Rita, it seems, is an all or nothing kind of a girl. She seems to be getting into the habit of missing a day and then delivering an enormous double-yoker egg of monster portion size. They’re well over twice the size of Sylvia’s and Doc’s. I have no idea why she is doing this. She is still the best rotavator though, so maybe it’s something to do with the amount of bugs she consumes. The day before yesterday she found a weakness in our chicken fence and escaped into next door’s yard. Luckily we saw this quickly and retrieved her before the formal flowerbeds showed signs of her work. I do enjoy her greedy, determined presence though.
Sylvia continues to lead the revolution in her quiet, understated way. She is nearly always the first to break new ground then, after enticing the other two to join her, will step back and see what happens. We’ve had to fence off our slightly scruffy but bee-freindly flowerbed after Sylvia led her gang over the ornamental barrier (some drift wood!) that had previously contained them. She is the plumpest and prettiest, conveying an air of innocence to the uninitiated. Her fluffy blue-grey feathers cry out to be stroked. I think she knows she’s good-looking though. There’s a kind of haughtiness about her. She delivers regular, smooth eggs, of the size you would expect from such a young bird.
Doc is becoming my favourite. She’s the smallest and youngest I think, although her comb is now beginning to grow. She is definitely the talker. She is always chattering when I approach her or when she approaches me. She seems perhaps a little more thoughtful and smarter than the other two. I realise I’m anthropomorphising here but there does seem to be a certain amount of curiosity and questioning going on. She tests everything. She was the first to figure out the spiral vegetable feeder and the first to discover the secret of eating snails. I was beginning to think that the famed use of chickens as snail control was a myth. I’d thrown loads to them that they excitedly grabbed then almost instantly gave up on. Their run began to resemble a snail enclosure there were so many gripping the sides trying to get out. Then I decided to swallow my squeamishness about killing a living beast and crushed one for Doc to eat. She seemed to immediately get it and began bashing every snail she could find for the tasty protein-packed meal inside. Doc produces a small but beautifully speckled brown egg on most days.
The rain has descended again in our normally damp part of the world after almost a month of sunshine. It’s kind of a relief and the garden is certainly grateful. It gets a little hard on the chickens though. They didn’t get out of their run all day yesterday. Although a bit of light rain doesn’t seem to bother them, yesterday’s was relentlessly heavy and I didn’t even give them the opportunity to come out. They didn’t seem too upset by this but I felt guilty. There’s something about shutting an animal in that pulls at my conscience and strikes a chord of recognition somewhere deep within me.