Please welcome the Flying T’s first guest-blogger, our 13yo daughter…
I mentally go through the birds as I check on them for the night. 5 ducks. Check. 6 Rhode Island Red hens. Check. 3 Araucana hens. Check. 1 Araucana rooster. Check. 15 Barred Rock chicks. Check. 1 chicken-duck. Check.
You may be wondering about that last bird. No, it is not a new-fangled hybrid of some kind. It’s just a Araucana hen that thinks she’s a duck. It’s true. And it just goes to prove that we didn’t buy chickens just for the farm-fresh free-ranged eggs, we also bought them for the amusement they give.
Daisy... not a Chuck
This particular hen, we think, has had traumatizing brain damage in the past. When she was a chick, just 2 or 3 days old, she got stuck under the gallon water feeder. Really, with 12 chicks jumping around squawking “The sky is falling, the sky is falling!”, it’s kind of hard to tell if all of them are on the other side of the cage. This one barely survived. She was held so much during the fact though, for basically an hour or two straight, that she is friendly to this day. She has earned her ticket out of freezercamp, insane as she is.
As I mentioned earlier, she thinks she is a duck. So we call her “Chuck the chicken-duck”. This happened when we first got the ducks a few weeks ago. Layer pellets taste good to a chicken still on grower food! Ever since she learned that this yummy delight came from the grain bin, she follows us around, trying her hardest to “trill” like a Muscovy Duck. They sound like “crrrrrooooooooo”, she sounds like “crrrrooAWWWWWWK!”. But she tries.
Chuck the Chicken Duck
Chuck has not yet started sleeping over at the ducks, but she is close. As it is, she follows them around like they are the Pied Piper of Hamelin. When we fenced off part of the horse’s stall (where the chickens usually come in under the gate) for the goats, Chuck thought it was so unfair that her supposed kin were on the other side of the fence, and she couldn’t get to them. She ran up and down the fence, squawking out her version of trilling. We finally picked her up and let her out with the ducks.
Chuck even joins them for their midday snooze. They won’t let her into their private dog pile in the hay, of course, but she sleeps in the other corner of the duck’s stall, wings folded, head cocked back, imitating the way the ducks sleep.
We are looking forward to more chicken-ducks when Chuck lays her eggs in the duck’s nesting box. Rather like the story of The Ugly Duckling.
Chickens are so amusing.