Tag Archives: Cukoo Maran

Communication in Pecking

When I go see the girls which is many times in one day. They all have a different way of behaving. Some are the “in your face” sort of happy (and demanding) to see me. Others can be a bit more “meh, you again”… Usually most of them are within touching range, and are quite inquisitive. If I sit down, I’ll have a lap full of chickens in a moment. They love to sit and talk to me, or groom me… I’ve had little bits of stuff pecked off so gently, I hardly feel it. Then there’s those obnoxious pecks…

Cleopatra - Cuckoo Maran

Cleopatra – Cuckoo Maran

One of the things I am just getting to understand is pecking. Not all pecking is bad. Imagine that! I figured pecking of any sort should be stopped immediately, but the more I am around them, I realized that they talk with not just the noise factor and body language, but with the pecking they do.

Cleo, will peck me just because she wants me to pick her up, or wants attention in general. She’s an odd bird who’s quite happy to have attention period. Even negative attention. She doesn’t seem to care, either way. Pecking is equivalent to a human tapping on your shoulder to get your attention.  It doesn’t hurt; normally.

There’s as many peck types as there are chickens. I can’t take photos of pecking very easily, so bear with my personal descriptions.

Types of pecks:(I get)

OMG! Is that Food??? (peck)

let me get that schmutz off!…(peck) 

Hey! Look at me! (peck)

Pay attention to me! (peck)

Do Not Pick Me Up! (peck!)

It’s MY LAP TIME! (peck other bird) 

I’m going to eat your hand off!! (pecking hard)

I’m Broody Leave Me Alone!!!! (PECK – CACKLE – PECK)

Hey! Are those long hairs edible??? (testing peck- Nope! Dayam)…

Um, Sasquatch Hair-legs? I can help you with that…. (PECK) Me: OUCH!

Scratch my Waddle… (peck)

I need a Hug… (peck)

MY CHIN ITCHES (PECK – RUB)

Ooooooooooooh Buttons! (PECK)

Ooooh Ring Shiny and Edible! (PECK PECK)

A BUG!!! (peck)

~~~~~~~I think you can see that this list goes on and on. ~~~~

However, with all that typed out above, few of those pecks are out right mean. Most of the pecking I initiated myself when I encroach into their safe zone or was just not behaving according to Chicken Decorum. They do have rules in the chicken yard and those are things I have learned or get pecked.

The pecks are seldom mean pecks. They are just small reminders. I’ve never been out right attacked by any of the chickens. They know better. I am the Dominant Hen, and master of their world. I do have a couple of hens who test me…  Georgia who’s always ready to step into my dominant hen shoes if I submit. She’s gotten backhanded a few times. (Below)  Another Australorp.

georgia

Then there Maggie, who reminds me daily that she’ll eat anything on my body which she deems edible… There is NO teaching Maggie. She’s an insistent and incorrigible Australorp; named after my Grandmother, who acts nothing like Maggie. I promise! 🙂

Maggie

Maggie

The Chicken Mom~♥

Time Out

Have you ever just needed “Time Out”, so you can collect your thoughts and have a moment’s peace and quiet? Yea, me too…

Time Out!

Time Out!

When my children were small, I’d run to the bathroom, and hide for a moment. Of course they know where I’m at, because they are banging on the door with hi-pitched yells of MOM!! MOMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!! MOMMY!! Oh God, I do not miss those days. My Mother said, “It’s payback time for all the ‘cut-short’ visits I had to make to the necessary room”. She’s likely right though. I did bang on the bathroom door yelling for her. I even remember, and that’s something for a tiny tot to still remember doing that. I must have been a ferocious little turd to raise.

Oh yes, Chickens! I’ve not forgotten, really. I’m getting there. So here it is.

Time Out, now means that I get to walk outside and go sit with the girls. Usually, I sit with the 15 new hens, who are now mature enough to lay eggs. They are still young enough to be curious about what I’m doing and they still like to be with people. I’m glad. My older ladies who are separated from the younger ladies aren’t really “into” body contact and they have mood swings. (laughing). They are old and grumpy. They aren’t much fun to sit with really. I talk to them and they look at me and I know they are just really saying, “Piss off”. Sigh…  Here’s a picture of the older ladies (Grumbles a Lot, Stupid Chicken, Sweetie, Boss Lady, Blackie, Top-hat, Mohawk, Soggy-bottom-girl, Crissy, Meanass, Pecky).

The Older Ladies

The Older Ladies

Now, my younger minions looooooooooove me. They come worship at my feet. I mean really… (OK, I’m having a bit of fun at your expense, but bear with me).

They usually follow me around wondering what I’m doing. I have to shoo them out-of-the-way; sometimes shoving them with the toe of my shoe. Falling face first down into a fresh pile of poop would be no fun. They do not understand this! (Yes, that’s the top of my head)

IMG_0007

I call the ladies, “My Minions” or, “My adoring fans”. They know I love them dearly. Most of them want face kisses. Some just prefer to be left alone, and I respect that (mostly). Sometimes, I still grab them up and kiss the devil out of them and put them down. Sort of like you’d do with a rebellious kid. I only have a couple like that from the New Flock.

However, I never have to force Victoria into a lap-time hug. She just falls asleep.  She’s an Ameraucana. Such a lovely little lady who lays the prettiest blue-green eggs.

Lap-Time Nap with Victoria

Lap-Time Nap with Victoria

As the girls grew up and became full-grown hens, I was afraid they would become cold and distant. So far, they have not. Actually, they seem to look forward to my visits and look up at me with such intensity that I wonder what they are trying to convey to me? Food? Likely… Chickens are quite food motivated. One of the ladies whose name is “Cleo”, short for Cleopatra, feels it her given right in the flock to groom me. Any freckle, any  bit of trash on my leg or do-dad that she deems edible she’s going to snag up. If it’s a mosquito, watch out! She’s going to snag that little bugger! I hardly know what she’s up to until I watch her. She can silent and painlessly pick off anything on my body. Amazing. Well, all except the freckles. She’s not been successful at that yet. Usually that ends poorly, and she’s learning that freckles are not meant for eating or picking off.  Photo below of Cleo!  Determined little face, huh?

Cuckoo Maran

Cuckoo Maran

Well, in closing here… It’s just my consensus that, to have a flock of chickens is therapy for Time Out. Usually about 3 in the afternoon the girls and I visit and we catch up on the day. Some just flop down on my foot and go to sleep. Others like to sit there and let me groom them. They love the little feathers in tender areas (rump) picked over. I don’t get very involved there, but I notice other hens do that to each other, so occasionally, I’ll reach around and tug on some of the fluffy feathers like I’m grabbing a bug. (Laughing again here) – They turn and see what I’m grabbing to eat. (Yea Right! Ha, ha! Not..) It is cute though.

♥Chicken Mom♥