Monday, February 7, 2011

Curious the Chicken

This is Curious.  She is a Rhode Island Red chicken that is 3 years old.  She act more like a dog than a chicken.  She is very affectionate and loves attention.  She is also curious about everything.

When she was just a peep she would walk with me the length of the brooder while I cleaned out the duck's side.  It was a large brooder and she would walk back and forth watching and 'helping' me.  She has continued to stay affectionate and inquisitive about everything as she has gotten older.  The other chickens will sometimes gang up un her and beat her up some - just establishing the pecking order of the flock.  I tend to stick up for her and don't let the other birds pick on her, maybe that is why she is attached to me.

Curious loves to be held and pampered.  When she was getting really beat up over the summer, I would rescue her.  She would willingly let me pick her up, and take her to a different part of the yard.  My other chickens would not cross the driveway so I would take Curious over to the orchard and put her under one of the cherry trees.  I would give the tree a  shake and Curious would gobble up the Japanese Beetles that would drop to the ground.  I would try to get her to move to the next tree but she would just look at me and say, "No, you put me here under this tree.  I am not moving."  So I would have to pick her up and carry her to the next tree for more yummy bugs.  Goofy bird.  So pampered she would not walk to the next tree!

When I take the birds a fresh water every night she is standing in the nest boxes waiting for me.  As soon as I step into the coop she is right there to take several long drinks before I can get the watering can set down.  She does the same thing with the food can.  She eats first and looks to the other hens as if to say "Neener neener neener, I get to eat and drink first!"  I think I have totally upset the pecking order!  I don't really care as long as I know she is getting food and water and not getting beat up. In the picture above you see Curious and Fuzzy at the watering can.  Fuzzy is a whole other story bird!

I scrambled up some eggs for the hens over the weekend.  The need the protein and it helps reduce pecking when they are cooped up for long periods of time like they have been lately with all this bad weather.  I had 2 plates full of eggs balanced on my arm and hand as I opened the coop door with the other hand.  As soon as I stepped inside the coop Curious did this:

Yep she hopped right up onto my hand balancing all the eggs and just sat there on my fingers.  She was very comfortable there and started to eat the eggs at her leisure.  Again, she looked down at the rest of the birds on the floor of the coop smacking their beaks, drooling for the eggs, and took a big bite of eggs and said "Neener neener neener!"

She stayed on my hand like that as I eased her down to the floor and put the egg plates down for the rest of chickens to enjoy.  They all devoured them and made happy noises.  They are funny when they get stuff stuck to their beaks.  Since they obviously can't lick their beaks off and don't have opposable thumbs to handle a napkin - they do what they can to clean their beaks off.  They stroke their beaks back and forth across the roosts or on the floor to wipe them clean.

I love my chickens and know they don't have a long life span, but I will be really sad when Curious and Fuzzy pass away.  These two chickens in particular have such notable personalities and are so darn funny, loving and quirky, it just make you smile.

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