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Hm. Must be Autumn

Behold my posse. My crew. My flock. Yesterday was the first time all four of them hopped up on the kitchen chair. Evening roosting behavior. Hilarious — I threw a towel over their heads and they all promptly conked off asleep. Then I could dust them for mites and have a good look at their feet (Mapp needs a pedicure) and their vents.

Yes, dear readers, I inspect chicken bottoms.

They flock together well enough in the daytime now, but the new girls and the old girls still sleep in separate enclosures. That has to change by Winter; there’s plenty of room in the main henhouse for four.

Sadly, it feels distinctly Autumnal out there tonight. So I let them fall asleep in the dark kitchen, then I tiptoed them out one by one and put them on the perch together in the big house (except Violet, who prefers to sleep on the floor).

I’ve put this off for so long because they all pick on Vita (the big, beautiful bird on the left). Even her nestmate Violet has a go at her. It’s horrible to watch. Vita meekly accepts her place at the bottom of the pecking order and lies still, beak down in the grass, patiently letting the other girls give her a few good pecks whenever they like. First time I saw this, I thought the poor bird had dropped dead and the others were trying to wake her up.

Nature. What an asshole.

They don’t peck hard enough to hurt her, but I worry about her being stuck inside the small run, unable to get away. So! I have set the alarm for six in the morning. I haven’t seen six in the morning since I left the Motherland.

I better get drinking.


Comment from beasn
Time: September 5, 2011, 11:36 pm

Awww heck, I’d love to see a picture of them with a towel over their heads.

HAHAHAHA, you’re a nut, in a good way, sweasel, and that is why we lurves you.

Comment from Christophyer Taylor
Time: September 6, 2011, 12:19 am

Chicken in the breadpan, pickin out dough?

Comment from Armybrat
Time: September 6, 2011, 12:46 am

Hubby and I sat out in the restaurant patio behind our condo and enjoyed the weather but lamented the impending winter. Here in beantown we have two seasons….winter and dreading winter.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: September 6, 2011, 1:02 am

Truly miserable weather in Florida today. It’s only 27 degrees right now!

Comment from Andrea Harris
Time: September 6, 2011, 1:23 am

Ha ha. He means centigrade. I’m so glad I moved out of the year-’round hot box. Here in Virginia it’s 72 and raining. The highs tomorrow are expected to go no higher than the mid-60s. It can get pretty hot here in the summer but at least it’s only a season, not the entirety of time and space. As for me, Real Winter is a tad hard to take, but it’s worth it for Real Autumn and Real Spring.

Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: September 6, 2011, 1:39 am

With all due respects to artards the world over, that is one picture that looks a million times better in colour. Maybe even in color, too, for all I know 😉

Still life with chickens.

The wheel is turning suddenly faster now, for all the reason that says it’s just a steady two or three or however many minutes a week. In a handful of days, Summer slipped through our fingers, the circus melted out of town, leaving a pale shadow of the big top on the grass, and soon there will be bonfires and drums as Sussex comes to life with flickering ritual.

Funny old place, this. In many ways I’m as much a stranger to it as is our Dear Leader. The seasons seem more formed here. Sharper, too. Sharp enough to cut.

Comment from Nina from GCP
Time: September 6, 2011, 1:43 am

Awwwww, they’re so cute.

Maybe you ought to fill a spray bottle with water and every time they gang up on Vita you squirt them in the face. That’ll larn ’em.

Comment from Mike James
Time: September 6, 2011, 1:59 am

Seeing them in the pan like that makes me think of white wine, onions, garlic, salt and pepper, and potatoes…

Forgive me, SWeasel.

Comment from Deborah
Time: September 6, 2011, 2:08 am

I love it. For a split second, I thought one of the chickens had two heads, but I have terrible vision. (Color probably would have prevented that).

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 6, 2011, 2:28 am

A quick battering and a coat of Secret Herbs and Spices …

Comment from EZnSF
Time: September 6, 2011, 2:57 am

In my next life, I want to be a chicken at Casa de Stoat,
as grandpa use to say, “living the life of Riley”.

Comment from Oceania
Time: September 6, 2011, 3:41 am

I still think that Sweasel has a secret virus research weapons programme hidden in her back Sgarden Sshed.

There she toils with her DNA syntheser to perfect the perfect weapon …. whilst using amniotic egg powered incubators.

Comment from SCOTTtheBADGER
Time: September 6, 2011, 5:30 am

It’s gonna get down in the upper 30’s here in WI tonight.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 6, 2011, 6:41 am

Ah, Oceania. My mother told nursing school tales of growing viruses in chicken eggs.

What’s unique about an egg? It’s a single cell.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 6, 2011, 7:02 am

Six, huh? Huh.

