Two Brooders

After Christmas it’s easy to feel tired. Not only do we have all the preparation – the packages, the meals, the travel, the extra this and that not normally in the routine – but we also have the interactions, the conversations and the ideas that floated around and made us think about new things or old things in a new way or things we just haven’t thought about for a while.

And then today it rained besides. It rained so much I had a rivulet of water flowing downhill by way of my little stream bed, exactly where it’s supposed to flow. Don’t you love it when things work the way you set them up to work?

stream bed.jpg

But I don’t think we can blame Christmas for the two depressed and brooding chickens in my coop right now. They didn’t have to make, get or wrap packages, or prepare meals for guests. They don’t have to rewind the conversations of the family and friend get-togethers in their heads at night, wondering if they listened well enough or if they could have said something a little more clearly (or why Aunt Mildred always has to tell the same old stories!).

And we can’t blame the rain either because it just started last night and these birds have been holing up for a few weeks now, a thing chickens do sometimes apparently. This one we call Blue on account of her blue ears.

brooder Blue.jpg

See her in there? Almost any time you look, you will find her in that exact spot. We toss her into the run several times daily so she will go get water and food, but she spends most of her time huddled down on this side of the (rightly named) brooding box. Maybe she’s still scared of Goldyneck, reliving the nightmare of having her tail feathers yanked. I expect she was so traumatized that she has not noticed the blessed truth – Goldyneck has been (perhaps permanently) banished. That’s right. I watched her relentless bullying one too many times. Here she is on the other side of the fence with the Big Girls, clueless as ever. Somehow she’s surviving being Low Girl on the Totem Pole.


The other Brooder is Whitey. I disturbed her to check for eggs underneath (and found a small white one, still warm!) so she is not as tucked in as Blue. Nonetheless she spends as much time on her side of the brooding box as she can.

brooder Whitey.jpg

The UPside of being a Brooder – today – is that Blue and Whitey are the only two chickens that are dry. The incessant rain does not change the looks of the Brahma Girls. You would not know it’s raining to look at this one

Miss Brahma1 (2).jpg

or her sister.

Miss Brahma2 (2).jpg

Nor are the Reds much affected by the wet weather. Don’t you want woobly red things hanging down from your chin like that!?

Miss Red (2).jpg

But the silkies, the poor silkies. The rain is not their friend. Fluff turns to spikes in no time. Here’s One-Eye (and that’s the one eye) in glorious spikes. If you look carefully you can see her blue ear.

wet One-Eye (2).jpg

Wait, she has blue ears too?  All the silkies do. Here, when she leans over you can see it better.

wet One-Eye2_LI (2).jpg

Why we call one of the silkies Blue when all of the silkies have blue ears I cannot explain.

Spot is the most spikey if you ask me. Those are some serious spikes.

wet Spot2 (2).jpg

But they don’t seem to notice. They walk around in the pouring rain as if they don’t look even more ridiculous than usual. And a night inside with that marvelous heat lamp going… (is this the life or what??)

heat lamp.jpg

…and they will all be fluffy and dry again by morning. Ah, to be a chicken on Golden Hill!! Now why can’t the Brooders see it that way?

3 thoughts on “Two Brooders

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