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Your chicken questions, answered


Too many questions to answer in the comment thread below, so I’ll squeeze a post out of ’em.

The original two were Mapp and Lucia after two characters in a novel set in nearby Rye. The next two were Vita and Violet, named after Vita Sackville-West from nearby Sissinghurst (it has a famous garden we love to visit) and her long-time lesbian love Violet Trefusis. But we call Violet Violence on account of her dreadful anger management issues. The next two were Coco and Maggie, for no particular reason.

We were going to continue with famous Edwardian lesbians, but we worried we’d run out of them, so we decided notorious Edwardian women would do. These three are the Dolly Sisters, Rosie and Jenny, and Colette.

Chicken math: Lucia, Coco and Maggie have fallen off the — I almost said proverbial, but I suppose it’s literal — perch. So, flock of six. Which I have decided is just right.

Jack has not met them yet and I fully expect him to be a beast. I don’t think he’d kill them, but I’m pretty sure he’ll chase them. We’re going to control this very carefully; they may have to free range in an enclosed run until they’re all growed up. That will be roughly July or August.

The big chickens met the little chickens for the first time today. They were not impressed. I had the little girls in a bird cage and I think the big girls were afraid of the cage. They vanished into the house and wouldn’t come out. That will change.

It will take all Summer to unite them into a flock and maybe a year before the pecking order is fully established. There will be much pecking.

Several birds can share a nest box. The current house (we’re getting a bigger one) has two, but it’s not at all unusual to find all three birds crammed on top of each other in the same nest box while the other is empty. Chickens, eh?

Yes, I feel terribly conflicted eating chicken. I feel terribly conflicted eating meat in general. I am a terrible slop-bag. I have nearly gone vegetarian several times in my life out of chronic slop-baggery. I swear to gott, I’ll end up a Jain some day.

MEANWHILE! Something tried to dig its way into my chicken run last night and very nearly succeeded! I assumed it was a fox after the chickens, but a neighboring farmer told us digging = badger. He was probably after the chicken food, but I’ve locked the girls up for the night. Badgers, eh?

March 22, 2016 — 9:17 pm
Comments: 13