Friday, April 22, 2011

Friday Cuteness

Happy Earth Day!  It's Earth Day AND it's Friday, so instead of babbling about some random awesomeness I discovered on The Internet, I decided we should look at pictures of my favorite earth-lovin' endeavor around here:  Backyard Chickens!**

(**Backyard Chickens are earth-lovin' for at least these three reasons:  1. No driving to the grocery store for sad eggs.  Or supporting giant corporate egg factories.  2.  No wasting anything edible--chickens will magically turn all your table and kitchen scraps into delicious eggs.  3.  Free natural fertilizer--compost chicken waste for the most amazing garden soil.)

Recently we added a new girl to the flock:  Buffy the Buff Orpington, who I also like to call Puffy or just plain Puff, and who is only 4 or 5 months old.  Introducing a new bird always results in a lot of drama (turns out pecking order is actually a real thing), so we separated her from the others until she's big enough to take it.  At the same time this was happening, the oldest bird of the flock, a super calm old lady named Iesha, decided to go broody.  Without getting into the nitty gritty of chicken science, a broody chicken is one whose biological clock is telling her it's time to hatch some chicks.  Only no rooster=no baby chicks in all those eggs.  But a broody chicken is nothing if not determined.  She will sit on those eggs endlessly, hiking her body temp and refusing to get up for food and water.  At this point it's necessary to remove her from the nest and lock the chicken out of the coop until she cools off and gets her head straight.

So.  We put the calm old lady with the unwavering maternal instinct in the separation with tiny Buffy.  I felt bad for them because I felt like they were in chicken exile or something.  But then this happened.

Iesha and Little Puff
They totally bonded!  If you can't tell, Iesha has her left wing wrapped around Puff, all mother hen style.  (Tears!)  Since this photo we've let some of the other chickens mingle with Puff and Iesha, and because Iesha has defined Puff's role in the flock, no drama!  I know there's a bird-related metaphor about solving two problems with one solution, but I can't bring myself to use it now.

Enjoy your Earth Day and the rest of the holiday weekend!

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