She’s Got… Personality!

Each day this past week, I’ve spent a little time feeding and tending our new pets. I named three of the four birds this week, as their personalities became obvious. (Yes, chickens do have personalities!) The 4th remains nameless, but my Facebook friends and my husband are providing suggestions. Feel free to offer up ideas. I should tell you that Ruby and Henrietta are out – my sister already has those names in use. Meet the girls:

Sweet Pea

Sweet Pea

The Barred Rock is Sweet Pea because she is one. She also seems to live at the bottom of the pecking order, so I worry about her. Sweet Pea is inquisitive when it comes to me, but shy with the bigger birds. She darts in to steal a grape or blueberry, then runs to the far corner of the pen to eat. If she doesn’t, another bird will take it from her. She spends more time in the coop than the bigger birds. She likes to eat dried meal worms out of my hand, though. She likes her yogurt but usually gets it last, after it’s been walked through by the others. Sweet Pea is good-natured (maybe too much so) and always runs up to the fence when I go outside and start talking to the girls.

Poe

Poe

The black Sumatra is Poe. Doesn’t she look like a raven? Poe is pretty aggressive, chasing the other birds a lot, grabbing food from them. Bossy. So far, Poe rules the roost. She is feisty and I have a feeling she will give our cat Rory Gallagher a run for his money. A few displays of puffing up and spreading wings and flapping at him will put him in his place! She will be the one that intimidates him. The sooner, the better.

Snapdragon

Snapdragon

The brown Sumatra with dark-edged feathers is Snapdragon. She follows Poe’s lead, puffs up her neck feathers and threatens the two smaller birds with sharp pecks. She looks like a dragon when she does it. She is a food thief, and just… bitchy. She came very close to being called Diva or Prima Donna. I thought about Imelda as well, but she doesn’t have shoes so that didn’t work for me. There is nothing wrong with her ego, she is quite pleased with her looks. I originally called her Fancy. Snapdragon became the right name as the week went on. Snapdragon it is.

No Name

No Name

And last, but not least, poor little No Name. She has the most personality of all, actually. I ruled out Ruby, Scarlet, Ginger, and Rusty because they just don’t fit even though her color is red. She is the smoother of feathers, the peace maker. She stands up to the Sumatras, so they don’t mess with her much. She is protective of Sweet Pea, which is cute. She will place herself between the Sumatras and Sweet Pea, so that Sweet Pea can eat in peace. She stays close to Sweet Pea all the time and they squeeze into one nest box together when they nap. She has nice long legs and a good disposition. I like her a lot.

The girls had their first outing yesterday. I have kept them in the pen for a week to make sure they knew it was home, but the Sumatras need room to roam. First I made sure the cats were indoors. I opened the cage door. Shy Sweet Pea was the first one out, and she LIKED it! Then came Snapdragon, No Name and Poe.
IMG_7793Poe was quite nervous outside the pen even though she is the bossy, aggressive one inside it. Once out of their protected environment, the birds moved as a group of four for the most part. Suddenly they were equals, although Poe pushed Sweat Pea out of the little flock a few times. They ate and scratched and explored and ran and flapped their wings. They found bugs and flowers and new grasses to eat. I took a lot of pictures, and in half of them, at least one bird was a blur! They kept moving, all four rarely still at once. At one point a red-tailed hawk flew overhead and shrieked – all four chickens dove into the thicket behind the split rail fence in about one second. They instantly disappeared. Good to see they have strong instincts when it comes to predators! One by one, they poked their little heads out and emerged upon seeing the coast was clear.

IMG_7756

At dusk, they lined up and walked back into the pen and right up the ramp into the coop as though we had been through this routine a hundred times. They had some practice at my sister’s house, but I still didn’t expect it to be easy to get them rounded up. I had so much fun with them that I plan to do it again tonight.

I have to limit their outings to dusk for now, since the cats are out most days and there are free roaming dogs, coyotes, hawks, and such at our rural mountain home. And I work 2nd shift, so am not home to put them to bed and safely close the coop. When the birds put on a little more weight and learn the hiding place and trees, we’ll try a full day. Until then, it will be a weekend event. I’ll take John out with me this evening. Maybe their antics will inspire a name for that last bird!

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4 Comments on “She’s Got… Personality!”

  1. Coloured-Windows by katleenj Says:

    I would suggest to call her Sophie, means wisdom, is what she spreads as far as I understand your really nice story!

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  2. laura boosinger Says:

    long legs you say? How about Marilyn.

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  3. mypinkchair Says:

    Zena? Warrior princess and protectress.

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  4. Jennifer Richardson Says:

    you’ll just know, farmer Mary:)
    i love your way with your critters,
    Jennifer

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    Reply

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