Thursday, September 12, 2013

The flock

Every afternoon around four o'clock, I let the chickens out.  I feel guilty that they don't have a pen attached to their house, and letting them roam for a couple of hours makes me feel better.  Animals have a sense of time when they are on a certain schedule, and as it approaches four P.M., those chickens come swarming to the door of their house to meet me.  
When I open the door wide, they come running and half-flying out and start scratching in the grass.  On these hot days, they make their way to the garden and loll around in the dirt to cool off between the rows of tomato plants.  They peck holes in the lower-hanging tomatoes, which at this point bothers me not at all, because I have plenty to share with them. 

The way Iris attacked small animals when I first got her, I would never have thought she would hang around chickens without killing them, but she acts as though they are invisible.  The other day I actually saw the rooster chase her away.  
The two Buff Orpington hens (the light-colored ones) are very tame, and one of them will even squat at my feet and let me pick her up when I reach down toward her.  All of the full-size hens will come up to me as I sit in a chair and eat chicken scratch out of a cup as I hold it, and one of them will fly up onto my lap.  

Cliff's brother gave me this banty hen because next year I want to have a hen to hatch a few chicks, and banties are the ones you can count on to go broody.  I call her Little Bit.  

Because Chickie and Little Bit are at the bottom of the pecking order, they tend to stay in the hen house for awhile when the others are outside, catching up on their eating.  In fact, Little Bit seems to be scared to leave the hen house.  

However, Chickie is gradually blending in with the flock.  I was surprised to see the rooster and the others so close to her little cooling-off bed in the tomatoes without attacking her, and without her running away.


Diane@Diane's Place said...

I love seeing your pictures and posts, Donna, more than you'll ever know. I'm a country girl stuck in a small town apartment, and I pine for the simple life of gardening and tending chickens and farm animals. Your posts of your daily life feed my soul in a way that most non-country folks would never understand. But at the same time, it makes me yearn for that experience all the more, knowing it's out of my reach.

Please keep posting your pics and your experiences. I may not comment on every post, but I promise I'm reading and enjoying each post. :-)


Donna said...

What a nice comment, Diane. I enjoy sharing my country life.

Margaret said...

Chickens are pretty!! Who knew? I like that you let them out to roam for a while. My husband wasn't a chicken fan because his job on his mom's farm was to kill them. Then he got a job working at a local chicken farm where he was a chaser or something. (?) Anyway, he didn't have fond memories of chickens. He liked the cows way better.


I LOVE your chickens. And all the stories you tell about them.