Meet the Chickens

Clad in golden dress
I could throw my weight around
But I don’t want to

As a gentle Buff Orpington, I’m a whole weight class above my sisters. I’m even more than double the size of some!

But I’m not interested in flexing my feathers. I like the simple life, and watching what's going on around me. I feel secure in my place, especially when I have my friends nearby. Pepper’s a little clingy, but she’s nice. I think Mary comes from aristocrats, but I’m not sure.

My dad loves holding me. I like being his favorite and sitting on his lap. But sometimes he ruffles my feathers! He gets his fleshy pinions under my down and ruins the layers and-! But it’s playful. It’s fine. I don’t mind… too much. I love him.

Pure as driven snow
If a little shadowy
I lead fair and true

Named for the fair alpine flower, I am just as gentle… unless you get between me and my food. Then I shall levy discipline until you back off. You’ll eat when I’m done!

My sister, Lulu, and I are co-rulers of the flock. Who’s more in charge? I’ll let you know when I find out myself. We share a close relationship, you see. We hardly ever fight, we always keep each other in sight, and I trust the lookouts, so when they see something I’ll lead them to safety.

Elsie Bunny
What a spunky chook
A brave little challenger
For pecking order

I’m not small! I’m- I’m not! I’m a very fierce chicken!

Alright, look, my name’s not that out of left field. I got it for my fighting prowess! I jump and kick like a kangaroo to prove my spot on the pecking order. The Elsie part is a play on my breed. I’m an Amauracana, which means I lay colored eggs. In my case, blue. Colored eggs, Easter, Elsie Bunny.

I’m a very, very tough hen. So tough I even growl at Mom when she picks me up! She never seems intimidated, because I do it in fun. I tell her of how bravely I kept my place in the order that day. She always hums and "Ahs" and "Oohs", so I know she's impressed!

White speckled in ink
Aloof, fluffy, and quite proud
Big bold leader chick

I, along with my sister, Edelweiss, hold down this small kingdom of mine. Never have I been challenged and never shall I be. I am Queen of this roost, and even my mother knows it!

If you can’t tell by my magnificent gleaming white and black plumage, I am a distinguished Austra White, descendent of the ebony lineage Black Australorps and the luminous White Leghorn clans. Their genes come together to result in me, the beautiful end result.

Ah! But I am a gentle ruler, I only insist on dining on the finest grains first, and allow you to clean my face of any leftovers. When you hold me, it absolutely must be over your head.

Mary II
An amalgam hen
Designer in some circles
But do I care? Nah.

I’m a Sapphire Gem, which means I’m a descendant of Plymouth Rocks and Barred Rocks. I don’t know what that means, but I’m pretty sure it’s “mutt.”

I guess you can call me laid-back. Maybe passive, even. I’m comfortable in the middle of the pecking order. I don’t have to deal with the politics of the high life, and I don’t have to watch my back every step in the low life. Win win!

Belle, my peer, understands me. She’s quiet, I am too. We both take up a space and a half on the roost in fluff alone. She’s good for me.

Green Queen by the name
Brown eggs quite unexpected
She’s a sweet girl, though

My name’s Olive, now don’t you forget it. … Or do. I can just, I guess, tell you again. If you forget. No biggie.

I like following Mommy around. When she’s in the coop, she’s usually getting goodies, so I follow and watch through the screen. Sometimes I even beat Edel to the good watching spot! She likes knowing what Mommy’s doing, too. When Mommy comes into the coop proper, she picks me up and tells me I’m a good girl. Thanks, Mommy.

On June 2, 2023, at around 1:30 AM, I lost my battle with leukemia and went to join my big sisters.
Feathers black and green
When in light, they brightly shine
Like certain gemstones

They tell me I’m Boss’ cousin. I really can’t see the resemblance. I’m near totally black, and my feathers gleam an iridescent green in sunlight. I’m very proud of my plumage.

I’m very shy. I mostly hang out with Olive and we keep to ourselves, enjoying our time together. It's quiet that way. I’m okay with it.

I like Dad most. He’s nice and gentle and I give him neck-hugs to thank him for keeping his noisiness outside the coop where it belongs.

Fiery feathers
My, what personality!
But not ever mean

My name is Pepper, named for my rambunctious temper and plumage that shines gold and orange in sunlight. My eggs even look dusted in seasoning, speckled darkly.

While energetic, I’m playful and kind. I hardly ever act harshly against anyone, unless they’re in my digging spot. Go away, get your own! There’s a lot of yard here, keep away from my hole until I’m done with it! But don’t go too far, I need to know where you are at all times! I get nervous, see.

