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Thursday, August 04, 2011

Fair Oaks' Notorious Hen Fighting Ring

This morning I had a frightful moment when I realized 50% of my flock (of 2) was not out roaming. With much trepidation I looked in the laying box, and there was Adele, sitting on a pair of newly laid eggs. Aha! Adele had gone broody. I pulled her off the eggs and gave her some hugs.

"Who's my pretty little hen? Who's my fluffy, wuffy boo-boo hen!?"

Bingo! My cooing had the desired effect of shifting Adele out of broodiness and into indignation; "HOW DARE YOU HUG & SHOW ME AFFECTION!". Soon she was prancing around the garden, looking all insulted. She is so cute when she's angry.

Adele claims the 'goodie dish' without Babette's permission

Adele's next action however lead to the show stopper of the day. She headed towards the chicken goodie bowl. Now let me explain; my hens get treats via their goodie bowl. Yesterday, for example, I gave them a quarter of a ripe juicy Tuscan cantalope. The melon was sweet as honey and so flavorful I almost couldn't bring myself to give any of it up, but I put several cantelope cubes on the grass. To my aggravation, the girls looked at the melon, but made no attempt to try it out. Eat something not contained in their goodie bowl? As if!

Back to this morning, Adele approached the newly stocked goodie bowl (which included the previously ignored melon). Babette (my 'Special Ed' hen) flew into a chicken rage against Adele, clucking, pecking and feather's flying!

"That's MY goodie bowl!" declared the furious Babette.

I was standing right there, without a camera to catch the action of course. Had visions of myself at the head of an illegal hen fighting ring. "Put your money down! See Babette kick Adele's feathered arse!"

Did I mention, that for all the hen fight action, the only feathers that were flying were those of the attacker - Babette? Seems the girl's feathers are not exactly glued on too well.

Anyway, that was it, about 4 or 5 wing-flapping attacks against Adele, during which Adele was only mildly distracted. In the end Babette subsided her attacks and clucked angrily as Adele helping herself to the goodie dish, without or without Babette's permission.

Adele (top) looks around to reclaim her lost feathers

Interesting; at Colette's death last month, for want of a leader, Adele took to following Babette around. I reckon that lead Babette to thinking she was, pardon the pun, the Big Cock of the Walk, so much so that she tried to 'discipline' her so-called follower, Adele.

Uh... sorry Babette. Adele does follow you, but she doesn't recognize your exclusive ownership of the goodie bowl. Ah yes, life's tough when you're a Special Ed chicken.

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