Thursday, July 3, 2008

First, the Chicken Update!

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.


Carianna said...

Cheeken is a darling! If it weren't for the poop issue (how DO they handle that and can they be litterbox trained?) I think I'd want my own Cheeken.

Thanks for the update, I've been anxiously awaiting further news of her!

Carianna of the GG

Sue KuKu said...

Henry Fonda, late in life, had chickens. He swore that the chicken poop was great for the garden!

Love to read about Cheecken. Good grief, almost dying twice!


six stars said...

I think that chicken poop is good for the gardens, but is she house broken (or litterbox trained) or does she poop on the floor?

she has had an extraordinary life so far- which would make a fabulous children's book!

six stars

Webfoot said...

There is a bucket of disinfectant ready for any mishaps and the floor is very easy to clean, but I really don't think you can train a chicken to use a litter box. Too bad -- she would be smart enough for it!

Cheeken is ushered outside as soon as gets out of her indoor coop in the morning, where she spends most of her time wandering around and "working" outdoors. She's patrolling the yard for tasty critters and stray seeds, scratching them out of hiding as necessary!

The last I heard from my brother is that she has learned that there's another door into the house (the one that goes into the upstairs living area) and she stands there and pecks at the door to be let in. She isn't allowed in there, because of the carpet, though. She's a little bit indignant about it...

Yiker said...

Hi Webfoot - I was so excited to see your chicken entry - thanks for a fun read. Now I'm late for RSM... better get going! - Yiker

Paul aka EnergyStar said...