I’m pretty sure I’m Mother’s favorite. She likes the gleam of my golden collar and the stripes on my tail feathers. I think she’s attracted to pattern variance. That’s why I get more pictures taken than more… monotone hens. *cough Lulu cough*

Quite Independent
Eats well and very quiet
Look, but please don’t touch

I’ll make this fast. I have things to do.

There are a few rules when engaging me. Firstly, don’t. If you absolutely must, though, I will exchange proximity for grubs.

My sisters don’t have grubs. Just Mother. So only Mother gets to touch me, but only for exactly how long I allow. She gets me.

A docile friend
Dangerous looking straight on
Pretty brown patterns

My name is rather self-explanatory; Joan of Hawk. I was named such because my owner looked me straight on and declared that I was a very fearsome-looking pullet. And it is so. When she comes around, I make sure that I am following her from within the run, getting as close to eye level as possible, so she can not forget how amazingly intimidating I can be!

Hawks are meant to be free, no? There are only two ways to escape from my confinement: Through the run door, or through the coop door. My owner, she thinks she is smart! But sometimes I can slip through her legs! Most of the time she notices, and I surrender for the time being, only to try again later.

There was one time she didn't notice I got out. But she was walking too far away, and I ran after. Just to make sure that she doesn't go anywhere, of course.

There's this peasant girl who keeps following me around. She calls herself Mary. I have adopted her as my paige, and together we conspire to venture out into the green world whenever possible.

R.I.P. Joan of Hawk, who joined her sisters in the heavenly fields on August 12, 2020.
Innocent cutie
She fills in Naomi's holes
Perches on shoulders

I am Mary. I was the tiniest of everyone (still am) when at the supply store. Everyone was stepping on me, and my owner spotted me underneath two of my tub-mates. She picked me out, and probably saved my life.

I was a timid little thing, until my grandmama (my owner's mama) took me out every day for a long time and held me to her chest. I could hear her heartbeat. It was nice. I had room to myself and no one was pecking at me, and I could finally hatch from my mental shell.

Now I'm bold! I'm not quite up there in the pecking order, but that's okay. I just want my fair share of food and a place at the top bar of the roost. Grandmama still comes around, but I'm much too old now to be held. I like it on the ground, where I can hang out with Joan and fill in holes around the edges of the run.

Died September 10, 2020
Persistent loudness
Looks like a frazzled grandma
"Please please hold me tight"

When we were in the box, my owner and the little man looked in on us all the way home, and we got our names. Not all of the names stayed. They mixed us up as we grew in our feathers, and some were changed completely. Even I can't remember whether I was Eve or Night. (Night became Sally. She'll tell you why.) But our feathers grew in with the patterns, and now I'm not confused anymore. I am Eve!

I'm a leaderish followerish hen, which means I'm up there in the pecking order but a few places down from the top. I hardly ever miss getting my spot on the top roost, and woe to anyone who tries to interlope!

I love my owner. She gives great hugs. I've trained her to pick me up when I rub my beak on her right leg and then her left. Silly owner thinks that she taught me. Then she picks me up and holds me tight. Her hair is soft. I like using my beak to pull it in front of my head like a brown curtain. A few times I almost fell asleep, but she keeps putting me down. I need to find a way to train her to hold me longer.

Died in the night between June 10 and 11, 2021.
Don't give flight license
Dug hole deeper than her height
"Ruth! Wait... Naomi!"

For some reason, my owner thinks she has me figured out. It's just that my brilliant personality is far too complex for her to understand. Does she not realize that I can spring the next "Chicken Run" using only my beak and a little ingenuity? (My poor, less intelligent kin. They don't know my glorious plans. There's this one that keeps foiling my attempts to dig underneath the wire.) The only reasons I stay here is because she's actually a decent human, I have free food and clean water all the time, and predators can't get in.

My rather oblivious owner could only tell me apart from my near twin, Ruth, recently. My tail is slightly whiter than Ruth's. This might change after the next molting. I wonder if she'll know who I am afterward.

Then again, this is the same human who conspired with her younger brother to name two of the ten of us Spark and Plug soon after our rescue from the supply store. I had high hopes for this one.

Died December 29, 2021
Fluffiest of all
Good girl! Started laying first.
Little brother's bestie

I don't understand why the little human keeps following me around. Keeps trying to TOUCH me. Keeps trying to PICK ME UP. I tolerated it when I was a chick, but now that I am bigger... I'm not plump. I don't know what you mean. The term is "fluffy."

No one respects my authority in here. Do they not see the comb on my head? The big red thing that tends to flop around at the top of my vision? It's a status symbol for a reason. That means that I am the one who gets first tabs at the treats my owner's mama brings in. The ONLY... sigh. No one ever listens to me. It's a true wonder I ever get my spot on the roost at night. I suppose that they know better than to test me at sundown.

