My Life With Gracie…While We Sleep

While We Sleep

Amelia has been sleeping in one of the nesting boxes under their nighttime roosting board. While molting, it’s hard for her to get up there without wing feathers, and when she’s up there with the others, it makes it too easy for them to bother her spots where there is mostly bare skin and pin feathers.

Then again, she always has been a bit of a loner, so I don’t feel sad for her being without sleeping companions. I’m just sorry about her being unable to go where she wants to go.

This evening, we were talking about how she was the first to try out the extra high roosting board before anyone else. She loved being up high and looking down at everyone…at least until Emily also made it up there with her. For Emily, it wasn’t about being up higher than the others. It was about being with her best friend.

Yet Emily seems to be the main one who bothers Amelia where her new feathers are growing. I’d like to imagine Emily feels like she’s helping in some way. When the feathers start growing, they look like dark specks against pink skin. From an early age chicks start pecking at specks wherever they find them. I can’t imagine my Little Lady Emily picking on anyone to be mean.

Amelia and I also talked about how wonderful her new wing feathers were going to be, and in the evening light, I could see her sitting a little prettier and happier. We talked about how she had chosen a good sleeping spot because new wings grow best when we sleep.

After all, sleep is a wonderful gift. Who knows? Maybe I will wake up with wings one day! Amelia found that especially funny. Of course, she didn’t understand for people “wings” can mean something different than for chickens.

My Life With Gracie reassured me our wings will grow while we sleep.

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

While We Sleep

My Life With Gracie…Feeling Vulnerable

Feeling Vulnerable

Molting this fall has been tough on Amelia. She hasn’t been herself. After losing so many feathers, she’s been unable to fly, not even just a little get up on a roosting spot.

When she stretches out her wings, which is very seldom right now, there is practically nothing to see. That may be why she very seldom does this. She hides her inabilities from the others.

In many ways she reminds me of a teenager who has so many changes happening they feel alienated and overwhelmed. What makes it particularly troubling for Amelia is that when she went through her teenage season, she had hatchmates to go through it with her. Now she is the only one experiencing a “hard molt” while the others have had “soft molts” during the year.

Being “My Little Girl,” she may hide behind my legs or under my chair, but also being “My Big Girl,” she will find some way to set herself apart from the others. Her latest acrobatic accomplishment is to stand on one foot. None of the others do this, and she is exceptionally skilled.

I wonder if this is somehow training for what comes next. As I’ve told her before, “One day you will be the first chicken to fly to the moon and back…or something even better.”

My Life With Gracie helped me see when we are feeling vulnerable, it’s probably because we are growing to meet new challenges.

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

Feeling Vulnerable

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