Big Red to Sydney! Pay attention, please!

Mar 1, 2020 | 0 comments

Big Red Looking for Me

I never was very good at foreign languages.  Two years of Spanish netted me a few basic conversation skills.  Full immersion in French netted me some great times in Paris but that was a credit to my hosts, not to me.  As for the language of Chicken — I’m pretty much hopeless.

Big Red would no doubt agree.  He has been trying to have a serious talk with me for the past week, but I couldn’t even figure out the subject of his concern.  First he came to the East Door and just stood there, patiently looking inside and waiting for me to show up at that end of the house.  Then he took to nudging at me when I was passing out treats in the morning — nudging, but not paying any attention to the goodies I was distributing.  Not at all like Big Red.

Secret Stash

Yesterday, he actually pecked at my thigh which, I hasten to say, is right at his beak level.  (We don’t call him BIG Red for nothing!)  It wasn’t a hard peck — didn’t actually go through my levis, but I spoke roundly to him and he backed off. Just a little.  I still couldn’t get what his message was.

Meanwhile… there have been no eggs in the nest boxes for almost a week.  Day before yesterday I cleaned the boxes out thoroughly (chickens do not understand the concept of not fouling your own nest) and lined them with fresh wood shavings.  But, even though they were all fluffy and inviting… no eggs were forthcoming.

Sneaky? Or lazy?

This morning, I finally had an aha! moment and looked into the coop from the back door.  There, in an unreachable corner below nest box level, was a lovely, big nest with six (count ’em! SIX!) eggs in it.  Big Red stood beside me as I used Nyel’s grabber to retrieve them one by one.  He was chortling and growling and saying quite clearly, “I told you so!  I told you so!  I told you so!”

I ‘disappeared’ the hen-made nest and told Big Red to shape up his girls.  It’s still way too cold out to raise chicks.  Fatherhood and motherhood will have to wait awhile.  And I promised more diligence on my part!  Besides, we’ve been missing our daily ration of eggs!


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