Comment from Ric Locke
Time: September 6, 2011, 1:20 pm

Here in north central Texas the weather control isn’t a dial, it’s a switch with distinct click-stops. It got turned down two, or possibly three, notches Saturday night, so we went from night time lows of 90° F to daytime highs of not much more than that. Unfortunately the PRECIP setting is still firmly on nil, with a padlock to discourage meddling, and the cool air used to be much cooler and is therefore as void of moisture as the average political speech is of content.

It means I sleep better, which may be unfortunate. I might not wake up for the fire sirens.


Comment from Deborah
Time: September 6, 2011, 2:25 pm

Does the lowest chicken in the pecking order always get “pecked” by all the other chickens, or is Vita wearing the chicken equivalent of a Kick Me sign?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: September 6, 2011, 2:37 pm

Well, I’m not an experienced keeper of chickens, but I do think Vita has it particularly bad. At least in that she accepts it so passively.

If Boss Chicken has a go at the other two, they squawk and flap and get the heck out of her way. Not Vita.

I’ve heard you shouldn’t mix silkies in with non-silkies. Those feathery topknots are apparently irresistible.

Comment from Deborah
Time: September 6, 2011, 3:19 pm

Poor Vita!

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: September 6, 2011, 4:37 pm

Hey, SWeas – why not get her a bonnet, then?

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: September 6, 2011, 8:53 pm

I must confess that I originally started visiting this blog in order to bask in the amusing commentary, but now I just come for the chicken pr0n. I feel like one of those pitiable fellows who lives in their parents basement, slavering over images\video of unattainable women doing unmentionable things to other people who are not him. I now come for the chicken pr0n…and just pretend to read the articles. I am overcome with longing to have chickens and other domesticated animals, but alas circumstances prevent the attainment of this dream.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: September 6, 2011, 9:04 pm

Now Feynmangroupie, you CAN has chicken:

Comment from Mike James
Time: September 6, 2011, 10:15 pm

Feynmangroupie, there are meanings, and there are meanings, of ‘have’, as in “I am overcome with longing to have chickens and other domesticated animals.”

Could you get a little more specific, please? “Have”, as in to keep, to husband…I don’t know, biblically?

To think I wanted to have them with peas….

Comment from Feynmangroupie
Time: September 6, 2011, 11:48 pm


MANY thanks for pointing out the, ummm, rather Freudian typo?

To clarify: a longing to own domesticated livestock/fowl and eat them when I get hungry. The only biblical sense that might qualify is the possible slaughtering of the proverbial fatted calf, for feasting purposes, or at worst, blood sacrifice to the local pagan deities.

Qrist on a popsicle stick, even “having” and “husbanding” invite untoward implications, when not provided with an explicit reference to purely agricultural applications. My idyllic and purely innocent admiration of Stoaty’s pastoral lifestyle has been tainted! Nay! Corrupted!


Is it legal to keep plush chickens within the city limits? Are they 100% vegetarian polyester fill, because I don’t want my stuffed animals to actually have any animal by-products in them.

Now I am going to go write, “I will preview every post before submitting it,” a million times.

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: September 7, 2011, 12:00 am

Which doesn’t take all that long if you copy it (including the hard return at the end of the line), position the cursor properly, and hold down Ctrl+Enter for. . .awhile.

Comment from Sven in Colorado
Time: September 7, 2011, 12:16 am

Ric Locke,

I have a very dear friend who lives South of Austin, twenty some miles from Bastrop State Park. The photos she has shared raise a visceral reaction deep in my gut. Over a thousand homes turned to ashes, multiple thousands of folks forced to evacuate. The Bastrop fire is now at 34K acres, 550 homes destroyed

What will be interesting to see, is how FEMA and the current occupant of the White House handle this major disaster. Since the hurricane fizzed out, the dominant liberal media is FINALLY been given the go ahead to cover the fires.

FYI, back in April, when this horrendous drought began, the current occupant of the White House refused federal aide for Texas, yet sent aid to Mexico: http://rightwingnews.com/barack-obama/federal-government-denies-wildfire-aid-to-texas-gives-it-to-mexico/.

And this all falls on the heels of Jimmy Jr’s call to declare war on the Tea Party, just before the current occupant of the White House took to the podium to deliver a disjointed, socialist diatribe on the need for more support for unions, and more taxes on the evil rich folks….yanno the ones who own the businesses that create the jobs?

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: September 7, 2011, 12:26 am

It depends on what you plan to do with said plush chickens. Not sure of your location, but if it is within the San Francisco city limits, ALMOST anything would be legal.

Comment from Claire
Time: September 7, 2011, 1:45 pm

Nature. What an asshole.

You said it, Sister.

Comment from Nicole
Time: September 7, 2011, 4:37 pm

Great picture.

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