Thursday, September 11, 2008


When I graduate from being a homeschooling mom, I think I'm going to become a chicken docent. You know, those old people that stand around at the zoo, just waiting to talk someone's ear off about their animal? (Bless their hearts.) But seriously, I continue to learn more and more about these animals and am amazed at what I didn't know before I owned some they came to own me.

For example, Lester the Molester was up to his old tricks again yesterday, escaping from his fenced yard and the two old geezer hens to which he is assigned conjugal duties. He wanted fresh meat. He grabbed one of the bantam hens by the back of the neck, neatly taking off all her neck feathers and slicing her skin to the bone, proceeded to have his way with her. Chickens can be brutal. I always thought of them as being, well, chicken. Think instead velociraptor.

She will likely survive, because the other thing I didn't know before my chicken phase (I once had a hamster phase, but let's not go there now) was that chickens can survive the most gruesome injuries. With a little anti-bacterial cream, she's running around today like she's not bald and with gaping head wounds.

William claims that of all animals, he loves chickens best. Now how many boys do you know say that? I know why though. Chickens take dirt baths. Yes, I know that's an oxymoron, but they love loose dirt which acts to keep down bugs and it just feels good. I'm sure William would prefer this to a real bath.

Below is a video of an uninjured bantam, taking a dust bath. The location of this dust bath is most unfortunate. You might remember that a month ago, a chicken died. Wm and I buried her and covered her grave with a garden stone he'd made. Each morning, we'd find the stone rolled back (no angels though), and the grave dug up, but the chicken was still there - since I could see the white plastic bag that served as her shroud. So, we'd cover it up and yet again, she'd be dug up the next morning. Well, with the dry weather and all the digging, the dirt has become quite fine - perfect for a chicken bath. So, here you see a chicken literally rolling in a grave, though not her own. The white is the edge of plastic bag with the still buried chicken.


Robin said...

Oh gosh! That is as funny as it is macabre! You're like, the best Mom ever! Love the "docent' tag!

For some weird reason, chickens' amuse and interest me...the "pecking order" (which, came, by the way, from chicken watching!) seems arbitrary to humans but in in the end...chicken done gone and got smarter than you 'uns!

Great post! Sorry I've been absent...check out my blog (I figured out how to post pics...woo hoo!) and you'll see why! Things have been a little crazy here in the TX Panhandle!

Arby said...

I recently learned about this dirt bath thing and now understand why the chickens have taken over the dirt patch underneath the playhouse in our back yard, the one spot where the Big Fuzzy Dog used to hide from the sun. He's a basement dog now. It's cooler.

debra said...

I have chickens--I love my chickens!!!! And roosters are relentless (which is why I only have hens). Thanks for a great post.


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