Goodness! It's going to be a long winter... I can imagine that there will be weeks where I don't get my camera outside for photos! I hope that the fans that Derp has seemed to gather won't explode.
And yep-- Derp's got extra toes! That's a Faverolles trait.
Well, the chickens were finally big enough that the Food Lady felt that there was less of a risk from hawk predation. Oh, she knew... there is always a risk! But the chickens were now large enough that a hawk couldn't come in and snatch a carry-out dinner. It would have to dine in, so to speak, if it wanted chicken. And the Food Lady had a heavy rake and was good at hovering over her own chickens...
So, the chickens began supervised free range time. And lo, the world was good.
Derperella felt the wonderful glow of evening sunlight through the thick grass. Coho, the other Salmon Faverolles, is often nearby.
Derperella does not seem to have much of a flocking instinct. Why bother flocking when you can simply herpa-derpa around the yard? Of course, the Food Lady gets nervous. Derp is by far the smallest pullet, and is always off on her own. The Food Lady worries that this, combined with Derp's inattentive mind, could cause her to become something's snack more easily, so she is always gently relocating Derp back to the rest of the ranging flock. Derperella isn't sure why the Food Lady is so concerned.
Despite the intervention, Derp really does love to wander off and do her own thing. Quickly she discovered the chicken-watchin' chair, and it was excellent. Did you know that she could fly up on it and sit there? She could, she really could! In fact, she likes to do it so much that she spends most of her free range time... sitting on a plastic chair.
The Food Lady anticipated that 'putting the chickens away' when it was time for her to do other things could become a problem. Seven chickens, loving the yard and all of its goodies, certainly don't want to go back into their fenced run (no matter how large) just because a person wants them to. So, she taught them to come when she would shake a can of black oil sunflower seeds.
When Derp was spending too much time on the chair, the Food Lady would call her over.
Derp would hunker down low, her entire body horizontal. Then she would streak over like an arrow, and run around the Food Lady in a circle once.
"I IS HERE NAO, FUD LADY."
After ranging is over, Food Lady likes to go into the run with the chickens for a minute and give them treats and chicken hugs. The idea is to make going back into the run a positive experience, instead of always a negative one. Who knows if it works. Chickens will be chickens!
Derperella really likes one of the roosts in the outside part of her house. She really likes to sit on the end. This makes falling off easier, you know?
She also has mastered the art of wing-sunbaths. It only took her months. She's good that way.
(I cannot look at this photo without dissolving into giggles. This is my favorite photo of her ever. HER FACE.)
(Just as a gentle reminder, I am really happy that Derp has entertained so many! And I don't mind if anyone wants to print this off and read it to their family, etc, for personal enjoyment. But please don't use it in other ways without asking first, thanks! All content is copyright © 2011.)