The Frou-Frou Bird: A History
One fine day in May, 2012, my mom approached me and told me that she had ordered some chicks from Meyer Hatchery, and that if I had any requests I should go look at her order and change it as I pleased. She had ordered two partridge Plymouth Rocks, two speckled Sussex, and the very last pullet available from the blue splash Marans. Knowing I would not have the room in my coop for many more, I decided to just keep that order and see what would come of it. They were due on June 11, 2012.
Time passed and I soon found myself daydreaming at the Meyer's site as the due date approached. As I was reading along, I came across something frightening--the Marans had feathered feet! Now, there is absolutely nothing wrong with feather-footed breeds, but at the time, I had not yet had any and had been afraid to get any because I thought their feet would get messy, or they were more prone to scaly-leg, or any other number of horror stories that turned out not to be entirely true. By then, though, it was too late to cancel the order, and so we decided that that little Marans would be the test to see if feathered feet were as bad as we thought they were.
We drove to Meyer's on June 11, a several-hour-long round trip, but worth it for me to know that the babies would arrive at home safely. There in Meyer's store, a small, peeping box was placed on the counter before us, and mom opened it up to see what the babies were like. Immediately, that little Marans ran up to her hand and gave her a quick peck on her finger! She was so sassy, and at first, that's just what I called her--Sassy Marans.
Weeks passed and the chicks grew. They soon experienced their first power outage, in their very first storm. And wouldn't you know, little Sassy Marans was, as far as I could tell, afraid of storms! Oh, did she peep and peep, keeping me up all that night even after the power came back on, as all the while I attempted to reassure her. This would not be the last silly little fear that Sassy Marans would exhibit, though.
Sassy Marans was given the name Frou-Frou at four weeks old. Why? The term 'frou-frou' is of French origin, just as the Marans is. It means, "frilly; heavily ornamental; fancy; overly elaborate, particularly as regards clothing". It implies that one is posh, prim, and proper, and perhaps even French. And, well, Frou-Frou had those silly, frilly feet feathers and that way about her.
Frou-Frou's second phobia showed itself at at about a month old, when she experienced the outside world for the first time. This was when I discovered that Frou-frou was afraid of grass.
Soon, with the encouragement of her friends, Frou-frou overcame her fear of the grass. Grass was good. It could be eaten. By 6 weeks old, she was over that fear and was instead afraid of the dark. Every night at lights out, she would panic, peeping and honking at the top of her lungs whenever the lights were turned out.
As Frou-frou grew, her phobias passed. With each week, she was growing taller, fluffier, and prettier. The day soon came that she and her broodmates were too old to stay inside. It was time for a big move out to the big-girl coop. Naturally, Frou-frou disapproved of this move.
But as days passed, she grew to like the outside world. She was soon finding her place in the big-girl flock. Frou-frou was becoming a real chicken.
Months and months later, Frou-frou, the very last of her broodmates to do so, finally laid her very first egg on January 29, 2013. She was 33 weeks and 1 day old. Since then, she's always laid her egg in the same corner of the coop, down in the sand instead of in a nest box.
Frou-Frou, my beloved Frou-Frou, passed away on August 21, 2015. Months later, I am still heartbroken without her, my soulmate chicken. I carry her picture with me everywhere, close to my heart, in a locket that my mother got for me for Christmas. I don't have enough words...
Frou-Frou, my Big Fuzzy
Frou-frou's my Big Fuzzy. Since her early days of fearing grass and thunderstorms, she has always come to me for hugs, seeming just to adore every moment spent in my arms. Oftentimes, while I hold her, she rests her chin on my shoulder and I can hear her breathing slow as she dozes off. I always used to say that if love was a chicken, Frou-Frou would be it.
Frou-frou has a nightly routine of visiting in the house. She paces at the gate every night until I open it for her, after which she pops out and waits like a proper lady for me to pick her up.
Most nights, I will put her on the porch after her visit and she'll follow me back to the chicken yard and go back in herself--unless the hens are already free-ranging, in which case she will just carry on her way. Here she is following me back to the chicken yard before free-ranging season began for the hens:
Sweet Frou-Frou, my Big Fuzzy bird, quite behaves the part of a child running to mommy. If someone picks on her, she'll come running to me, just a-honking away, and wait at my feet for me to tell her everything's okay.
Ah, yes, Frou-frou honks. She has been honking since her voice first changed at a few months old. We have never been sure here of whether it's because she hasn't yet gotten her big-girl voice... Or because she has such big nostrils.
Frou-frou does not like having muddy feet. She dislikes being wet almost as much as she dislikes muddy feet.
She also can't fly. At all. Like, even worse than the other hens. The lowest perch in my coop is about half a foot off the ground, and she still has trouble getting up there. Silly Big Fuzzy.
Frou-frou is my homing chicken. She knows her name and will honk back to me if I call her. She comes running if I clap my hands or pat my knees. She's just an absolute delight.
Frou-Frou is my silly, Big Fuzzy, huggy-snuggy, all-around sweet, beloved pet hen. Words cannot describe how happy I am that we got that little feather-footed Sassy Marans after all.
Frou-Frou is Famous!
April 5 - 12, 2013 - Frou-Frou is picture of the week! And just two weeks after writing up her page!
Threads about Frou-Frou:
New Chicks in the Flock - A full Frou-Frou history, from day one to five months old (also includes her broodmates)
Frou-Frou is Nesting!! - Frou-Frou's adventures leading up to her first egg
Frou-Frou Following Me - Frou-Frou's very first time following me from the house to the chicken yard
Frou-Frou Needs Cuddles - A night with Frou-Frou, after disrupting her nightly routine by not taking her in the house for a visit D:
Frou-Frou the Perfect Pet? - Frou-Frou is entered into a pet competition, but sadly doesn't make it to the voting round
Frou-Frou's Nightly Visit - The original thread with the videos on this page
Frou-Frou is Wet - Frou-Frou birds do not like being wet...
Frou-Frou Has a Dust Bath - Kicking, rolling, and relaxing in the sand. That's the life!
Happy First Birthday, Fab Five!! - Frou-Frou and friends' first birthday party!
Frou-Frou Meets the Chickies! - A post on the thread for my new chicks, this is how Frou'f reacted upon meeting the new babies of the flock. Oh, how dreadful!
Goodbye, Frou-Frou - I lost her, my beloved pet hen. I can't stop crying.
To sum it up...
name: Frou-Frou, AKA Frou'f, the Frou-Frou bird, Big Fuzzy, Fuzzy Pants, or La Frou (which is French for 'The Frou' )
age: About 3 years old (June 11, 2012 - August 21, 2015)
breed: Blue Splash Marans
egg color: Frou'f laid a little brown egg with speckles. Though she was a large fowl Marans, her egg was comparable in size to my Sebright bantams' eggs.
Thanks for reading!