My mother said that her chickens hung out together based on which breed they were. I found that really interesting. I couldn’t tell if mine did that because there are three Golden Buffs that hang together and Ethel, the California White girl, is usually with them. Laverne, the Jersey Giant, when not broody, hangs out nearby too.
Then the babies came along. The five girls went from being our the only beloved chickens in the yard to the five popular witches from high school. They pick incessantly on the babies, even though some of the babies are getting bigger than they are! They want the food first, they want the best perch to sleep, they want the babies to get out of the way or they get pushed against the wall, or worse, pecked. Hen pecked, indeed.
The babies started with the two Polish girls, Aretha and Ginger. Ten days later the rest of the babies came to stay. Aretha, being the largest, was rather bossy. She is now rather small, and is now one of the outcasts. Ginger, who was beat up dreadfully in a story I highlighted about Comfrey in, is the smallest of the chickens. A wee six inches off the ground and adorable. Looks like a roadrunner with a crazy hat running about. She hangs out with the popular kids in the new chicken group. Liesel (a Marans), Yetta, Nala, Sophia (Aracaunas), Ginger, Marta, Gretel (Buff Orpingtons), and Henry Higgins if he is allowed, run around the yard in a pack. Acting very cool and grown up until the big girls send them screaming beneath the lilac bush.
Meanwhile, in the chicken coop, Laverne sits on eggs that don’t belong to her (until I take them away) and glares at Brigitta and Aretha. Henry up until recently was banned to the chicken coop as well by the other chickens. Not just the coop, but the dog kennel within. He runs around the yard poofed up like a good looking peacock, only more like a teenaged chicken, bossing the girls who just look at him like, ppleeassse! They will not mind him a bit.
Why the cliques? Don’t you always imagine chickens running in a pack pecking the ground all together? Not these seemingly high school adventure cliques where the big kids pick on the little kids, the cool kids pick on the uncool kids, and the depressed dark one sits in a corner all day hoping for a baby. (Okay, well that doesn’t happen in high school that much.)
I never imagined so many different personalities in a bunch of chickens.