Chicken Portrait

For those of you wondering why we didn’t put chickens on our Christmas card this year:
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It is quite difficult to wrangle 7 hens for a photo. I thought the above photo was very telling of their unique personalities, though. Greer and I joke that they each have 1-2 dominating personality traits that define their behavior.  Here they are, in pecking order (yes, that is a real thing):

Stately Boss Lady Ethel: No one questions Ethel’s authority.  She doesn’t peck very often, but she definitely makes her wishes known, and every hen obeys her.  She leads the flock to safety when necessary.  She is always graceful, and does what we call “chicken power poses.”  When she’s mad, she kicks the water in the extra watering dishes.

The Enforcer Strawberry: Strawberry has two voices, whiny and sweet.  The whiny voice isn’t so bad, but the sweet voice is dangerous.  She will make sweet cooing noises and sidle up to an unsuspecting hen right before pecking her hard or grabbing her by the ear.

Odd Penny: Pen-Pen is a sweet chicken who often wants you to pick her up, and tells you so by gently grabbing your pants leg.  She’s also weird in other ways.

The Narrator Zafira: Zafira keeps a running narrative at all times.  She maybe only says three “words” (types of sounds), but she says them constantly.

Jaunty Giant Goldie: Goldie is our biggest hen, but is also gentle.  She wears her comb at a jaunty angle, and makes deep coo-like sounds when you pick her up.

Spaz-o Baby Buff: Our smallest hen is the most spastic.  She can athletically outmaneuver you, and is liable to jump right in the middle when we’re feeding treats.

Princess Buffy: Buffy recently spent some time in the house, and was extremely “princessy” once she was feeling better.  She can be fussy and picky, and likes things a certain way.  She’s also fairly social, though, and is the one who visited the library.

Most of the hens are molting (losing feathers and growing new ones), so they’re not at their best looking right now for a group photo.  Ethel and Baby Buff have finally finished molting, and we’re  getting 1-2 eggs a day, now!  (For awhile it was no eggs at all.)  Look how pretty Ethel looks!
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