Leah, my newly acquired Americana Chicken gave us a scare on Friday and we spent the better part of an hour with friends hunting her down. We found her hiding behind the Rooster mural in the coop. She stayed there all day Saturday, and is still there this morning. It's been
a very hard week for her, clearly she's exceptionally shy. Last week I had two Road Island Reds removed to the country. I'm going on 5 years with my coop and I'm still learning about the girls and their nature. The Red's were my first 'adult' purchase. All the other birds I've had came to me as pullets from friends, or I raised them from day old chicks. The Red's I got from Callahan's. They've been trouble from the beginning. They bonded and began pecking each other, then everyone else. Over the summer, they pecked two little Japanese Silkies to death. The little white one I have left, Blanca, had been in shock, brooding since then. When the Red's left, she got down on the ground and started right in on a dirt bath and gorged herself. She hadn't forgotten how to be a bird, nor had she forgotten what she'd seen them do, apparently.
A few years ago I heard Ira Glass's interview on "This American Life" about the chicken lady that invited him to her home because of a "bird-brained" comment he'd made on the air. She challenged him to stay with her and spend some time with her birds to dispel his 'ignorance.' He went, and shortly after the visit, became a vegetarian. I'm currently not a vegetarian, since July...but have given up meat more times in my life to count and was able to do the vegan plan for just under 2 years, before my girls were born. Dorothy, my Boston Terrorist killing machine was the impetus for the last time...I figured if I stopped eating chicken (and all other meat) I could sort of make up for her terrier nature. I couldn't bring the girls back, but between my abstinence and our aggressive tactics I was attempting to balance the scales...don't ask me why I engage in such frivolous mental gymnastics...what else am I to do while working hours at a time in total silence involved in the sometimes numbing monotony of pruning and weeding? I digress, back to Leah, and what I've learned...they are all unique. Each bread and each bird. The reason I got a Road Island Red is because of a friend who went to School in Providence insisted that they are the coolest, and without checking...because I hadn't had a mean bird yet, got the first one that came my way...then what the heck? Got her a friend to boot! The young boy of 10 that took them is in 4-H, he has 40 hens, 3 roosters, ducks, turkey's and Guinea fowl. He assured me that Reggie, his big Road Island Red Rooster, would straighten my girls out. His mother blushed, and we all knew what that meant. I'm an urban hobby-farm girl, I could learn a lot from this young man. I wonder if he'd like a 44 year old apprentice?
The Beer Garden survived the hoards of fondlers, I was genuinely afraid that one of the bottle-cap snakes would come down on someones head...as the wind will sometimes cut one loose and crush a tender green below. But nay, all went well. Whew.