Yes, I’ve been back from vacation for a little while, but I am just now getting caught up with things and I’m finally ready to catch up with the blog! Since I have had so many requests for information about the world famous chicken, she’ll be first on my list.
I got to meet her, this famous fowl. For a while there, she had been laying an egg nearly every day and ruling the roost (or at least the cocker spaniel) with aplomb. Then, without any warning, she nearly died (again), when she caught some kind of nasty avian virus or other. My brother stayed up with her for two nights running, force feeding her water and trying to tempt her with tidbits of this and that to coax her back to health and making her get up and move around, even though she didn’t want to budge. He wasn’t about to lose her after nursing her through the whole frostbite episode!! Apparently, she was acting like a boneless collection of feathers on the rug. After a few days of tender loving care, she started to look less limp and showed a little interest in eating on her own again.
By the time I arrived, she was still being fussy about what she wanted to eat. Chicken feed was always popular, but she liked tomatoes and fresh bread much better than cheerios, apples or fish, which had been favorites. She would demand tomatoes and bread, even jumping to snatch pieces from unsuspecting hands.
She finally has a name. Evidently, when my sister-in-law and her younger brother were small, they referred to these feathered farmyard creatures as ‘Cheekens’, with long emphasis on the double ‘e’. So, in honor of childhood antics, she has been dubbed Cheeken. She does exhibit a bit of cheeky behavior, so it’s not entirely out of character!! The poor cocker spaniel gets summarily pecked for straying into Cheeken’s food arena. She may have been particularly ornery because she was still feeling a little under the weather. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt. So, they stay on opposite sides of whoever is handing out the snacks at the moment. And I am amazed by how much a chicken can eat!
Cheeken is also very sociable, at least with humans. She follows people around and talks to them constantly. She asks to be let out or in and waits with varying degrees of patience for someone to open a door for her.
She takes her decorative duties very seriously, taking frequent dust baths to keep her feathers shining, preening vigorously and finding particularly picturesque places to pose for general admiration. In short, she is a very entertaining little chicken.
Just as I was getting ready to hop in the car and head home, Cheeken went to her little nest box to try and lay an egg. By the time I made it back to Missouri, I heard that her first efforts since the great illness were shaped badly and had thin shells, but she’s doing fine now and is back to laying an egg nearly every day.