The legendary Angie (a.k.a. “Miss Prissy” on the Backyard Chicken Forum) has asked me to blog about our chickens…I feel a little aprehensive about this because we have had our girls for only four months and I know way more about sewing than I do about chickens.  Miz P, on the other hand, lives on a working farm with about 100 chickens (and much more livestock) and she is about as self-sufficient as a family can possibly be.  This is a woman who could have crossed the Great Plains in a Conestoga wagon with a gaggle of children, a husband, extended family and livestock in tow with one hand tied behind her back.

So I’ll do the best I can with an update on our three girls.  My daughter Emma wishes they were still wee chicks, but they have grown up into lovely ladies nonetheless. 

Waddle is a Buff Orpington; she’s at the top of the pecking order.  She’s the chicken with the MBA; John calls her the “thought leader” – she is always the first to check out something new and she has always been the calmest, friendliest and the most tame.  She is very curious, self confident and always the first out of the coop in the morning.

K.J. is the Australorp, she’s #2 and is constantly challenging Waddle’s position as Top Hen.  K.J. is also the largest and heaviest; she is the first one to sound the alarm when they free range; her wariness reminds of the wild turkeys that come through our yard.  She seems to be the one who is maturing first, so we shall see if she lays first. 

Hippie Chick is an Easter Egger.  She has always been a loner who doesn’t like to be touched, but she does like company.  The only time she’ll make an exception is when I visit them right as they are falling asleep.  Then she will let me stroke her chest while she roosts.  She has muffs, a beard and lush hawk-like feathering on her head and neck and greenish-black tail feathers.

Waddle, K.J. and Hippie Chick

Waddle, K.J. and Hippie Chick

One thing I love about chickens is their social hierarchy, which is complex and fascinating to observe.  So far we’ve had no real problems; they get along pretty well save for the occasional mano-a-mano “You talkin’ to ME?” showdowns when they free range.  The everyday bird comedy is endlessly hilarious.  They will be four months old November 16 – and the egg countdown has begun.