Wednesday, January 30, 2013


The chook chooks (as we refer to the chickens) are now over their dreadful bout of moulting, thank goodness. There is something very disconcerting about those rows of white spikes emerging from their necks, not to mention the feathers that fly off whenever they fluff themselves. You show up to let them out of the coop in the morning and there are feathers everywhere. You count the number of chickens still alive. They appear to be all there but those feathers! Hundreds of feathers! Enough to outfit several chickens at once - all lying on the ground. It's a chicken horror movie.

I've been away for a couple of weeks, and the first thing I noticed when I came back and went out to feed the chooks the next morning was, well, how predatory they seemed. It's evident where their raptor relatives fit into the picture, as they raced at me that morning, eyes darting opportunistically, beaks looking for the first peck, necks banging into beaks and combs. Fern leaped up and tried to eat one of my coat buttons and I had a brief and very disturbing vision of me falling down in the grass and the chickens devouring my still-warm carcass in seconds, pirana like. I ended up dashing to the gate and squeezing through, then tossing their scratch over the gate, just in case what I had wasn't a weird overly-imaginative moment but a glimpse of my immediate and very vulnerable future.

Yes, laugh all you like. I'll let YOU feed them tomorrow, then we'll see who's laughing.

Yesterday I saw Prunella and Fern tearing at something long and white, until Prunella finally wrested control, flung herself across the yard, then paused and took a few chunks out of this long white thing. I pushed her aside and picked it up. It was a plastic plant tag. Sorbet Mix Pansies.

Good thing there is a useful, edible product from all this fun, otherwise I might find myself leaving their side doors open one night, so the raccoons can take their chances with my brainless little nightmare fowls.

No comments: