A million or so years ago, Stephanie made the mistake of feigning interest in what we named our chickens and I tucked that idea away for when I had nothing else to blog about.  Well, it’s still, against all reasonable odds, March and there is more snow in the forecast for tomorrow and it’s not so much that I don’t have anything else to blog about as I can’t possibly be bothered at this point to take the thoughts that are in my head and form coherent paragraphs because I am using all my reserve energy to control my rage about the whole March/snow thing.

Did you get all that?

Right, so anyway: chickens.

We currently have eight chickens, all hens.  I refer to them generally as The Ladies.

Hello, ladies.

Let’s start in the back left there, shall we?

That one in the furthest back with the slightly droopy comb is our sole remaining chicken from our first batch last spring.  At the time, we got six chickens.  Four of them turned out to be roosters.  The other hen was…errr…well, she was the victim of some drive-by predation.  So all that is left is Momma’s Chicken.  Yes, that’s her name.  I picked her out of the batch of chicks early on as my favorite because, get this, she had the fluffiest tail.  That was my sole criteria.  Fluffy tail.  And she’s turned out to be the gentlest chicken and most dependable layer that we have.

So now you know. Fluffy tails.

Anyway, Annabel kept calling her Momma’s Chicken and it stuck.

The one on the left is Hazel.  She’s the biggest chicken that we have and, now that the roosters are gone, the loudest.  Every morning when I try to load the kids into the car she struts around yelling out random squawks.  For months I would run up there, thinking something was wrong, only to find Hazel staring at me through the fence.  Now I just say, “Shut up, Hazel.”

Shut up, Hazel.

Ignore that other one right now.  We’ll get to her.

Okay, the reddish one in the back is Goldilocks.  And if you are getting all snooty about how that is not a very clever name then you should know that she was named by my niece, who was four at the time, and I think it is a very clever name for a four-year old indeed.  So there.  Plus, it gets much worse than Goldilocks in the name department.  If your standards are that high, you definitely want to wander off somewhere smarter and come back another day.

The black one in the middle is Pepper.  She, for some reason that I certainly can’t understand, is Michael’s favorite.  She came from the second batch of chicks, a group of 25.  Whenever we would put our hand in the box to feed them, or water them, or check them over, the chicks would all scatter to the far end of the box.  Except Pepper, who would strut up and peck us right on the hand.  Michael found her “spunk” to be “charming.”  Michael also has a scandalous obsession with Dr. Pepper so, there you go.  Pepper.  She’s still the most likely to attack for no apparent reason.  “Spunky,” my butt.

And that other dark one on the right is Cleopatra, so named because she’s got a certain primitive, Egyptian look to her.  Kind of.  She used to.  I don’t know, it made sense back when we were trying to name chickens.

We’re almost done.  Hang in there.

The dark one on the left is Elvira.  She’s the same breed as Cleo, a Dark Cornish.  We just needed a similar-feeling name to Cleo and she was sleek and mostly black and it just kind of worked.  Truth be told, we can’t really tell the two of them apart all that well so, you know, you can pretend this is Cleo if you’d like.  It very well could be.

And, finally, the two golden ones in front.  These two girls were given away by someone who sells free-range eggs for a living.  The girls had reached the point in their lives where they weren’t laying as consistently, so they were retired.  We immediately started calling them the Golden Girls.  The one on the left is rather timid and gets picked on, so she’s Rose.  The one on the right is Dorothy.

And that’s that.

Did you make it all the way to the end?  Super.  Your reward is a chance to marvel at one of the more amazing eggs laid by Momma’s Chicken, who turns out double yolks with some regularity.  But still. This. THIS.

Poor thing.

Fluffy tail.  Indeed.

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