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The one on the left, not so much

The Telegraph says chickens are capable of empathy. Huh. They don’t know Mapp.

I got nothing today, so I might as well give you a chicken update. The picture is the girls from last year, but we are hoping to pick up a couple more pullets this month. Gots to get on the phone to my chicken pusher.

We haven’t decided whether to stick with an E.F. Benson theme, or to call the new birds Betty and Wilma or Peanut Butter and Jelly or Sturm and Drang or something. I suppose it’s best to go birds first, then names.

Mixing in new chickens is going to be fun. It’ll be like the Crips and the Bloods out there until pecking order is established.

Oddly enough, Mapp is easily the most aggressive, adventurous and downright manic hen, but gentle Lucia is Boss Chicken. Cluck softly and carry a big beak is her motto.

Got the first egg of the season last week, and three more since. Still pretty sure it’s just Lucia laying, though.

The day something large and hard comes out of Mapp’s bottom, there’s going to be a BE-GACK heard ’round the world.


Comment from Cobrakai99
Time: March 9, 2011, 11:31 pm

You could do like my friend did with his dogs. Bud and Weiser.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: March 9, 2011, 11:44 pm

When ya gets the NEW chickens, put them in the coop for a few days and hide your OLD pair elsewhere. After the new chicklets are acclimated, you may THEN have better results with the new pecking order. Unless, of course, the NEW chicklets are EXTREMELY young…

Comment from OldNuc
Time: March 9, 2011, 11:53 pm

The standard cure for non laying hens is Chicken Soup.

My dogs are named Watson and Mycroft.

Comment from JeffS
Time: March 10, 2011, 12:02 am

What about naming the new birds Fried and Baked?

As an incentive to produce eggs, that is.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 10, 2011, 12:11 am

Couldn’t eat Mapp. For one thing, under all those feathers, she’s barely a McNugget. And for another, she’s about the most hilarious animal I’ve ever owned.

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: March 10, 2011, 12:21 am

I’d let Schroedinger come over for a visit to give some encouragement, but I doubt that he’d be down for that whole medical quarentine thing…….

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 10, 2011, 12:44 am

The chickens bully both our cats without mercy. Even Asbo, who is a great big strapping unfixed feral male tom, who makes a living eating moorhens.

I think part of that, though, is at some level, the cats know the chooks are under our protection and we’d be pissed if they got et.

Comment from Nina
Time: March 10, 2011, 12:49 am

Someday I hope to have my own house with a yard that I can keep chickens in. Or a yard in which I can keep chickens, if you’re into that whole Latin-based grammar thing.


Comment from some vegetable
Time: March 10, 2011, 1:13 am

“First egg of the season”? Eggs have a season? (Besides salt?)

Comment from Scubafreak
Time: March 10, 2011, 1:15 am

Not to worry, Stoatie. Schroedinger Ravens-bane would have a grand old time motivating them….. 😉

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 10, 2011, 1:21 am

Unless you give them artificial light, chickens quit laying between, say, November and February. It takes something like 14 hours of daylight for them to make an egg. Apparently, one 40-watt bulb is enough to keep them in lay all Winter.

Uncle B and I agree — those damn chickens are the best money we ever spent. They are pure, distilled cheer-me-up.

Comment from EZnSF
Time: March 10, 2011, 3:32 am

“I got nothing today…..”

Huh, Chicken posts and tipsy badgers with toilet paper on the end of a stick are half the reasons I come here.
You may be surprised that that mundane spider in the corner of your English cottage may be quite exotic reading. At least, you’ve always make it so. Onword MUNDANE!

Comment from David Bain
Time: March 10, 2011, 6:53 am

Yep, Spring is coming; our ducks – or one of them, anyway – have laid their first offering and going by the noise, Count Duckula is chasing the girls up and down the pen all night! We’re now getting more than one egg a day from our five ex-batts, too.

