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Groomed by a Chicken



We now have two types of chickens at our house; the Big Girls (the 3 Buff Orpingtons named Minerva, Golda, and Shira), and the Little Girls (one White Rock named Tikva, one Black Australorp named Hannah, one Barred Rock named Sarah, and one Spotted Sussex named Havalah.) The Big Girls are now almost 10 weeks old and the Little Girls are almost 4 weeks.


Since our 'miracle' this weekend of the Littlest Girl, Havalah, (the spotted sussex) surviving severe dehydration, the other three Little Girls are out with the Big Girls in the coop to give Havalah a rest and a chance to grow uninterrupted.


These two lots of girls have been together for almost 40 hours now. The Big Girls are tolerating this, but barely. Such looks of distain and shock! How could I, as a Chickie Mama, do *this*? How dare *I* make *them* share their space??? They look with distain at the Little Girls, like they are something to be avoided. They flutter down to the floor from the perch and the Little Girls go scattering. Everyone is sharing water and food, but sometimes, it's just trying for any sort of living creature to share.


So, I found a roll of hardware cloth and opened up the coop, just a little, for some 'breathing room' until we expand the coop itself. In the process, I changed the water and food trays. The Little Girls (Sarah, Tikvah, and Hannah) were exploring their own clean dish and Minerva and Shira were madly pecking at the wood chips and crumbles that floated down from my hands.


Golda decided she wanted no part of their fun. She had hopped up on the perch and was pecking at my shirt, tugging at it and chortling like chickens do. As I bent over to put the food tray back on the floor, she begins to look at me...and chortle... then pick at my hair.


Now mind you, I was just at the hairdresser's today and my hair always reacts badly to a cut...and it was quite windy. My curly red hair was sticking out in many places. Golda proceeded to grab a hair here and there, chortling the whole time...hopping up and down on the perch. As I stood up, she flapped her wings and jumped into my empty hands, something she has never done. So, what do I do? I tuck her against my body and under my arm like a Mama Chicken. Here, she pecks at my shirt a little, settling down with her head over my arm making those cute little chicken noises in the process.


What prompted this? I don't have a clue. I hold her for a few minutes, then she wants down. The other Big Girls look interested, hoping for treats. I wait for Minerva, but she hops away, clucking as if to say, "No way, nope, not on your life." Shira just clucks and turns her back to me. Golda proceeds to fluff her feathers and preen, apparently smug in her Mama time.


I know that chickens are farm animals. I know they are poultry for eating and food production. I know there are some people who firmly believe that people are crazy enough to project human-like characteristics onto their animals. However, there are some animals who cross the line from 'food' to pets – those who just melt your heart from the beginning.


Who knew I would be groomed by a chicken and like it? :wub:


P.S. Havalah was becoming listless and lethargic again, I diagnosed it as 'loneliness', so I brought her home a friend last night, a new baby Buff Orpington we named Naomi. Havalah has been showing her how to drink, fling crumbles, scratch. Naomi follows Havalah around the brooder and they are becoming quite the pair.


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awww, I loved this sweet story! Thanks for the smiles!


As a toddler my mother learned to walk by holding onto the tail feathers of a Rhode Island Red chicken...


I miss my yard birds! Way too many predators 'round here in this place I moved to, and they're bigger than I am. Fergit that mess. I'll just trade with Miz Blue Floopy down in the holler.

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What cute names for your chickens! All these pics and stories about chickens are giving me chicken fever. Maybe next year..... :)

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