Last week, the public school kids were on vacation, this week, both of the college kids are home for Spring break. It’s really too bad it worked out this way, the kids have always seen flock members returning as a cause for celebration and would have loved to have spent the entire time together. (Although to be honest, the college kids seem to be more interested in sleeping than in socializing, so I’m thinking they just might be very glad the stars aligned themselves in this manner.)
Although Spencer, who goes to school the next town over, had been home to visit since Christmas (Hey mom, do you know where my blue blazer is?) and had met Charlie – Griffin had only heard tales of a mythical chicken living in our TV room (mom did what? No way.)
He got to meet Charlie on Saturday after a “looooooooong” train ride from RIT to Massachusetts where he was picked up and then had to endure a “looooooong” car ride home. Although exhausted (those looooong train rides can really take it out of you, especially when you have nothing to do but watch all 3 movies of the Lord of the Rings) he managed to get some quality time in with Charlie.
Charlie has grown (as all good chickens do) and now lives in what was once a wire rabbit cage. We found that she had outgrown the tupperware tub and because of water and condensation accumulation needed something that provided a little more air circulation. Enter Vivian’s old starter cage. When I say that Charlie lives in the cage, though, I’m speaking relatively of course, the rule is that if someone is in the TV room, then Charlie has to be out of the cage, free to roam around, which essentially means that Charlie is only in the cage at night. We leave feed for her on the floor and clean up the messes (and there are quite a few, Charlie is definitely not house broken) as soon as they happen. When she’s not eating or drinking, Charlie is sitting on our shoulders, peeping in our ears trying to figure out who did the crime before the TV detectives do.
This is Charlie having her breakfast in a mini-frisbee saucer.
When we moved her to her new cage we installed a sturdy roosting bar (a nice thick tree branch) so that she had somewhere to roost at night, and could exercise those beautiful toes of hers.
Black Copper Marans have hairy – hobbit-like toes (having just come off of his LOTR marathon, Griffin especially likes that trait.) They have black feathers on the outside toe going up their leg. Charlie’s foot surgery has not interfered with her toe feathering as you can plainly see. I’m sure that hobbits everywhere are rejoicing at their kindred spirit in toes.
When one falls asleep at college, the most one has to be worried about is someone drawing a mustache on you in permanent ink or dipping your hand in warm water. Not so the case at our house.
If you fall asleep at our house on the couch while watching TV (after a loooong train ride) be prepared for a little chicken to peck at your exposed toes throughout the night. Whether Charlie was simply exploring strange, naked, unfeathered toes or she was letting Griffin know by her constant pecking that she had seniority over him (the proverbial David and Goliath), we’ll never know.
What Griffin did discover is the time honored chicken-owning lesson that if you want to sleep undisturbed when there is a chicken living in the room, you’d best keep your feet underneath the blankets at all times.