3 weeks ago
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Some Are Smarter Than Others
This rule applies to almost any creature...including humans I guess. It never ceases to amaze me when one of my chickens comes to the realization that they don't have to be afraid of me and actually want my attention. Some, a few, were raised to think this way..for example..Phoenix, or Clyde. Its when one that has not been handled regularly adopts these thoughts that it always amazes me. Its almost as if a light goes on in their mind and they have a whole new outlook.
Now I will elaborate on exactly who I am talking about. Do you remember the Golden Phoenix hen that was so badly mauled by a few unknown select in her flock? She has recovered completely. You can see the back half of her comb is gone now. It was pinched so badly it died and fell off. I tried not once, but twice to put her back into her old flock. A few of the roosters would try to run her down and she would end up roosting in the pen all day to escape their clutches. Once again she ended up in the pen I had held her in when she was recovering. What to do with this chicken?
She solved this for me. After letting her out at the porch door instead of putting her in the pen area she seemed to be okay with that. She hangs out with Tiny. He seems to keep her safe during the day. They are on Buckbuck and Babes side of the fence, so other than the occasional fence jumper, usually a white crested polish rooster looking to harrass her, she is okay with being out there.
Just during the day though. This is where it gets strange. Everyone lets their dog in, and everyone lets their cat in, when its getting dark. Not everyone lets their CHICKEN in!
Yes, when it is time to lock up pens and go in for the night she is waiting at the top of the step of the porch to be let in. She comes right in, and she will walk in the house with me and go to her carrier where her food and water waits hanging on the door of the carrier. She gets in that carrier to go to bed at night.
She doesnt want to stay in the carrier once its late morning though. She will let me know when its time to go out. She will make the typical bock bock bock BOCK noise. Thats chicken for let me outside please I guess. I go and get her out of her carrier and put her out the porch door on the top step. Then begins her day as usual.
It doesnt end there though. If she sees me come out, she will come to me and wants me to pick her up. How do I know she wants me to pick her up? The same way I know Phoenix wants me to pick him up. They walk up to you and turn around and wait. Phoenix even pushes up off the ground, just a little boost, in excitement of being held. If a chicken doesnt want to be picked up they will act wary of your outstretched hands. This is not the case, she just stands there, waiting. When I do pick her up she will snuggle into my arms as I rub her neck under the feathers. A contented slit eyed look comes over her face and she is happy.
On one occasion, the other day when it was still cold outside, I was sitting on the step and she came up and I wrapped her in my coat and we sat there snuggling. She tucked her head in my coat. One of the white crested polish boys came wandering up, cocking his head...just looking at us. You could see it on his face. He was very curious as to why this scene was playing out. Ultimately he only wanted me to put her down so he could harrass her. She cares nothing for these young roosters. They only want one thing, and she doesnt care to give it to them willingly.
She is indeed special. As we sat there yesterday, her eyeing me and listening to me ramble on about things, I told her since she was special we should give her a name. She pulled on my shirt with her beak in agreement. Priscilla. That is what popped into my head. I asked her how Priscilla sounded and she got right in my face to look me close in the eye...and seemed to like the name, so Priscilla it is.
Not all chickens have this light go on in their head. Some are terrified of me, no matter that I havent ever done a thing to them. Others are more trusting, but wary of being picked up. Some will barely eat out of my hand, while others will actually fly onto me (Goatman) to get a bite to eat before the others.
Truly, they all have their own little personalities, quirks, and thoughts.
Here is Priscilla as I leave her on the gate...I dont think she really wants me to go. Sorry I messed up your breast feather there girl. I was rubbing under the feathers there and mussed her feathers. I saw later she fixed it up though. ;)