Monday, 24 January 2011

All 8 Cuddled

Lily, Daisy (older girls, White Star, Amber Star) Tilda and Custard (last year's babies, both Sassos) are easy to pick up. They crouch, and they are happy to receive some corn from my hand.

Florence (last year baby, AUstralorp) crouches readily, but isn't used to being picked up.  Managed to pick her up today, with minimal struggling from her. She's a big girl, so I had to get DH to offer her corn.

Milly (even older girl), Cream Legbar) doesn't like being picked up, and tries not to crouch.  I've managed to catch her unawares for the last few days and she's crouched for me.  Today I managed to scoop her up and give her some corn.

Delilah (oldest girl, beautiful Bluebelle) is very slow now. She normally managed to give me the slip, but today I was able to pick her up, although she doesn't crouch.   She sat in my lap eating corn.  I took a bit longer with her because I get the feeling we won't have so many more opportunities.

Roobarb (last year baby,  half Indian Game) isn't laying yet, she doesn't crouch, and she doesn't like being picked up.  I normally don't push it, as I'm sure it will get easier once she's in lay.  Today though, having successfully had a cuddle with all  7 of the others, I wanted to pick her up as well.  It took a while and a bit of deception, but I managed to pick her up.  She did manage to wriggle free and stand on my head (ow oW OW) but then she sat on my lap making her really strange noise - more like a guinea fowl than a chicken.

She did, eventually, condescend to eating some corn. She's take a bit, then look around, then take some more.  She's definitely a flock creature,  much happier in the company of others. Other chooks, I mean.

But, although I am frozen now (no coat, no gloves; hadn't expected it all to take so long), I feel a sense of achievement at getting all 8 with only a little bit of hassle with Roobarb.   

I don't think any of the chickens particularly like being picked up.  I think they adore having the corn, and - at best - they don't mind being picked up as they associate it with corn.  I don't want it to be a traumatic experience for them though, so I thnk I'll leave Roob alone until she's in lay.

They all still come running over to see me when I go out (cupboard love),   and if I go in their ranging area, they come over (most of them crouch) and range around me (they see me as their Roo).

I love my chooks.

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