All Quiet on The Homefront
It’s been awhile.
The hens enjoy each other’s company as long as they remember their place. Of course, poor Floppy remains at the bottom rung; attacked and chased off at whim. Even Buttless, her fellow Leghorn, and Bantam Babe, both of whom used to just pretend they didn’t know her, now actively treat her with disdain.
But, while the others hens begin to molt, losing feathers and looking downright shabby, Floppy’s new coat of white feathers stand out. She’s the finest fowl in the yard which is perhaps another reason a few jealous (?) hens have been seen snipping feathers out the back of her neck. Her beauty is yet another curse.
The weather is warmer, so the ladies lay more eggs.
The feral cats no longer bother chasing them, nor walk through the backyard.
When the hens are allowed to graze, they come back to their enclosure when called. And except when the door is accidently left open, they do not jump or dig their way out.
All is well.
Of course, they’re still vicious. Not only is Floppy everyone’s kicking stone, they must realize that with a small twist of fate, anyone of them is in danger of being turned on by their sisters. Muhammad found one of the reds laid out and struggling to remove a long piece of twine that had become tangled around her feet and legs. She was hungry, thirsty, covered in dust and so fatigued she just lay there wings askew–every once in awhile straining to raise her head and pull at the string with her beak. When Muhammad freed her, she barely had enough energy to limp to the food and water to gulp down all she could. She was probably tied up most of the day.
Did any of those hens try to help her? Did they make the usual noise to alert us? No. Instead, they sat around her in a semi-circle, waiting, waiting, waiting… for supper, perhaps. In addition, Muhammad swears he has witnessed the hens snatch a bee or two out of hole in the wall of our home, no longer deterred by the possibility of an attack.
Big Red is subdued. She has not interacted with me since our last tete-a-tete; not even a squawk when i call her by name. In fact, I can no longer readily identify her from the other Reds. Me thinks she lost her ‘queen diva’ spot after the other hens witnessed what has come to be known as, “The Battle of the B’s” (not what you think).
She may have also simply decided I’m no longer worthy of her attention.
Anyway, per Jamila’s request, we (muhammad the cameraman, and I) taped part 1 of a 2-part mini movie on raising hens. This episode is the every-other-day morning snack, watering and view of the coop. Unfortunately, our video camera has a substandard mic so its hard to hear what’s being said at times. Then, somehow TWO THIRDS of the footage was not recorded before it broke down altogether. We bought it from Big Lots– enough said…
Alhamdulillah, we were able to salvage 4 minutes
Let us know what you think. Leave a comment on youtube and below.
Part 2 is coming up…one day, soon. Insha’Allah.