It’s time for a spring chicken update! The girls made it through the winter just fine, and they learned to love the hot oatmeal I brought them on cold mornings. One particularly cold day I cut the fingers off a mitten and made a hat for Margo to protect her voluptuous comb from frostbite, but she refused to wear it.
Most importantly—yes, they are laying eggs now! I got my first egg around mid-January. It was a bit of an ordeal teaching the girls to put them in the nest box and not just on the ground, but they eventually got the hang of it. For the most part, they each lay an egg a day. I can’t tell a huge taste difference between store bought and fresh eggs, but the texture of cooked fresh eggs is much better. They aren’t rubbery at all! Mostly I like knowing that I’m eating eggs made by happy, well-loved chickens.
I bring the ladies fruit and vegetable scraps every day, so they rush to greet me at the door of the coop. I pretend it’s because they love me and not just because they’re pigs.
Roberta was the most skittish as a chick, but now she’s my tamest hen. She flies up into my lap as soon as I sit down, and sometimes she even likes having her feathers stroked. If I squat down to fiddle with something in the coop, she’ll perch on my knee to get a better look at what I’m doing.
Millie does not like to be touched. It kills me, because I want to sink my fingers into those cloud-like feathers! If I even reach one finger toward her she jumps back like, “Hey, don’t touch the feathers!” She’s all about touching me though. She loves to peck at the moles on my arms and the buttons on my jeans, tug on my hair, and she’s pretty sure the rubber clogs I wear in the coop are the most amazing things she has ever seen. She will stand on them scratching and pecking as long as I will let her.
Oh yeah, you know that head tilt thing dogs do? Chickens do it too!
Margo isn’t the brightest, but she’s my most curious chicken. She wants to get out of the coop and explore so badly, but our city doesn’t allow free range chickens (not to mention our neighbors let their dogs run free). So, I recently put a chicken leash on her thinking I could walk her around the yard. Unfortunately she didn’t quite get the concept and freaked out, because she thought I was chasing her. Teaching her to heel will take a little more practice I suppose.