The Flock


I used to refer to my chickens as the girls, but now the bird-gang is simply, the flock…

That’s because the two good-looking chickens with the beautiful red combs? Those are roosters. For three weeks, I tried to stop what I was perceiving as Mean Girls bullying the Plain Jane’s. In reality, it was just birds trying to get their groove on. No wonder Helen of Troy acted none too pleased with me, even when I brought snacks. Since my recent enlightenment, our relationship and mutual respect for each other has  improved. He is now taking morsels from my hand, I stay out of the inter-bird relations of the flock, and all the chickens seem rather relieved.

So birds are birds, right? Well, this morning I noticed a situation that looked humanly familiar. I went into the yard to, you know,  check up on things and all the birds were hanging out in the hen sanctuary. Esther (the hen in the forefront) was laying an egg in her nest box, Pepita was waiting patiently in line (even though there are two OPEN nest boxes available – she always waits in line), and Sissy was laying an egg in her special corner of the sanctuary, just outside the coop. Helen of Troy and Ruby Redhead were standing around, pecking here and there, scratching the floor now and again, and acting as if they were in an ob-gyn waiting room. I thought to myself, how nice of the boys to wait for all the hens to lay their eggs.

Soon, Esther was finished laying her egg and Pepita took over the nest box. Once Esther left the coop, I immediately noticed both roosters become very animated, as they skipped and jumped over to meet her. In a moment, Esther – her little hen hips swaying – sauntered down the barn hallway like little Miss Model on a catwalk. Following closely on her claw heels, were two adoring roosters, tripping and falling all over themselves, as they hopped down the narrow palleted path with her, giddily cackling and cawing — out the door, leaving the other two egg-burdened hens far behind.

Girls! We certainly have seen this behavior before, haven’t we?….

By and by, the other hens finished laying their eggs, and without any fanfare at all, met up with Esther and the her boys to once again become part of the flock.