Two tales about chickens

Things here are...well...challenging. I've responded by doing what I do best: hiding. I've become a little turtle pulled into my shell which for the most part has worked quite well. But I miss blogging. So here are two things my lot did, that had me roaring with laughter.

I think I told you Jenga discovered sex? He decided that he wants his three ladies and as many hens from Z's flock as he can get away with. Unfortunately for him, Cocky (his dad) has his number. When both flocks are out and about, I've seen them interact fairly reservedly. They puff out their chests, bob heads and then back off to chase hens. 

A couple of days ago, I went out to get them back in. I wasn't surprised to see my hens at the bottom of the garden, they like hanging about there to try and get into the walled garden to dig through compost heap, it's a veritable cornucopia if you're a hen. Z's flock were in their coop watching Jenga and Cocky have a set-to.

I've never seen anything like it. The two of them were bouncing up and down, feet flinging about, shouting rooster insults. It would have been quite worrying had there not been the wire between the two of them.

Jenga is the Scrappy-Do of the chicken world. Daft bugger. He's all big and brave when there's a fence between him and Cocky, but knows not to push it too far if they're out and about.

I know Z's concerned that they might kick off properly one day and I'm certainly keeping an eye on my boy. But damn, watching the two of them perfectly mirrored in bouncing, made me laugh. And by the way, roosters curse worse than sailors.

Polly & Scrabble 

Canasta & Jenga
The first time Jenga displayed this behaviour, I thought he was being daft as a brick, but Z explained it and now it makes perfect sense. Dave suggested I treat them with mealworms, that they love above all treats. The first time they got them, the hens gobbled them up as quick as they could. Jenga on the other hand, wondered around with one in his mouth, doing a little song as he did. Polly or Scrabble would go up to him and take the mealworm out of his mouth, whereby he'd go find another and thus, the performance would continue.

Z says that's his "Look at what a good cock I am; here is delicious food!" He puffs himself out and struts around enough to make a young John Travolta look effeminate.

When I let them out, my flock mill about for a bit and then head out to forage. They will often pop back and come into the greenhouse, Jenga will call for me to come and dish out the treats they know I keep near the door for them. This time it was only Jenga and Scrabble who came in. I gave her some currants and then switched to mealworms.

When Jenga saw the mealworms, he ran off doing his little song and came back soon after with Polly and Canasta who had been around the front of the house. 

He's so sweet. He might be a bit of a tart, but he really does try to be a good bantam husband.


  1. They are lovely photographs!
    Your description of the mirrored bouncing reminds me of New Order video for True Faith.... I think it was True Faith? I will have to check now.

    1. P.S What camera do you have?

    2. Hey lovely, yes you're right it is New Order True Faith and I need to watch it now too. It was kind of like that, but with a fence between them.

      Also, the pix were taken on my newly rebooted iPhone (tedious story).


  2. Good going Jenga and Cocky! My grandparents had Angus cattle. The cows and calves were as gentle as house pets. But they had to keep the two bulls (2,000 pounds!) in separate fenced pastures on either side of a hill so they couldn't see one another. Otherwise they would have bashed each other.

    PS: The first pix is exceptional!

    1. When Z knew I'd started wandering around the countryside, she very gently gave me safety tips when going into fields. I'm respectful of cows, until you see them up close and personal, you could mistakenly believe they are harmless...they really know how to move. Far more light on their feet than a townie girl would have believed.

      And bulls...well, put it this way, I wouldn't knowingly ever go into a field with a bull. If I did, I would very carefully and quickly vacate said field as soon as possible.

      Your grandparents Angus sound lovely.

      And thanks darling. When I look at Polly in that pic, I totally believe she's a velociraptor descendent. There's a cunning predator behind those eyeballs.

    2. Just a note on cows: they can be as badass as the bulls, especially with new calves. A girlfriend of mine would have been killed if not for her mixed breed dog taking on an irate cow when Crystal went into the cow pen to feed, which she did every single day. That dog distracted the cow long enough for my friend to get up and scramble out of the pen to safety (the cow had knocked her down and was trying to crush her with its head). So yes, they are fast, and no, they definitely are not harmless!

    3. Excellent article, LX! As are the comments underneath, some of which are from cattle ranchers and farmhands who work(ed) with cattle. Very much an eye opener for most city folk, who have no idea how quickly a 1000+ lb animal can move or what can set it off (fear, feeling threatened, being protective, or just plain ornery). They are very powerful. Humans are *puny*. Although I never lived on a farm or ranch as a kid, having horses as an adult taught me great respect. I have actually been attacked by a mare (female horse) while holding her (lead rope on head halter) for the farrier (the guy who trims their hooves). She was just a bitch. I still have a dent in my thigh where she struck me with her hoof (oh yes, it was on purpose). But I also have been knocked down by my gelding (neutered male) when he was startled as I was leading him out of the barn and he took care to jump *over* me to avoid stepping on me, as I landed right in front of him. (I loved that horse!)

    4. They say each more people are killed by cows than by Great White sharks.

  3. Animal behavior is fascinating! Particularly when it mirrors human behavior--puffing up for show & using gifts/treats to attract the opposite sex.

    The pics of the chickens look great! Best wishes to y'all.

    1. Chicken behaviour has me in stitches, it's true.

      Especially, with Jenga strutting about the way he does.

  4. Jenga is a handsome dude! His red comb really stands out against his light colouring. Very striking.

    1. He is gorgeous. His wings are the most beautiful black with purple, green and blue highlights in the sun.

      And he is such a sweetie.

  5. Anonymous11:27 pm

    Sorry, the mealworm fell out ...

  6. Roses, Be My Valentine! [MMWWAAHH!]


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