Our cat and dog stay away from the chickens and ducks. I’m sure it’s because they’ve found out the hard way that chickens have a sharp pointy bit at one end and aren’t afraid to use it. To cat and dog the ducks might have it too, so they keep clear just in case.

Comment from Nina
Time: March 10, 2011, 7:45 am

The words “chicken” and “duck” are intrinsically funny.

Comment from Deborah
Time: March 10, 2011, 8:02 am

It’s spring in my neighborhood. Just a few days ago I saw a pair of Canada geese nesting in the corner in the right-of-way at a fairly busy intersection. Not in town—it’s a rural area, but still. There’s a pond nearby and I guess it was just too crowded for them. She had her feathers all poofed out and he was dashing around in a defensive posture. Odd, I thought. But dang, we have coyotes and foxes, bobcats, and who knows what all. Sure seems like a bad spot.

Comment from Clifford Scridlow
Time: March 10, 2011, 2:26 pm

Southeast of Fischer a bit, not too far from Deborah as memory serves, we have foxes this year like crazy. We also seem to have a bounty of skunks, unfortunately. Chickens would not fare well outside, I suspect. A shame, as fresh eggs would be a treat.

Comment from Elphaba
Time: March 10, 2011, 4:49 pm

I love hearing about your chickens. We enjoy ours, too. We’re starting to see upwards to 8 eggs a day now, which is lovely.

One bit of advice…make sure those new babies have all their feathers and some weight on them before they are allowed to become part of the general population. Chickens can be horribly cruel to each other, so the new ones’ll need to be able to hold their own.

Comment from George
Time: March 10, 2011, 7:42 pm

Merrill, Lynch? Sacco and Vanzetti?

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 10, 2011, 8:14 pm

Yes, we’re prepping for a fight, Elphaba. We’re hoping to get some pullets about six weeks old and keep them in a separate enclosed run in the daytime, visible to each other but not reachable (and inside the house in a box at night, which is where M&L lived until high Summer). So they get used to the look of each other.

Mapp’s favorite passtime is chasing other birds around the garden, so this should be fun.

‘Nother egg today. I keep waiting for the two-egg day that tells us they’re both laying.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: March 11, 2011, 12:12 am

Good grief, people… Isn’t this obvious?

Smith and Wesson.

Comment from Mike C.
Time: March 11, 2011, 12:16 am

Alternatively, and if you want to be all British uopper-crust about it…

Holland and Holland.

Um, Webley and Enfield ?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: March 11, 2011, 12:28 am

On the Merrill, Lynch theme–you could go all abstruse and call them Bean and Smith.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: March 11, 2011, 12:40 am

What would Pierce and Fenner think?

Comment from Can’t hark my cry
Time: March 11, 2011, 1:18 am


My father never did get over the day Smith replaced Bean. . .

Comment from mojo
Time: March 13, 2011, 3:42 am

How about “Dumplings” and “Noodles”?

Comment from Spad13
Time: March 14, 2011, 1:05 am

Yay! Chicken update.

I think you should name the newbies Gin and Tonic, probably because I’ve been drinking.

O/T has anybody heard from Bill the .0013% of Weasels trafic from Iraq? He dropped off the radar and I hope he is ok.

Comment from Mark Matis
Time: March 14, 2011, 5:33 pm

I believe the reason Bill hasn’t posted recently is because he is NO LONGER the .0013% of Weasel’s traffic from Iraq. I believe he has redeployed and is stateside. At least, that is, if he is the BillT who also posts at Castle d’Argghhh!

Comment from bad cat robot
Time: March 14, 2011, 6:30 pm

yes, that is the same BillT. Gawd help us if there were TWO of them … Never fear, he is working his way through an epic “Domestic Tranquility Workforce Optimization Program”, otherwise known as a HoneyDew list 😉

Comment from cracksnapplepop
Time: March 17, 2011, 3:36 am

The pullet on the left looks like Helen Thomas. And I mean that in the nicest possible way.

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