Tag Archives: chickens in the house

Shoulder chicken

I was sitting on the rocking chair with my laptop on my lap, doing ‘net stuff in the morning.  HW had just left for work.  My chair was right beside Apples’ box (the house chicken).

Suddenly, she leapt up onto my knee with a big flap.  Very startling, and extremely uncharacteristic.  Wow!  Ok, you’re in the mood for a little cuddle?  I made room for her on my lap.

Shocked and delighted, of course I was nowhere near my camera, or phone.  But I did have my laptop on my lap.  I opened Siri and asked her to take a picture of me, and she obliged.  Siri has never come in handy before (“Siri, open Art folder” – “Alright, opening Google Earth”), but this time – clutch.Lap chicken!

I barely got a pic of that before she started climbing me, like a kitten (What the!?), scrabbling up, up, until she summited my shoulder.

Siri, are you getting this?Whereupon, she settled right down like A: she planned to stay awhile, and B: this was totally normal, like we do this every day. WHAT?  THE?

Sure, she’s lived in the house for a while, HW sings and talks to her (pretty often), we occasionally try to pet her (and get growled at for it), and she really came out of her shell when Lily visited.  But day after day, she spends all her time in her box or on her sheet of paper.  We have NOT made any active attempts to change her behaviour or “train” her.  Certainly not to play parrot.

She has never before shown any inclination to reach out to us.Now, she was all cuddles.

Since it seemed like she was staying, I put her on my other shoulder, got a towel in position, and put her back.This made me more comfortable.  I didn’t trust she’d also suddenly got house trained.What are you thinking?  It’s really something to look her in the eye, at about 3 inches, and she’s looking back with that little black eye.

Long neck. Longer neck.

She got real relaxed, dozing, doing a little grooming, leaning on my ear (oh, I’m on your shoulder? So what? Can’t stop grooming) .Then, she got really, really cuddly.  And she’s so soft and warm.  HW had a theory, when I called him later (“You’re not going to believe this…).  Just before he left in the morning, he’d asked me when I was going to put Apples back out in the world.  He figures she heard that, and wanted to put a stop to that line of thinking.You’re not going to let him come between us, are you?

She stayed for a very long time.  Like almost two hours.  Ultimately I got too hungry to sit any longer, and got up and started walking around, with her still there.  She didn’t seem to enjoy surfing,  though, so I set her back down, and she ate, drank, and settled in for a big nap.  She had a really big day.

Did you ever?   A CHICKEN!

Apples is feeling very relaxed.  It’s funny when she stretches out for a suntan, but even better when she cuddles with a snack.She’s got a scrap of meat in the box with her.  In case she gets hungry from all that stretching. Now the wing’s stretched out. Now for some wriggling around. And reclining on the other side, nearly upside down really.  She’s soooo happy and content.   Eyes closed.   What a funny little bird.  Perfectly happy to stretch out and nap in a box.

Silkie status

The Silkies are dirty today.  Yesterday I went through the whole flock and vaselined everyone’s feet (setting off a rash of feather adjustment).  Then the Colonel climbed on everyone he could, greasing up their other feathers with his feet, and it was a hot, dust bathing afternoon, so now all the white Silkies are looking very grimy.Brown Bonnet is going broody.  She threw a giant fit at being removed from the covered wagon at nighttime last night, and after a kamikaze plunge through the fence, got her way.  She is also huge.  She’s twice the size of most of the other Silkies, almost as heavy as the Colonel, or a normal layer hen.  Every time I lift them in or out of the coop, there’s Brown Bonnet, and a whoa! moment.  Big blimp.  She’ll be able to cover a lot of eggs.

Inside, Apples the house chicken continues to be no trouble at all, happy to stay in her box or on her sheet-of-newspaper “yard”, even though nothing is actually keeping her from rampaging all over the house.  She hasn’t taken that into her head, luckily (she only jumps out a couple times a week, and HW announces “there’s an exploratory chicken down here!”).  She’s also growing, maybe twice the size as she first came in.  She quickly got over being cuddling or held, protesting at even being pet (which is hard to resist trying because she’s cute and soft, like they all are).  Hey!  Don’t touch me; I’m a wild animal!  I’m a chicken!  Have some respect!

It’s nice to have a little life form in the house, even though we are really very much surrounded with many many life forms, we don’t really need them in the house too.  But it’s still fun to have company.  Today she has an extra thick bed of hay in her box, so she’s riding rather high and has a good view.  Yesterday she was all about scratching.

I spoke too soon about her good behaviour.  Today was an out-of-the-box day, and I got a helper chicken suddenly flapping over the edge of her box..  She landed in the middle of floor then made her way over to me where I was slinging dirt, repotting to give all the tiny tomato shoots their own cells.  I also had some seed packets strewn about, and these interested her.   It’s just like having a cat in your business, except it’s a shy chicken.After her big outing to the world four feet away, she ate and ate and then napped for the rest of the afternoon.

