A year ago I received a wonderful present. A “chocolate box” of 5 chickens! One white, 1 speckled, 1 blonde, 1 black, and an amber-colored Amercauna. The hens had mostly stopped laying and rather than dispatch and eat them, a friend kindly offered them to my husband to give to me as an anniversary gift. YAYYYY!
At the time I was mourning the loss of my last chicken, Ginger, as well as my wonder bird Kiwi, and being bird-less is a terrible state of being for me. So when I received these 5 chickens, I was ELATED. Oooh!! To have hennies to love, and feed, and pet, and watch, and be with, and take photos of, and befriend. I was BACK in the birdie saddle again!! YIPPEE!
Unfortunately in the past year I’ve lost 3 of the 5 hens to a family of foxes. And although the remaining 2 hens (Winona Ryder and Cher) tolerate my presence and undoubtedly appreciate the treats and vittles I so amply provide, they are not friendly. I can talk to them, I can LOOK at them, but NO TOUCHING! As someone once-accustomed to daily parrot grooming sessions (Kiwi was particularly fond of my nose), this makes me so sad. It’s like going on a date every night and never getting any nookie. Not even holding hands. It’s not like I want to KISS them (maybe just once), but an occasional pet or cuddle would be nice. ANYTHING!
Daily I feel like a stalker bearing a torch for an unrequited love. Because of the persistence of the foxes, I have to watch the hens whenever they’re out of the coop free-ranging. So I lurk in the background, keeping an eye on them while they eat, bathe, and look chicken-tastic, while never being allowed to interact in any meaningful way. Sure, they’ll come over and hang with me while I’m outside reading or sewing or taking pictures. But it’s on THEIR terms.
Do you know how pathetic it is to see a grown woman following 2 chickens around making lovey dovey noises and cajoling, “PLEASE! Please just let me touch you! PLEASE! Just ONCE! You know you want it! I’ll be gentle! C’MON!” I sound like a complete pervert.
The one and only time Cher allowed me to hold her – and by “allowed” I mean I was so desperately sobbing I cornered her in the coop and pretty much tackled her – was the day Betty White (the former alpha-chicken) disappeared. It was 2 weeks ago. Of course I took a picture. And kissed her. It might have been my only chance.