Monday, 16 January 2012

Chicken Observations

That first summer I spent as much time as I could getting to know my new flock.  It wasn't long of course before they associated me with food and as soon as I started walking towards the coop they would come running and talking to see what I had for them. After doling out the goodies I would usually sit for a while and observe them. I had such fun getting to know each one and was rather amused by their unique personalities. Some of them seemed to find me a curiosity as well and as soon as I sat down they would come to see if I had anything else to offer them. Once they realized I didn't most would take off but a few would stay and pick at my clothes or my shoes and then look at me to see what I would do (maybe they were just hoping I would feed them again). Some were so brave as to hop up on my lap and get a closer look.

I remember when I was a young girl one year my mother decided to raise bantam chickens and I spent a good part of that summer with one young rooster who was really friendly. He would come running when I called and sit on my shoulder. My mother kept warning me not to name him because he was going in the soup pot but it is so hard when you are young and love animals not to fall in love with them. In the end of course he did end up in the soup pot but it was a sad day for me and a lesson I will live with forever.

I really wanted my flock to think of me as non threatening so I would have an easier time handling them and many were fine with that but a few were just wild. No matter what I did they would have nothing to do with me whatsoever. I noticed that all the wild ones were completely white so maybe it was the breed?  I've discovered a wonderful site with all kinds of chicken breeds and their characteristics. One young rooster ended up being named "Fuzzbutt" (due to, you guessed it, his very fuzzy behind) and we decided we would keep him. You can only have so many roosters or they will over run and run down the hens in a bad way.

As they grew up we realized Fuzzbutt was very different from the other roosters. He was a gentleman. As soon as they were old enough the other roosters would think nothing of running down a hen to pounce on her but he wouldn't. He would court his ladies. He was larger than all the others, but was like a gentle giant. He would find a bug or some other tasty treat and cluck until all his harem came running to see what was up. He would feed them, pushing the food towards the one he had his eye on and then wait to see if she took it, which invariably she did. Then and only then would he pounce and I would just about roll around on the ground laughing.

Fuzzbutt all grown up.


  1. So fun to hear about your chickens. It makes me smile to think about you getting your chickens that first year and you watching them. Especially, that Fuzzbutt. What a dear little chicken soul he has.

    1. Fuzzbutt is gorgeous and looks nothing like his name ;-)

      Hope you can visit us at Farm Dreams from time to time.

  2. Fuzzbutt sounds like a smooth operator!

  3. Fuzzbutt is a cutie, he has a personality.


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