Monday, August 4, 2008

My Life Would be Incomplete Without my Feathered Friends

Last week we unexpectedly lost one of my hens. Hattie was my favourite one. When I was originally researching chicken breeds, the one bird I insisted on was a Barnevelder. They are beautiful brown and black hens and they lay the richest dark chocolate eggs. So last week we had a severe cold snap and she just couldn't cope with it. I spent a couple of days pampering her and nursing her, but alas, she did not make it. Every time I lose a hen I wonder as my rationale behind keeping hens in suburbia. After all, if anything goes wrong with them, the local vets won't deal with them. Then something magical always happens...

This is one of those silly chook stories that can only truly be appreciated once you are the owner of some fine feathered friends. But I will tell it anyway.

Abbie is possibly our dumbest bird. She was supposed to be a speckled Hamburg - a truly magnificent bird. What came out of the egg was rather different. She was plain and grey with a fluffy neck that hid her rather small head. Not long after we realised she was different, we watched 'Chicken Little' on DVD. Abbie Mallard was the name of the ugly duckling - it was the perfect name for our bird. Her head size relates directly to her intelligence. She has a certain knack for skillfully and silently escaping and then being unable to remember where she escaped from. She gives herself away each and every time.

So recently she had been doing the disapearing act. She would suddenly turn up in our neighbours yard and couldn't work out how to get back again. She would complain until somebody appeared to shoo her back into her own yard. So, it suddenly occured to me that maybe she was knicking off to lay eggs. With that reasoning, as soon as she escaped yesterday, we fixed every conceivable hole we could find - some blantantly inconceivable ones too. Just to be sure. She knew the gig was up as soon as we started peering through the fence at her. And boy did she winge. Chooks make the strangest noise when they are annoyed. I couldn't describe it in a fit, except to say that it sounds nothing at all like a chook. In the process of her panicking, she gave up her stash of eggs. Four lovely blue ones that were near impossible to reach. But may the Gods shine on my hubby because he braved the thorns and retrieved each and every one of them - complete with 'interesting' variants on the more traditional swear words. It took us 15 minutes of running backwards and forwards to shoo Abbie back into our yard. But this morning she is still complaining...

We know Sping has sprung when Abbie lays the first beautiful blue egg. She may be ugly on the outside, but as they say - beauty comes from within.

2 comments:

daharja said...

I love chook stories!

Theyre such silly creatures, but loads of fun.

And it *is* spring. The sun is shining through my window right now as I type, and it is making my body and my spirit both warm and happy :-)

Here's to Spring!

Garden Nut said...

Iti s freezing here this morning - so cold that my ears hurt from walking the littlies to school. But I can see the sun trying to peek through. Maybe later on it will warm up :-)

Now tell me - your name rings a bell. I think I may know you from somewhere else on the web. I used to go by the name 'Huntingpenny' - does that ring any bells with you? Or am I just getting your name mixed up with a similar one?