Thursday, 14 January 2016

Cheep cheep

*** cuteness alert ***

A soft, intermittent cheep cheep sound is what I am hearing when typing this post. Fairly soothing, definitely way more so that the racket I am hearing from outside in the chicken run, where a new pecking order is being established, and loudly, chucklingly so. 

The cheeping comes from three little fluffy chicks. Our flock had been diminished by the visit of large Mr Python, and some smaller but equally vile stomach parasites. Then, some of our hens stopped laying altogether, supposedly from old age, and we were down to one egg a day. Not enough to feed a family of six. So, it was time for some new blood. 

Next to Marigold the aged hamster, in a small rabbit hutch, are the cheepers. When the children came home from school yesterday they ran to them straight away. The three chicks were swiftly divided, one each, and off course they all named their own little one. They spent most of their time eating, poo-ing and sleeping, just like all babies. And cheeping. 



We can't stop staring at their overt cuteness and fluffiness, and hereby I proudly present the new members of our household: 

Daisy

Jasmijn opted for the smallest, yellowest fluff ball and named it after her favourite flower. 

Jasmijn and Daisy

Linde went for the largest yellow one, and called it little Fien, after large Josefien who is still in the run outside for now, but will leave us soon. Josephine was Linde's favourite chicken, named after the late Oma Jose and Linde's own middle name. 

Little Fien

And, last but not least, our little brown one: Ronaldo! Which I hope will turn out to be a Ronalda, although Tijm has different ideas on that. 

Ronaldo


Little Fien and Daisy

Meanwhile, outside, Messy and Lizzie are fighting their way into the run. Like the others before them, they look slighlty dazzled and frumpy after life in a farm cage. At many spots feathers are missing, their combs are pale and drooping, and they have no clue about natural chicken life. Not only do they have to get used to walking on sand (or mud, in yesterdays weather), seeking shelter from rain, sleeping on a roost, and eating bugs and vegetables, they have to do this under the not so watchful eyes of Josefien, Tilly and Fee. 

Since Josefien has not been her imperious self lately, Tilly seems to be ruling the roost. She is our top layer, and now top hen too, but even so, she is a scrawny little thing with a very bare bum, that after almost a year and a half out of the cage still has not regrown its feathers. Tilly fluffed up the few feathers she has in her neck to seem larger, and strutted around the newcomers haughtily. 

Josephine tried to assert some of her former leadership by chasing Lizzie and Messy away every time them came near the food. I strategically placed three bowls in different spots in the run, hoping that Lizzie and Messy will manage to get at least some of the food. 

I keep a much more watchful eye, and am looking forward to gorging on all those eggs again!

Messy and Lizzie

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