The Kids Are Alright

Seems I fall off the blogging wagon every summer. But the excitement never stops around here. There’s been plenty of chicken drama to keep us on our toes. Think months of diarrhea, sibling rivalry, and raging hormones for starters.

Bell and Fifi finally joined the big girls outside in July, and they’ve both laid their adorable first eggs. Luma (aka ‘Baby Tiny’) marches around kicking butt and guzzling food, with a crop the size of a tennis ball, even as she remains convinced of impending famine. Our sweet Petunia is now on chicken birth control to mellow out her raging hormones–the result of having been bred for short term mega-egg production. She’s a little quieter than she used to be, but she can still subdue Luma with one ominous warning cackle.

At the end of a rough day of egg-laying and jockeying for food, everyone enjoys taking dust baths. Except for Luma, who seldom takes time from her perpetual foraging.

We humans continue to be amazed by the complexity of chicken social structure and rely on ‘chicken therapy’ (i.e. watching the chickens be chickens) regularly to cope with our own stressful lives.

Bell--Welsummer extraordinaire.

Bell–Welsummer extraordinaire. She has the spirit of a leader, but she’ll have to wait her turn. In the meantime, she busies herself with being an incredibly picky eater and unskilled forager and with hollering louder and longer than anyone else.

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Enjoying a therapeutic dust bath at the end of a hard day.

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Promise she’s not dead.

Fifi, in a state of bliss.

Fifi, in a state of bliss. Fifi is a very gentle soul and astute reader of dominant chickens. She is utterly terrified of Luma and relies on daily dust baths under the tomatoes to decompress.

Fifi's first little green Ameraucana egg.

Fifi’s first egg–laid July 28th at 18.5 weeks old.

Bell's first egg.

Bell’s first egg–laid August 10th at 20.5 weeks old.

From left, full-sized Barred Rock egg, Welsummer pullet egg, and Ameraucana pullet egg.

From left, full-sized Barred Rock egg, Welsummer pullet egg, and Ameraucana pullet egg.

Still not sure if Petunia's recent 'birth control' injection brought on an early molt.

Still not sure if Petunia’s recent ‘birth control’ injection brought on an early molt. She is a very fair and gentle but no-nonsense leader of the flock.

At 2.5 years old, Luma (aka 'Baby Tiny') is the meanest kid on the block and lays six eggs a week.

At 2.5 years old, Luma (aka ‘Baby Tiny’) is the meanest kid on the block and lays six eggs a week.

2 Responses to The Kids Are Alright

  1. I think the eggs are awesome. I’m still on the fence about the whole chicken thing. I eat so many eggs, it’s tempting. I swear, there would be not many better feelings for me than to go out in the morning and grab some fresh eggs. Perhaps after a few winters. Your chickens look great.

    It’s nice to see you’re back on the blog wagon too!

    • Thanks, Jay! I have started recommending chickens for anyone who has too much time on their hands, or craves drama in life. Chickens are highly entertaining, if also sometimes a pain in the butt. But really, you’re right: there are few better feelings than going out to pick up beautiful warm eggs.

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