My Life With Gracie…A World Of Imitators

A World Of Imitators

When compared with animals, chickens are perhaps some of the most curious and most cautious of all. This is an odd combination.

Not often, just occasionally, we will have company. My chickens inspect with great curiosity anyone who comes near them. They are perhaps sizing them up to see if they are the generous sort of person. You know, the kind who might have brought them something to eat like chunks of watermelon.

If no handouts happen right away, their most extreme level of caution kicks in. After all, who wouldn’t want to feed a sweet, adorable, generous egg-laying chicken? Very suspicious!

They will inspect the visitor, often with some exploratory pecks to the feet and thighs. It’s all what you might call innocent fun, although a few times visitors report seeing a distinct “Tasty!” look in the chickens’ eyes after a thorough foot pecking.

This may be due to a chicken’s view of most things being either “food” or “not food…yet.” Still I must appreciate their caution. They seem to realize most other animals view chickens as “food” or “not food…yet.”

I’m not completely sure, but I wonder if people may not be cautious enough. We seem to be all too often easily taken in by imitators who promise so much and deliver so little, often seeking to better themselves at the expense of others.

My chickens know my voice and they know my routine. Being chickens, they may wander to another in hope of a treat, but they always come back to their big Chicken Daddy.

My Life With Gracie taught me just because someone claims to have big feet doesn’t mean they really do and doesn’t make them your daddy worth following.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

A World Of Imitators

Family Photo Friday!

Family Photo Friday

Hold onto your hearts! This week’s photo is one of Amelia standing in her original Chicken Daddy’s foot. This was taken the day before she moved to my house. She and Emily are both “refugee chickens” who had to leave their first spacious rural suburban home due to zoning ordinances. (To have even one chicken, you must have at least 5.5 acres of land.)

Anyway, I wanted to share this because Amelia is molting and probably for the first time in her young life. At first, she acted as if she wasn’t sure what was happening to her, and I wondered if she was afraid something was terribly wrong.

It has been a challenge for her to get up into the coop each evening. She has always been the first and best flier. She wants to fly up from the ground like usual, but without any new flight feathers yet, she just can’t. Eventually after numerous tries, she will begrudgingly use the chicken ladder to walk up.

Yesterday evening, Amelia was too proud to use the ladder to go up into the coop. My words of encouragement weren’t helping. When the light had faded too much for her to see clearly, she gave in, reluctantly walked over to me, and let me lift her up. I think maybe she had worn herself out a bit.

But being the Amelia who I love, she had to give me a few angry clucks as if to say, “Don’t you realize I can do this for myself? How dare you treat me like I can’t fly up for myself!”

She and I both know this was all to keep up appearances in front of the others while she was really saying, “Thank you so much, Daddy.”

You can read more about all of my chickens on this page.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

My Life With Gracie…Secret Signals

Secret Signals

There are times when my chickens seem to squabble about the least little thing. They may have plenty of pieces of their favorite food, particularly banana, but occasionally will ignore the ones right in front of them, and want the ones in front of someone else! But these times are very rare and most often based on pecking order.

It’s completely different when they are free-ranging and “on the hunt.” A low, almost imperceptible noise is made by the one who is onto the track of “fresh prey.” Suddenly everyone forgets about what they’re doing and runs to that spot as quickly and quietly as they can.

When that happens, there’s no squabbling. It’s more of a group effort so someone, anyone, can capture whatever tasty morsel has been discovered. Though the lucky hunter will often still run around with the prize while the others give chase for the fun of it, clearly they are all in it together!

At first, that secret signal was imperceptible to me. I would just see everyone moving in a flash to the same place. Then I learned to listen for it and enjoyed their hunt even more.

This seems to be all very different from the world of people. Our impulse is most often to devour what is in front of us (or secure it away for later) and then go after what our neighbor has. I think I read once that we are the only species which makes a sport of preying on its own kind.

If we think we have found something of value, we keep it to ourselves. We don’t want others (and particularly people we don’t like) to have what we may have a chance of owning. Even if there is a plentiful supply, we don’t want everyone to have what we have.

Perhaps this is one of the reasons I enjoy the company of my chickens so much. They often act the opposite of people, but I’m not quite ready to give up completely on people! There will always be those who hope and share and signal others to come and enjoy what they have found.

My Life With Gracie showed me how when you find a good thing, you can’t help but share it.

I will do my best to post each Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Every “Like,” “Follow,” and “Comment” is truly appreciated!

Secret Signals