Thursday, August 26, 2010

Coop Life

Chicken Betty White has me concerned. She went broody a month ago and was behaving like a real git, she's past it now but still isn't laying and two days ago she stayed out all night. The ladies are on an honor system to put themselves in at dusk before I come and lock up the coop. We have an interloping Bantam rooster in the pen currently and I think he is trying to coerce Betty to join his flock of one. Why shouldn't she? She is an outsider here, plain looking to the point of scraggly and because she is a slightly hysterical hen she has a hard time just chilling and hanging with the other hen ladies. She refuses the Brahma roosters advances, running away shrieking into the underbrush anytime he gets near her. The compact Bantam rooster is different in his approach, he hangs back and has a plastic sounding crow. He's fancy but not too intimidating and he finds his way into the pen every morning so when the hens tumble out of the coop he is the first thing they see. Betty may be smitten but I am not sure what future she can have with him. His owners will eventually trap him and return him to his miniature flock saving him from a sure death if he continues to live outdoors. Betty is a wreck. Hopefully she will start laying again and her life will sort itself out with the return to the daily routine and comfort of egg laying. Perhaps in time she will begin to own her spot in the flock and get more comfortable in her own chicken skin and with the meager contribution she makes to coop society.

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