Saturday, May 7, 2011
The chicken that made a choice
It was so hard for me to end yesterday's post with that lonely image of Honey, forging off on her own, headed in the rather unlikely direction of the barn, with no clear statement as to what happened to her. But, the background of Honey needed to be told and to include both background and the latest events in one post would have made for an unbelievably long post.
Today is a new day, though, and *now* I get to tell the story of what has happened to Honey in the days following her injuries....
Ready? I think you'll like this.
Once Honey had made the decision that she was finished with the mean flock, she wasted no time in creating her new life. She started out by...
Taking a sun bath:
Introducing herself to the locals:
and wandering around the outside of the house...:
to determine which window she could see me through at which time of the day. Kitchen door?:
Living room window? Though, really, she was probably lusting after my indoor seedlings in this photo and not looking for me:
If I open the door to say "hey", she tries to march right in, like she owns the place:
When I'm sitting at my computer, she'll post herself right outside the kitchen door where she can see me. She'll be patient for a while, but when she gets lonely and wants me to come out to play, the tapping starts...
Every day she has the option to return to the coop. But every day, when the main flock of chickens is let out to free range, she puts great effort into avoiding them. This is the first time that I've had a chicken not be anxious to return to the flock after a night or two spent indoors recuperating.
Instead, Honey has chosen to create her own new flock. I was the first one she recruited and, I'll admit it, I was a total pushover. No effort on her part was needed whatsoever.
Next was George.
I have to tell you, I didn't see this one coming:
George and Honey have actually become buddies:
At first, there was a lot of curiosity:
But now they just like to hang out and be close:
Can you see George to the right of Honey in this picture? That's how they will sit for hours sometimes - where they both can keep an eye on what I'm doing:
Even Clyde cat has decided that he, too, enjoys being part of the new flock that has formed:
Honey has also been granted entry into the goat club. Pete and Reggie don't do their ferocious "warning sneezes" when she comes around, like they do with George the cat:
However, probably my biggest surprise yet happened a few days ago.
It was morning and I had just carried Honey's crate outside, let her out, and fed her breakfast:
I was continuing up the path to the barn to feed the big animals when I heard this thump-thump-thump of speedy, flat-footed steps behind me. I turned to see Honey, wings slightly extended, running full throttle up the hill behind me.
Picture me, now, looking forward and backward, trying to keep up with what's going on....
Ahead of me, I see George and Clyde running, anxious for their breakfast up at the barn:
While behind me (thump-thump-thump), Honey takes up the rear:
Looking forward again, George-n-Clyde, are silently speeding up the hill:
and Honey, (THUMP-THUMP-THUMP!) tries to move faster to keep up:
Almost at the top of the hill, George turned to check on our progress:
Beau wasn't at all sure what to think the first time Honey walked past him on her way up to the barn:
But, like most things, he just took it in stride. I could almost see him shrug his shoulders when he looked at me:
Initially, she stayed outside the big-animal fencing. This seemed like an excellent choice to me:
But this girl, I tell you, seems to have a knack for pushing the boundaries and, a couple days ago, I guess she decided her new flock needed new members:
...because she just jumped right in:
Strangely, nobody seemed to mind:
Around late morning, she'll head down the hill from the barn and I will find her back in her crate for about thirty minutes:
When she comes out, she is cackling and squawking and making so much noise, Roopert the rooster, on the other side of the house and down the hill, starts to crow and squawk back. What's all the fuss? Well, in her mind, she's just laid the world's most perfect egg, of course:
And honestly? They really are exceptionally beautiful:
So, that's the latest on Honey, the chicken who decided to create her own flock.
I'm not really sure my little farm can hold too many more big personalities:
But you know, every time I think or say something like this..:
Another one shows up and we all do just fine: