Monday, April 5, 2010

Chicken Impersonators?

Evil Roo with his flat top 'do, thanks to frostbite. Poor guy - he was once so handsome!

Sometimes one of the chickens does not get penned safely with the other chickens at night. Most often it is Tenzing Norgay who chooses to roost on the back porch in the open door of the cage where she spent her peephood.

Evil Roo' was unknowingly locked out of the pen during the coldest 24 hours of this past winter, losing almost his entire comb to frost bite. Once in a while, one of the other little hens does not get back to the pen before night falls. I do not know what delays them, or where they choose to roost, but so far, they have all made it safely through the night, except for Evil's comb.

The three Silver Sebrights, The Weird Sisters, are never apart. They seem to be the smartest of all my chickens and they always seem to be in the correct place at the correct time.

Saturday morning I was a bit slow in getting dressed and outside to do my chores. It was close to 8 o'clock when I heard one of my roosters crowing in a strangled way. At first I did not pay much attention because I knew the chickens were still in their pen. I thought either Junior or Evil Roo' was crowing inside the coop and that is why it sounded so strange. As I focused on it, I realized the crowing was coming from the front of the house rather than from the direction of the pen. I listened more intently and could not imagine what had happened to cause a rooster to crow in such a weak and pathetic way. Naturally, I thought one of them had missed the pen deadline, spent the night without protection and a predator had injured him. I did not even want to look outside. I was certain I would find Evil or Junior with a bloody and damaged neck.

The pathetic crowing was too much and of course I had to look. One of the Weird Sisters was at the foot of the front porch steps. She had missed lock down the night before. She would attempt to crow like a rooster, and then watch the front door. I spent a minute or two watching and it was amazing. Of course, I can not be 100% certain of what she thought she was doing, but it looked exactly like she was attempting to call me to the front door - so I would feed her breakfast.

Apparently, when the roosters crow in the morning and I think it is simply because that is what roosters do, this little hen equates their boy noise with me coming through the front door and scattering feed.

How smart is that?

One of the smart Weird Sisters, strutting her stuff.

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