Well its been a quiet week, out here on the edge of Phoenix. We had a spell of rain that muddied up the yard and encouraged a hearty weed infestation. Ben is debating spraying and using the hula-hoe for removal. The hens it seems are above scratching up good hard working weeds and prefer to go after more lazy plants like grape vines or carrots. Little Suzy the Rhode Island Red came to the back door Thursday morning and looked like shed eaten a grapefruit. A chickens crop sits below its neck and expands like a balloon the more it eats. A hungry hen looks funny, a full hen looks downright laughable. Ben picked Suzy up afraid she had an impacted crop and wouldnt be able to pass any food into her gullet and digest it, leading to a hen that starves to death. A brief massage showed the crop was malleable and not a concern. Little Suzy is the smallest hen, and her large crop only added to her silly appearance. Ben set her down and she resumed looking around the back porch for a spot to deposit evidence of her efficient digestive tract. The other hens, Rhonda, Agnes, the Easter-eggers and the anti-social Wyandottes were all nearby as Ben put Little Suzy down. One thing a hen hates to miss is a handout, and they were hoping Ben was providing breakfast. A hen waiting for a handout will bob its head, stare intently at hands, and if fingers appear to be pinching anything they start to look agitated and wind their internal springs tight. Some hens lurk in the back, afraid of getting too close, others will jump onto an adults shoulder and look for food closer if they can. Rhonda the Rhode Island Red frequently chooses to jump up on Bens shoulder and look for food. Its endearing as long as Ben isnt wearing a good shirt to go to work because a hens hygienic discretion is deplorable and frequently the only thing dirtier than the floor of the chicken coop is the chickens feet. There are several shirts in the laundry room at the moment. Agnes is the oldest hen in the group. She was inherited from our neighbors along with another hen, and a rooster. The rooster met his demise about three weeks ago after attacking Emily one too many times. A rooster comes equipped with a semi-sharp projection on the back of their legs called spurs. A rooster will jump up and attack its victim with these spurs. On an adult they can cause cuts on the legs. On a child, they can take out an eye. Hence this was the last attack of the rooster. But Agnes is a White Leghorn, pronounced le-gern by folks in the chicken community. They make for great layers because they lay some of the largest white eggs. White Leghorns are particularly noisy and constantly emit anything from a slight growl to an outright banter if they disapprove of a situation. Agnes has survived being mauled by a stray dog, and so she is particularly flighty. But she has formed the Chicken Rebuttal Society, and as the founding member takes liberties in addressing the social issues facing hens today. She has been given leave to organize CRS by Rhonda the Rhode Island Red, as long as Agnes defers to Rhonda whenever Rhonda sees fit to interject. CRS has taken great steps towards the future chicken housing concern. Agnes formed a committee consisting of two Easter-eggers and a Barred Rock. The anti-social Wynadottes wanted nothing to do with it, preferring to take dust baths instead. The committee made an appeal to have larger housing for young chicks and broody hens. One anti-social Wynadotte is currently setting on a clutch of nine eggs and couldnt be reached for comment at the time. The hens made their case aggressively and Ben agreed to provide better future hen accommodations to new chicks and setting hens. Jimmy Carter is scheduled to arrive next weekend to begin the new housing project. With the irrigation water soaking into the ground, and the grass turning green again theres no doubt that Springs just around the corner. Time to plant the Spring vegetables. The hens are eyeing the garden waiting for the humans to toss out anything they might fancy a nibble on. Well thats the news from Beehive Road and the benevolent leadership of the Chicken Rebuttal Society.