Posted by: kathandroger | July 4, 2014

Lofty, and Beryl the wayward chicken.

IMG_2578We have kept poultry for many years now. Sometimes to eat them, but more frequently for their eggs and the entertainment value. Luckily we have plenty of room for them here, and any minor damage they cause to the flower beds is offset by the laughs they give us. It would be nice if they learnt to poo other than outside our kitchen door however, but I guess it is my fault for feeding them scraps there. All animals have their own character, just like humans, and when I kept poultry at the back of my surgery years ago many of the birds were named after particular patients, such as the imperious cockerel known as “the Major”, and confident bantam cock named after a local farmer, well known for his diminutive frame and aggressive outbursts. We also had the most magnificent capon with long head and neck feathers, always in the midst of things and named after my favourite transvestite.

Chickens are a microcosm of life, at present illustrated by Lofty and Beryl. Lofty is the “laying chicken” we bought as a pair (with Stumpy, his sister-the two shown together here). Although the same size when we bought them,those male hormones have done their stuff and he is now twice her size, he has started to crow, and his favourite pastime is incest. The problem is that he is just one of those clumsy lanky youths trying hard to adjust to the adult world and having some problems in being accepted. The other adults view him with some distaste, still pushing him away from the food, and not allowing him into their territory. So he passes his days wandering fairly abjectly around and occasionally bothering his sister. He longs to be king of the roost, but it still needs some attention in the crowing area and to get his full impressive plumage, then I am sure the girls will find him irresistible.IMG_2638

Beryl, on the other hand is a confident, resourceful woman who bows to no-one. She raised her brood (the three terribly ugly cou nue sisters), with the utmost efficiency, but then, when they were old enough, pushed them abruptly away into the outside world, and now won’t even acknowledge them. She has now come back into lay, but being a contrary and confident type (who do I know like that?), has decided not to lay in the chicken house. It took us several days to find her nest in the hay loft. She climbs up through a hole in the roof of the  wood store, does the job, and then we here her making her airborne descent from above into the courtyard. A bustling and energetic woman she is, but an elegant flyer she is not, and the ground shudders with her clumsy landing, accompanied by lots of chicken cursing. If Marine Le Pen was a chicken I think she would be Beryl.IMG_2640

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