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All About the Chickens

By Deirdre

Waah, I can’t play with the chickens, it’s wintertime–it’s too cold out! There’s one chicken that’s so dumb that she always be’s nice to me. And I call her Blackbeard. That same chicken used to peck out my eyeballs! (Not really peck out my eyeballs, she just always tried to. But now she doesn’t do that.) And whenever I want Blackbeard to jump on my back, I just bend down, and she just “hups” right on my back! But I shouldn’t really do that because my brother Evan who feeds the chickens, then she always jumps on his back and he doesn’t like that.

Deirdre feeding Blackbeard Deirdre holding Blackbeard, her second-favorite chicken!

The pullet Deirdre calls Blackbeard, standing on Evan’s backEvan doesn’t mind her up there, since he’s not trying to feed the chickens at the moment Blackbeard on Evan’s back

She wasn’t as dumb as Fireflame, she wasn’t really that dumb, I just called her that because of pecking my eye and flying onto people’s backs.

Fireflame, a chicken who’s a goofy chicken who always stands still and stares, died of something–I don’t know what. That’s the one that I was holding in the picture on my page. Fireflame was my favorite of the younger ones. Fireflame I liked feeding out of my hands, but there’s only ONE reason why I didn’t: whenever you got her some feed out of your hands, she’d get a hold of your hand under the feed, and tug, and the feed would spill, and she would keep tugging and tugging and tugging until I made her stop.

“Fireflame” “Fireflame”, probably already sick at this point

Click on the little photos for a slightly larger view.

This is an older picture of Fireflame, when she was younger. She always stood around with her head pulled close to her body, which made her stand out as being a little peculiar. Deirdre talking to me as she holds Fireflame Deirdre held Fireflame underneath her wing–that’s why it looks like her hand is popping out of the chicken Evan with “Fireflame” on his legs. I didn’t realize it then, but after she died, looking back on photos like these I can tell she was obviously sick.

Deirdre running to scoop up her favorite, Fireflame Hugging Fireflame Deirdre hugging Fireflame

Holding Fireflame a different day Holding Fireflame a different day2

There’s a red chicken that always picked on the other chickens, but then when I taught him his lesson he stopped doing that, and after that he got butchered. I call his punishment the “shuffles”, because that’s basically like putting your arm under the chicken and holding him so that he doesn’t escape, and moving my arms up and down under his wings.

Deirdre giving troublemaker cockerel the “shuffles” treatment that she invented

Another chicken, Orangehead, a friendly hen–but I switched to calling her Buttercup, because my brother Owen always called her that, and he’s talked so much about her that I got in the mood of calling her Buttercup–that chicken, she’s smart for a chicken but she does NOT like getting picked up. She always goes, “bra-a-ak, bra-a-k,” whenever you pick her up.

“Orangehead” (or “Buttercup”) Evan liked to pick up “Buttercup” and put her on his lap. Whereas the other pullets would be silent, she always said “Buk-buk-buuuuuk”, and kept making comments like that.

Orangehead or “Buttercup” is in the front, the one behind her looks just like her but is not as smart (Deirdre can’t remember what she named her), the third Deirdre named Trixy.

The black rooster, a king of all of our chickens that we have, is SO heavy. Because when it came to the butchering time, we almost butchered him but my brother Teman said “No, don’t butcher him” so we didn’t. Because he was such a nice rooster.

A rooster that I call Polish, because he’s a Polish rooster, is a boy rooster but he always LOOKED like a girl rooster–girl chicken [she laughs when she realizes she said ‘girl rooster’] to me. And I think the king black rooster thinks the same, because he always picks on the other rooster that’s not a polish one, but he never ever picks on the Polish one, hum de dum. And Evan said that he thought the black rooster thought that Polish was a girl rooster. Not girl rooster, girl chicken!

Evan right now is going out to feed the chickens!

Back in the fall, in 2008, I always put on my pink chicken coat, went out to the chickens, and I always put my arms around the chickens and kept them warm. The Polish one of course was always best at sleeping! He would tuck his head into his feathers, and act like he was sleeping. Then I would breathe on him for a while, he would wake up and look at me, and then tuck his head back into his feathers. (‘Sleepyhead and lazybones…’ That’s from a song. But he is a sleepyhead!)

There’s a white chicken that I call Dovehead. Whenever I manage to catch her and make her sit down, she looked like a dove, so I decided to call her ‘Dovehead’. But if I lift her up, she will actually make noise, she will squawk and squawk. She’s not a friendly chicken but Cadie says she IS smart.

Deirdre giving Dovehead a hugDovehead (she’s holding her wings away from herself to keep from being too hot)

A chicken that got the habit of beating other chickens up from the chickens I gave shuffles to, took the habit from that guy, but whenever he saw me he would be quicker than the guy I gave shuffles to, and was completely gone, so I couldn’t catch him. (I didn’t give him a name, I think he’s too bad to give a name anyway, tee-hee!)

All of our chickens, after the rooster mates the hen or if a hen finds some feathers lying around, they eat the feathers! I don’t know why!

