Friday, 17 June 2011

Bright sides

Milly has been broody for some time now.

It's a nuisance.  She has managed to crush a couple of thin shelled eggs, and yesterday I had to baby-wipe egg and shell off her featherless chest. She is such a grumpy chicken at the best of times, and she's always picking on the others. Chasing Tilda, because she can. Pecking Florence, because she can. 

She avoids being picked up.  She's extremely pretty, but not the most rewarding of chickens to own.  She does lay beautiful blue eggs though.

Milly's broodiness has some advantages.   I can get close enough to stroke her.  I can ruffle her feathers. I can even pick her up and carry her around the garden.   When I hoik her out of the nest box (if she is missing a treat for example) she sits happily - yes happily on my arm. She even let me tickle her feet today, right up to the point where she gave me an almighty peck on the hand. I deserved it for pushing my luck.

Whenever I take treats out for the Girls, I always open the nest box door and put some of whatever is on offer next to her.   Milly shows her gratitude by fluffing up her hackle feathers and shrieking at me at full volume and at the highest pitch her vocal chords can manage.   She continues shrieking whilst she stuffs her little beak, long after the egg port door is closed again.   I know she's stuffing her beak because each she can't maintain the shriek and eat at the same time,  the resulting sound is quite funny.

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