HW was watching a movie about a little girl with a pet chicken.  She was always carrying her chicken around, hanging out (where did they get this stunt chicken?).  Then as she spent more and more of the movie wearing rubber boots with her pajamas, he deadpanned “She’s getting more like you all the time”.“She’s a free range chicken today”

Sprout slaughter

Oh, the chamomanity!  Seems like I lose something to heatstroke every year.  Last year it was the delicate little celeries.  This year, the chamomile.  :(Several of these will stand back up again, but alas, many are doomed.Apples had fun today enthusiastically bashing apart a piece of popcorn.And the afflicted hen who will not pass is markedly improved.  She’s still, literally, dragging her ass around, but she’s eating, moving a little, and today I found her on the way down the ramp at lunchtime!  I guess room service was late.  She hasn’t left the coop for days but I’ve been serving her meals and drinks where she is.  She’s regained an appetite, and she stood right up today.  She may be staging a comeback.

Reports of my expiration have been greatly exaggerated

The “expiring” chicken continues to not expire.  She persists in staying in the coop all day, looking unwell, and living on.  She drinks, but doesn’t eat much, and is maybe even improved.Now I think she might pull through.

Inside, we have stopped talking about Apples moving back out.  We just have a house pet box troll chicken now.  It’s not like she’s a problematic house guest.  It’s like having a hamster, changing her newspaper every day.  She periscopes her neck up Hello! when there are unusual noises or we talk about her, but ignores all the normal house noises.

Back in the box

She’s back!

I couldn’t stand to see her picked on, by chicks half her age!  No respect.

She’s so meek and mild.  I had a moment I wasn’t completely sure I’d grabbed the right hen, but I knew as soon as I put her in the box and she settled in for the long term, that it was definitely her.  She’s perfectly content with minimal living. Just eats and naps, eats and naps.  Looks over the edge with her telescope neck when she’s hungry.  Hey, I’m out of food here.  HW is at her beck and call.

I think if I can get her to broody, she’ll get all fierce as soon as she has some chicks.  Too mild for her own good now.

Box chicken no more

Little Boxy got moved out of the house today, back into the flock.  Reluctantly.  She snuggled right in to my coat.

HW immediately commented how he missed having a chicken in the house (to talk to!) when passing by.

She was a pretty perfect house guest, as far as chickens go.  So quiet and passive.

She got right back to her, hanging with the hay bale crowd.  Eat, drink, dust bath, sit on the hay bale.  She’s smaller than her sister, still, but she’s meatier now.

“Winter” “storm”

We’re having a bit of a wind these days.  It’s all we’re getting from the giant storm swirling off shore on the Atlantic.  No rain or snow, just wind. I don’t like wind.  I don’t like getting pushed and slapped around by it.  It’s tiring.

The wind wreaks havoc with my chicken yard fence, so I didn’t let the birds out, deliberately.  But naturally the door blew open while I was in the GH, so they all went pouring out and I had to patch up the fence for a bit.  They don’t like wind either, though.  It blows their feathers the wrong way.  They quickly retreated.House chicken (who needs a name) is still keeping such a low profile that no one has been talking about when she’s going to go back to the flock.  Every day she hops out of her box and hangs out for awhile “in her yard” (on the sheet of newspaper in front of her box).  She eats and naps and does a lot of grooming.  She does less sleeping now and more grooming than when she first got imported.  She’s also turned into a real turd machine, which I suppose is healthy.  Means she’s eating more, maybe growing.  I figured she would let us know when she’s finished living in a box, by getting restless.  But she’s the opposite.  Just incredibly mild and quiet, so we mostly forget she’s even in here.  So different.  I can just imagine any other chicken in a cardboard box for five minutes…

Thinking out of the box

I heard some scuffling, then HW blandly said “I think she’s ready to be out of the box.”He’d taken the netting off of her so she could stretch her neck up without restriction.  I thought this very promising, a signal that I could return her to the flock, if she was feeling spunky.She perched on the side of the box for a good twenty minutes.  Not too terribly spunky.I resumed my business.  I heard another scuffle, then silence, and I forgot about it.

She had jumped down, and was standing on the floor.  I gave her a local newspaper.We visited. I kept doing my thing.  She walked around a little bit, then settled in  on her newspaper.  I felt she didn’t need any monitoring, and left her to it. Not long later, I heard a third scuffle and checked.  She’d just hopped back into her box (where she settled down for a little nap and stayed, without confinement or supervision, the rest of the day).

Funny bird.  Her whole foray out of the  box was about a half hour long. 

Now, to keep the celery alive.

The celery is up.  It’s been showing little greenish threads for a couple of days, but today they stood up and unfolded their first “leaves” (cotyledons).

Naturally, they did not come up evenly distributed in the cells.  They never do.  Onions are showing too.  I love the way onions grow, folded back on themselves, and the fold emerging first.  It’s like, if a person was trying to dig themselves out of the ground they’d reach a hand out first (at least, that’s the impression I get from graveyard movie scenes).  Most plants do that, with their paired cotyledons.

Not onions.  They would stick an elbow out first, as far as possible, and then, like an afterthought, unbend the arm.

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Box chicken is going strong and seeming to adapt happily to pet chicken status.  She eats more every day but is not restless.  She sticks her neck out long and cocks her head to watch us through her screen with one eye, and we do the same (but with two eyes) and baby talk inane crap to her.  Are you eating?  That’s so good!  Are you a hungry chicken?  It’s embarrassing.  And very funny when HW does it in falsetto.    Oh, you’re drinking?  Look at you drinking! You’re just a little chicken!  She’s going to have a lot to tell her friends when she goes back out to the flock.  Updates on the supposed intelligence of the unwinged ones.