lunes, 28 de diciembre de 2009

chicken tv

With no cable television on the farm, we are frequently left to our own devices during our ample leisure time. No one offers better live entertainment than the chickens.
back in September

Recent coop drama has brought about big changes amongst our chicken familia. You might remember that since September, I've watched and waited to learn the gender of the four pollitos, crossing my fingers for at least 2 females. At around 4 months old, chicks begin to outwardly display their sexual maturity, but until then, they are physically identical. Keeping my hopes up, (and attempting to conjure some chicken voodoo), I gave each of them a girlie name.
Look how they've grown!

But, last week my little Pimienta, (now Pimiento), uttered his first croaky cock-a-doodle-doos!
As handsome a rooster I'm sure he will be, we decided way back to only keep gallinas--the coop can only accommodate four comfortably; hence, there is no need for an on-site sperm donor.
Upon learning Pimiento's true identity, he was abruptly removed from the coop as an impromptu christmas present for Don Chico. Little did we know what chicken stew pot we had stirred...
Up until now, Mama Canela has been an overprotective mother--call it empty nest if you will, this mother hen all but suffocated her adolescent chicks. She nudged the tastiest morsels into their beaks, and I caught her still trying to sit on them at night! With all of her attention focused on the big kids, Canela had yet to lay a SINGLE EGG.
The minute Pimiento's absence was felt, so was Mama Canela's grief. For days she clucked and puffed and keened, leaving her three young gals to fend for themselves. However cruel our intervention appeared, it also triggered the very act we'd been waiting for:
Coop dynamics have been overhauled. Gone is the sweet chicken family sitcom; today it is all HEN. Canela keeps her own company, usually pecking about the coop or resting in a dust bath until nature calls: with much squawking fanfare, she heads up to the laying boxes every day at noon!
Las muchachas are your typical teenagers--constant gossip and rustling feathers, cackling that can be heard throughout my garden.
Who will be our next layer? Will the threesome remain close once their eggs come in? Will Canela's lonely days in the coop incite her to become broody once again?
Stay tuned for more CHICKEN TV!

4 comentarios:

Live Simply Love Strongly dijo...

Sounds like quite the telenovela you have going on there. I have noticed some latina moms are very close with their boys, often leading to difficulties later when mom becomes "la suegra." It's probably better they have some distance between them so he can cut the umbilical cord. :)

Kaija dijo...

Hi! I like your chickens:) They are so cute. Happy New Year to you!

Christine B. dijo...

I have been thinking of doing the urban chicken thing, but I know next to nothing about it all. I was suprised to find out from your post that a chicken was so maternal. What happened when she tried to sit on her almost grown chicks?

Christine in Alaska

Liz dijo...

Ha, so true about the latina moms and their sons!!
Thank you Kaija, i'm proud of them myself.
Christine, get some chix! it is great fun, not to mention the fresh eggs! As for Mama Canela, she would basically back her chix into a corner, covering them with her feathers. they didn't protest. but things are MUCH different now ;)