We have a banty rooster that if you sneak up and touch him, he will run away. But he does not like getting touched at all. But oh, I don’t know why he does it, maybe it’s just a habit or his foot got hurt somehow–he doesn’t have a lump on his foot–but he was just standing there, and his foot li-i-ifts up. I don’t know why he does it, maybe he’s staring off into space! Heehee.

Deirdre feeding the little banty rooster out of her hand

An older chicken that I named Percher, just started lazing around the perches all day, so I started giving her food up there, and then every day, she would wake up, and wait for me to come, and give her some feed out of my hand! But, waah, until butchering came and she got butchered.

Deirdre feeding Percher who is sitting on a perch Deirdre feeding Percher

That chicken that’s standing on the bin loves to eat out of my hand, and there’s another one too that loves to eat out of my hand, but she’s not in that picture.

The chicken Deirdre called “Percher”

Deirdre says, “Percher loved for me to rule over her, because I treated her like a queen.”

Percher thought she was the queen because she always pecked out of my hand, and she pecked any other chicken that came close to eat out of my hand. And I was like, “Percher….can’t you at least share?” But I still loved her. Percher was my favorite of the older chickens.

Deirdre and Percher

The night before butchering, I went up to the chickens, and told them (even though they don’t know human language…) I told them, “Tomorrow, some of you are going to get butchered.” And how they understood me–two of them escaped when it came butchering time! And matter of fact, one of them I named Bossy and the other one of them I named Smiley. Smiley because one day I kind of saw a smile looking down at me on her face. The one I called Bossy, after butchering had passed, and the chickens started to perch, she would just peck the other chickens. And that’s all she would do. But then one day, I was going to the house because I thought someone called me, when I heard a, “Brauwk-bur! Brauwk-brauwk-brauwk!” And then I ran back up into the chicken-coop, got into the addition, and then looked up into the place where all of them sleep. And there on the feed bin, was standing Bossy! She was there, I don’t know but I think she had gotten pecked on down.

Smiley was always going over to the part of the feeder where the pullets and cockerels [young hens and roosters] were. And I kept pushing the pullets and cockerels to the other end, and she’d come to that end, and I’d push them to the other end, back and forth. And she’d peck them when she was over there.

The chicken in front is “Smiley”, the chicken in the back is “Wise-eye” (as named by Deirdre)

There was a chicken that I named Wise-eye. That she always had these eyes that made me call her that. She always seemed like a good chicken, until, one night….I realized that she was pecking on the other chickens. Peck, peck! I thought I didn’t like her anymore, because she did it alllll the time. But then, hoo hoo! When butchering time came, she had to get butchered, and I was like yay! (I wasn’t yay about Percher getting butchered and I wasn’t yay about a different chicken dying, which I’m just about to talk about.) There was this chicken that my brother Caleb named Blackhead. She was a smart, good chicken that was friendly. And she always stayed near the black rooster, and she laid these brown eggs. (She wasn’t an Araucana like all the rest of them are.) And she always loved to eat out of my hand, peck-peck-peck-peck-peck. And it didn’t hurt when she pecked up the food, but the black rooster always got some of my hand, and that hurt. The black rooster always hung out with me. And the black rooster was happy, until butchering day came! His friend Blackhead had to get butchered, boo-hoo-hoo-hoo! (Teman didn’t know that she was a friendly hen.)

Deirdre feeding the black rooster–”Blackhead” and “Fireflame” are to the left

Deirdre talking to me while the Black Rooster and Blackhead wonder if she has any more feed to give them

After Blackhead got butchered, the two younger roosters that got saved, their hen, Clueless, got nabbed by the black rooster and started being a replacement for Blackhead. Clueless the hen was always laying an egg every day, only one–in the fall, and in the winter when it was warmer in the winter, but she stopped.

The hen (pullet) Deirdre called Clueless

There’s this rooster that we called Ooster–it’s an older rooster, that we found out something was festering on his back when we butchered him. Well, when he didn’t get picked on, I was scared of him, but I wasn’t scared of the black rooster. But since the black rooster hung out with me, I felt safe. The black rooster would chase away Ooster. And then when Ooster got picked on, he started getting picked on too much, so he went out of the fence, and one day he bristled up at me when I was bringing him some corn and started to run at me, so I ran back into the house. (Ooster was getting more and more pompous in the beginning, and then he beat the black rooster, who was the King, at cockfighting, and he decided he wasn’t King anymore and Ooster was. Evan fed the chickens late, and Ooster started getting Evan (trying to attack him). So Evan threw a rock at Ooster’s leg, and the chickens started all beating up on him. So he flew out of the fence. )

Ooster in the days of his “pompousness” The friendly, easy-going black rooster

So when butchering time came, I found out why he was always being so mean, because they told me he had something festering on his back. So we didn’t turn him into meat. So I figured out why he bristled at me and ran at me, when I was trying to feed him corn.

Deirdre feeding Ooster old corn that was in the refrigerator for too long Deirdre feeding Ooster the Rooster corn

That’s basically all of the chickens, and I’m done for today. Maybe I’ll write more about them a different day.