You remember the chicken post, right? Remember the photos? Little tee-tiny balls of fluff, some goldenrod yellow and others the black and yellow of a chocolate frosted cake. Peeping, huddling together for security and warmth. The very picture of oozing saccharine sweet Easter Sunday shucks-and-garsh cuteness.
Well, they grow up.
And as you can see, the hand-taming is going well. So well in fact that you cannot enter the back patio where they're being kept without fifteen pair of beady, crazed black eyes turning toward you and a certain frantic peeping and cackling arising from the cage. Filling their food and water containers is an adventure in getting moles, paint spots, hairs or jewelery pecked at voraciously, and if you dare sit down on one of the comfy chairs out there you'll find a whole flock of ladies
(and one wild-eyed young cockrel, now named Coq au Vin)
vying for your attention. Pretty heady stuff if you're a rooster, but not so much if you're looking at the ladies as a source of eggs, protein, and insect pest control.
It's been an interesting six weeks or so, I can tell you that. From day-old peepers that fit comfortably in a six inch square box to what at times looks like a motley and very confused murder of crows and at times sounds like a whole cage full of chickens violently fighting over one very oblivious moth who happened to find himself in the wrong place at the wrong time. Work on The Chicken Sedan (not a coupe anymore, you see,) formerly known as the "Chicken Cube," once known as "the coop" has proceeded apace with a watertight roof, three shutters over the windows and a little ramp with sure-foot grips so nobody slips. All that's left now is to finish painting the insides and to finish attaching a perch and to build a tray for under said perch to catch perch droppings and then there's that whole fence thing to be put up, with bird netting to keep the hawks out...ye gods.
It'll be done in one week. That's become my mantra. One week and they'll be free to roam around, scratch at the dirt, lay eggs and do all those other chickeney things. Cluck. Strut. Eat insect pests. And most importantly, they can stop staring at me with desperate longing in their little eyes to be held and petted.