I'm so happy my owner got that big black thing out of my face. She'd been chasing me around with it all day long, even when I told her to stop... She means well. I hope whatever she did turns out all right. I'm not a crabby hen.

Now, to keep everyone away from my grubs.

R.I.P. 01/03/2020
Big yellow birdie
Fat, but we won't eat her meat
One toe grew sideways

My owner scares me. She keeps telling me that I'm nice and big and heavy. That I'm very much a meat bird. I can read between the lines! The only reason I'm still here is because I'm laying eggs.

Food is so GOOD though. I like the seeds and the sunflowers and the grubs and the oatmeal and little bugs that are hard to see. I know that most of my bulk aren't my feathers. It's in my nature. I'm a chicken, and I eat what fits in my mouth. Although I would like to add that I know not to eat what could actually land me on the dinner table. I'm looking at you, Sally.

On April 1st, 2019, at roughly 3:30 PM, I was discovered to have gone to frolic in the fields of Heaven.
Big white feathered chest
Tried for highest spots when chick
Tips over treat bowls

My eyesight... I can't taste... Brown looks like an edible color...

I... may have a bit of an eating problem, and have no excuse. I ate so much clay and dirt that I almost blocked my crop. My owner meant well, and I think she meant to loosen the mass by massaging it like she did several times a day (ow ow ow ow ow), but all she did was mix it all together. Then I spend over a week inside the house recovering from crop surgery. My chest feathers still haven't grown back in yet.

I still love food. All food. It's tasty. I LOVE IT. My owner has learned not to be alarmed anymore at the size of my crop at the end of the day, though she still feels it from time to time. I've learned my lesson.

I've learned many lessons, like I don't like heights. I got the name Sally (from Sally Ride) when I kept jumping out of the brood bin and to every higher point I could reach. I miscalculated one time and I have decided that the ground is the best vantage point.

Died April 14, 2021.
Looks like Naomi
White necklace, dark brown body
But less white in tail

There's this big noisy thing on the run's roof that keeps me from doing my very important job. If I can't see the sky, then how am I supposed to tell if there's a big nasty mean hawk nearby? Or a vulture looking for some easy pickings like us little flightless things? I must raise these concerns to my owner.

Oh dear. She can't speak our language. She makes things WORSE when big storms come, and she hangs more big flat things on the SIDES of the run! Now I can't see in THREE directions! My only saving grace is when she takes them down again. I wish there was a way to tell her that we can stand a bit of wetness. At least, I can. I can't say anything for the more daintily oriented of the ones I watch out for.

Let them complain about mud when I've spotted something about to eat us. I'm so so so so happy that my owner made my home a very secure place to live.

Went to join Pixel, Chatty, and Orion in the great pasture in the sky on July 29, 2020.
Twinnie 1
Can't tell them apart
Large with brown and black feathers
Think one is alpha

My owner can't understand me! I tell her about everything I've gone through since I saw her last, very important things, very interesting things, like how Naomi was poking around in her holes and muttering strange things about depth but I don't know what she's talking about and she's weird anyway. I tell my owner about who laid what egg when and who didn't lay anything. She would know so, so much more if she understood me!

She likes picking me up, like Eve. It's okay for me, I guess, but I like being able to move my legs and run around and clean off those little black flying things that whine and land on her legs and leave white splotches when she doesn't turn them into black and red streaks on her skin. (She doesn't have feathers! How does she keep warm?) I like helping her by eating the black flying things. She likes that, even though they aren't very filling and taste a little weird and I wonder when we're getting treats again, because I LOVE sunflowers and grubs.

On August 11, 2019, at 1 year and 5 months old, I reunited with my friend Pixel.
Twinnie 2
Can't tell them apart
Large with brown and black feathers
Think one is alpha

My sister. She is so... NOISY. Leaders listen while others speak. Sometimes what others say isn't very worthwhile and I might as well have kept doing whatever I was doing before they came up to me, but I digress.

There is no question that I am the big honcho in this little society of ten. Orion thinks she is something, but she simply does not have the temperament. I keep the order, even when the door opens and the wild card Joan and her accomplice(s) make a mad dash. Do they not know that our owner is wiser than even I and knows when it is safe to bring us outside the bounds of our home? She reassures me by bringing all the humans out so we are safe from all threats.

I plan on remaining Alpha for quite some time, even when upstarts think they have a chance. Even if our owner makes presumptions and tries to pick ME up like she does to others. I am sorry, Owner, but I think my duties remain on the ground.

R.I.P April 23, 2021 at 10:15 AM