ninja skills on innocent passerby.

Gertie is named after Gertrude McFuzz, the Dr. Seuss character that has only one short tail feather, but learns to love herself just as she is.  Gertrude was picked on as a chick and spent a lot of time in the "hospital" but made a full recovery and even lays eggs!  The only scar remaining is the mark of her single tail feather, which doesn't seem to bother her one bit.

Princess Ballerina also spent most of her young life in the "hospital" after her fluffy leg feathers were repeatedly picked off.  She is blind and deaf on the right side, so often walks a little crooked and occasionally gets lost.  But that just makes her extra special!

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