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Chicken drama

That bird on the other side of the mesh is Vita, the most beautiful chicken in the whole parish. She is also, no doubt about it, the very bottom of the pecking order. All the other chickens (including the tiny black one in the corner) pecked and belly-bumped and fought their quarter to claim their spot in the poultry hierarchy. It’s a somewhat fluid thing, the pecking order — except for Lucia (top hen) and Vita (bottom hen).

Vita never tried. She never fought. She gave up from day one. I looked out the window one day to see her lying motionless, beak-down in the grass, the top two chickens taking turns giving her a good hard peck. I though she’d died and they were trying to revive her, but no…she was just lying there letting them demonstrate her position on the social scale.

Sometimes, she goes off by herself for a little wallow in the sunshine, solo. Although these days, her role is so firmly established, nobody much bothers to give her a hard time any more. She’s kind of Invisible Vita, bottom chicken. She breaks my heart, that chicken.

Until the new babies. They’re in their own run in the daytime now, so the other chickens can see them and get used to them, but not get at them. Oh, Vita is very interested in the babies. Yes indeed. She’ll stare at the chicks for a few minutes, then bang give the mesh a peck and make them jump. I think Vita doesn’t want to be bottom hen any more. But the piebald, Maggie, and the little black bird, Coco, are feisty little so-and-sos and won’t give up without a fight.

It’s going to be an interesting Summer.

June 13, 2013 — 11:14 pm
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