Charlie has been losing her baby feathers lately. I know this because like leaves in the fall, small feathered fluffs fly all over our house when we walk from one destination to another. I had thought capturing our errant household dust bunnies was tough, try sneaking up on those tiny wisps of nothingness that fly away as soon as they sense the air of your breath.
Along with losing her baby feathers, Charlie is also getting a fluffy bum – no surer sign of hendom exists.
Our little baby is growing up.
I had mentioned that we might start getting eggs from Charlie in the next 4-6 weeks (she was born in January) but a Black Copper Maran guru (Linda) had told me to hold on that excitement a bit. She said that with her first few Black Moran chicks, they didn’t start laying until around 8 months which would be sometime in August for us.
Linda (located in MA, LLBickford@aol.com) raises (and sells) purebred Black Copper Marans and has graciously offered us a hen when her current batch of chicks are old enough to sex. (She actually offered me a newborn but I can’t take the risk of getting a rooster – as gorgeous as they are.)
I know what she’s doing. Linda recently had a bird that spent time in her house but unlike me, she has worked on transitioning her bird to the outdoors. Birds belong with birds. On a deep level I know this.
A chicken does not belong in the house even though we adore her and she brings us joy every day.
But then I look at Charlie and I see the quirkiest little creature, one that hops and jumps, investigates (and eats) bugs, and that feels safe when she’s near me. You should see when I talk to her, she initially pays attention and then when I ask her to specifically do something, (Charlie, get in your nest) she looks at me like I’m crazy.
Kind of like my kids (yup, even the bug eating part.)
So, sigh, we’ll get another Black Copper Maran in a few weeks. We’ll introduce her to Charlie (should her name be Verucca?) and once the two are buddies- probably in late summer, (sorry Marc but that bonding will have to happen in the house) we’ll transition them to the flock.
But know this, my dear Charlie – mi roost es su roost, and our back door will be forever open.