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The Three Fates

Time for a chicken update, and here’s my whole sad little flock as Winter approaches. Maggie’s still with us — she’s just off-camera in the cage to the left. They spend a lot of time flocking around her, keeping her company, but they would do her injury if I let them at her.

That’s Mapp on the right. She looks like shit because she’s molting, but she is also starting to show her age a bit. She’s four this year. Six is probably the most we can expect. This is hard, because — don’t tell the other chickens — Mapp is my favorite.

That’s Vita in the middle, the biggest and prettiest of the chickens. Big, beautiful, shy, stupid Vita. Stupid, stupid Vita.

Violence on the left, the off-white one. She’s kind of head chicken at the moment, and a lousy job she does of it, too. She’s mean and arbitrary and apt to say “fuck it” in the middle of the day and go back to bed. At roosting time, she becomes a peckin’ machine. The other chickens fear her, but do not follow her.

Everyone who knows my flock agrees, the heart went out of them when Lucia died. She was the Mary Poppins of chickens, practically perfect in every way. She kept ’em in line. Without her, they don’t explore. They don’t get up to trouble. They don’t get into the vegetable patch and eat peas or show up in my kitchen and poop on the floor.

We had our first fire of the season last night. Cold and wet and bad time for chickens coming. Spare a thought for my sad, tiny flock.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 7, 2014, 9:45 pm

I got three eggs today, though, so they aren’t done yet. They stop laying about now and don’t start again until February, March.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: October 7, 2014, 9:54 pm

Thank you for the chicken update.
I wondered about Maggie—if she’d ever started walking again.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 7, 2014, 10:07 pm

Nope. She’s as crippled as ever. But it’s been over a year and she’s alert and interested in her surroundings and has a good appetite. She’s really no more trouble than the others, so I’m okay with the status quo.

Comment from CrabbyOldBat
Time: October 7, 2014, 10:50 pm

Tilling didn’t do so well without Lucia, either. Sad that the chicken version won’t be scratching at your kitchen door with a little mac and rubber boots, saying, “Me’s tum back!” (Mapp certainly looks like she’s spent a few months on an Italian trawler.) Some creatures are just born leaders (as opposed to born tyrants).

Comment from Some Vegetable
Time: October 7, 2014, 11:02 pm

Let’s drink to all Weasel’s chickens
Let’s drink to her old barnyard birds
Raise your glass to the Mapp and to Vita
Let’s drink to the salt of the earth
Say a prayer for the poor little Maggie
Spare a thought for her legs that don’t work
Say a prayer for Badger and his Weasel
Who have lit the fall fire and who still till the earth.

Let’s drink to the hard working blogger
Let’s drink to the salt of the web
Let’s drink to all of the minions
Let’s think of us humblest of plebs.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 7, 2014, 11:17 pm

CrabbyOldBat, have we had the Mapp and Lucia conversation? We must’ve done

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: October 7, 2014, 11:20 pm

I always thought that was a strange one from the Glimmer Twins, Some Veg.

Nice re-write 🙂

Comment from Nina
Time: October 7, 2014, 11:25 pm

Maybe they needs some new life injected into the flock come spring?

Comment from CrabbyOldBat
Time: October 8, 2014, 12:12 am

S’Weasel: Nope, we haven’t talked Mapp and Lucia, but I have all but memorized that book. Have you been to Rye to see Lamb House (Mallards)? I understand the Garden Room was bombed in the war and was not rebuilt – what a pity, when that was really the center of operations!

Comment from Mostly Cajun
Time: October 8, 2014, 12:30 am

I know it’s probably not in the cards for your flock, but Grandma’s chickens didn’t die of old age. A rooster got two years. Hens’ hung around until egg production fell off. then…

There’s no comparison to the soup made with a chicken who’s actually lived to maturity. Tough, they take a long time to cook to tenderness, but the flavor is memorable.

Circle of life, and all that…


Comment from QuasiModo
Time: October 8, 2014, 1:26 am

Well wishes for your chickens! My great-grandfather used to keep chickens…they got into everything and covered it with poo.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: October 8, 2014, 1:41 am

Heh. This one might interest you, Stoatie.. http://www.ctvnews.ca/business/chickens-four-times-bigger-than-they-used-to-be-study-1.2041561#ixzz3FPvsn3Js

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: October 8, 2014, 2:12 am

Chickens are bigger since the ’50s because of all the nuclear testing back then…they’re mutating…never saw the movie ‘Them’?…with the giant ants?…same thing…

Comment from OldFert
Time: October 8, 2014, 4:53 pm

Yup. From my perspective, it’s pretty obvious. Chickens are bigger ’cause of nuke testing. And DDT. And phosphates in detergent. And overpopulation. And global cooling. And the hole in the ozone layer. And not composting. And Alar. And…

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 8, 2014, 5:49 pm

We’re great Mapp and Lucia fans, CrabbyOldBat. We’ve never done the official M&L walk (we mean to every year) and I’ve never gone *inside* Lamb House (AKA Mallards), but we’ve certainly walked the streets of Rye on our own and identified the main houses.

Comment from Bob Mulroy
Time: October 8, 2014, 5:52 pm

They look well enough for this time of year.
Put Miss “Violence” in a dark box for three days, She’ll come out a new bird. Ducks and chickens don’t have a memory per se, they have a behaviour loop that lasts less then forty hours.
My Gram on mom’s side, and my missus’s Gram on her mom’s side were cunning women who could treat gunshots, reduce fractures, and do other practical treatments for country folk. They were both authorities on poultry matters as well, and taught us a bunch when we were little.
On a side note, has anyone heard of His Royal Highness, Rex Goliath? Supposedly, he was a 47 pound rooster! Of course, he was a Texas rooster, so it’s somewhat plausible.

Comment from mojo
Time: October 8, 2014, 6:36 pm

“…giant mutant chickens, standing twelve hands at the shoulder…”

Comment from Bikeboy
Time: October 8, 2014, 8:08 pm

don’t tell the other chickens — Mapp is my favorite

How can you be so sure one of them chickens doesn’t follow your blog on a little Chicken Smart Phone? (If Violence finds out, expect some violent retribtion against Mapp.) Once you post something on the WWW, it’s no longer a secret, but in the wind.

Comment from Lipstick
Time: October 11, 2014, 11:49 pm

Stoaty, Every time you mention Rye, it reminds me of a time back in the eighties.

I was going to school in London and the summer before it began, my family and I met the couple who lived in Lamb House. It was a sort of tenant/caretaker role. Anyway, bingo! a personal tour of the house.

This all would have been much more meaningful had I read anything written by Henry James! Sure I had heard the name, but I felt like a Philistine and a phony while nodding and oohing and aahing…

But I also remember being very impressed by Rye, especially a perfectly beautiful old street that went sort of downhill.

Comment from weasel tablet
Time: October 12, 2014, 1:48 am

Lipstick, that’s gotta be Mermaid Street. Porpoise Street in Benson. Middle Street in the old days.

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