Tuesday, January 26, 2016

When My Brain is as empty as my feathered friends'

This week I really could not think of a blog topic (plus I'm composing this on my phone as I'm on a two day break with hubs). Even looking through several links to suggested blog topics or suggestions on Twitter didn't help. So since someone asked about my chooks last week because I hadn't mentioned them for a while, I thought I'd talk about my girls.
Why chickens? Well, we'd been talking about pets for our kids. We've had cats but my husband didn't want more. I don't like dogs, and my 11yo is nervous of them after being bowled over by a couple of black labs as a toddler. We already had a leopard gecko, bought for our eldest. Neither of us wanted a rabbit or guinea pig, and hubs was dead against hamsters.
So we looked at chickens, or rather bantams. Bantams are half the size of normal chickens. Some breeds make especially excellent pets, don't require a huge amount of care, don't smell too much, and come with the benefit of eggs. We went for a breed called Pekins because they're supposed to be easy to hand tame and happy to be handled. The kids were enthusiastic. We researched chicken care, bought and set up a coop, and found a local breeder selling them. That was nearly four years ago now.
We've lost some along the way, three in all. Right now we have four Pekins (dark grey Scoop who is the oldest and the boss, lighter grey Chiana, ginger Kyru, and mille fleur Rush), and our white Leghorn bantam Eowyn. I love my girls. It's incredibly relaxing to watch them forage around the garden in summer making cute little clucking noises. While they hardly like to climb in your lap like a cat, you can pick them up and stroke them, though they prefer it if you feed them while doing it. They'll come when called if they think you have food. They don't like the wind - it makes them skittish.
Sulking because it's winter
And they're surprisingly savage predators. I've seen them stalk, beat and eat a frog. Hubs has seen Eowyn attack a mouse. Think they just eat worms and corn? Nope. Chickens are omnivorous, but remember there are dinosaurs in their ancestry. Have you seen Jurassic Park and the velociraptors? Bird ancestors. And sometimes, when one of my girls is eyeing me up, I wonder if she's remembering that past where her predecessors ruled the world and snapped up my furry little ancestors for a snack...
Ancestry aside, my chooks are fairly featherbrained, but the local cats won't mess with them when they encounter each other in the garden. I guess for the cats it's a bit disturbing to encounter a bird that's as big as you and doesn't run when you get face to face. My girls might be scared of the wind up their tail feathers, but they'll stare down a cat. We have had trouble with a local dog fox taking too keen an interest this winter, but we've fortified the coop and I've kept them shut in. This time of year it's too cold for me to sit outside with them, hence why I've mentioned them less. Come spring we plan to buy a few more, and I'll be back out there with them when the weather warms up. Expect more updates then.
In sunnier times

On My Bookshelf
Inspired by Riley Moreland's new book blog where she's featuring books on her shelf HERE, I thought I'd share a current list of what I've just read. I had another reading binge over Christmas and the New Year, finishing off some series books I had, plus two gifted to me by the authors.
CE Kilgore's Corwint Central Agent Files - the side stories. I'm missing just one of those currently available at the moment, but I've now read and reviewed the rest.
Rachel Leigh Smith's A'yen's Legacy series. I haven't read the latest release but finally caught up with book two and three.
Pippa DaCosta's Girl from Above: Trapped. Gritty space opera, and this third book scored a 5* rating from me after my dislike for anti-hero Caleb only earned the previous two books 4*.
And lastly Erica Hayes Scarred, the superhero sequel to Scorched. Love these. The heroine is so conflicted, and the two male MCs a complete contrast with Verity caught in the middle.

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  1. Enjoyed the post and thanks for the thorough Chook Update!

    1. Thanks, Veronica! And thanks for the question that gave me something to blog about. :P

  2. I know how you feel about "what will I write"? So I'm writing about birds, too. But not chookins.


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