I have 5 ladies that frolic around my backyard. Free range little egg makers.
They each have their own personalities, each entertaining in their own way. Without further adieu I introduce to you:
Bella is a bigger lady, she weighs the most and is taller and wider than the other ladies. She is the only chicken that eats the corn in the food mix that I give them (these are not related facts, I don’t blame the corn, she is a bigger breed). She gets stuck on the top step of the verandah. She pecks clothes incessantly. She will not jump up on your lap. She does not sleep on the roosting bar with her friends, she just rests her ample bosom on it and sleeps. Despite being big, she lays normal sized eggs, she lays they fewest of any of the chickens. Free loader.
Princess Leia is the egg layer of the bunch. She is an egg a day kinda gal. She has continued to lay throughout Winter. The other chickens have not laid a single egg for months and months. She is holding the team up. She is easily trained. She is the fastest eater. She is my gardening chicken. I am scared of spiders, the only downside of gardening to me is the spiders. Princess Leia LOVES them. I take her with me to where ever I am weeding and she mostly sticks next to me and super quickly deals with any 8 legged creatures. She is the best gardening chicken ever. I take her out the front, she doesn’t run away, she eats her weight in spiders. She is great! She makes gardening doable.
I promise she is a she. I was worried for a while when she didn’t start laying eggs at the same time the others did that she may be a rooster. Turns out she is just luscious on the comb front!
Beatle is the cleverest of the 5 chickens, she knows the most tricks. She will jump up on your shoulder if you are sitting down, she will sit on your lap (for as long as you are giving her treats!) she isn’t fooled when I put down some of their food. She follows me to see what else I have planned for the rest of the food. She will leap up and peck at the carrot tops (or whatever greenery I have harvested) when I am taking carrots from the garden to inside. Unfortunately her attention span is not up to being a gardening chicken, she wanders off.
Duchess is the least friendly, most skittish, least trusting of the chickens. But she does lay blue eggs which are cool. Plus she looks like she has a mullet haircut which entertains me. She also happens to go broody at the drop of a hat. And boy is she feisty when she is broody. She will peck and peck at me or anyone that goes near her. She will charge and attack Franklin. She is a mighty persistent brooder, she just wants to be where her babies are. Despite there being no eggs there, no rooster, and most definitely no babies. She is a wily little thing. The most evasive of the lot, hardest to catch, hardest to herd. A challenge all round.
She is the only chicken that never runs away. Maggie can’t run. Only one of her legs works. When we got her she was limping, by the end of the week she was barely putting any weight on the foot. I took her to an avian specialist. He had some fairly extreme views on chickens, what we settled on was antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, physiotherapy and massage. I love chickens but I find their legs to be freaky, they look like they should be cold and yet they are freakishly warm and weird to touch. So the massage and physio part were not fun but twice a day for 2 weeks she had drugs, massage and physio. I was comfortable with the medication as she was young and was weeks and weeks (actually months it turned out) away from laying any eggs.
It was all to no effect. The joint is still swollen and now does not move much. She hops just fine, quite quickly when she wants to. She can get around the yard but doesn’t seem to bother keeping up with the other chickens. I sincerely hope she isn’t lonely, short of getting another disabled chicken I am not sure how to get a friend for her. I tried to encourage Herbie the cat to be her friend but when he gave her head butts (his version of love) she would fall over. So I stopped that. A strong wind in the backyard knocks her over. Poor thing. She still lays eggs, still loves food. Still startled by the world when you lift the puff ball of feathers away from her eyes.
These are my little egg makers. My ladies.