chook chook

all the ladies in the yard--six at work. From far left in a circle:
SusieTCD, C3b, C3, pisspot, splotchy (duh) and Shelly
I was watching the chooks yesterday because I had work to do and nothing is more satisfying than watching chickens when you feel guilty about shirking work. Those ladies are the busiest creatures on the planet. So much scratching to do. More pecking on the agenda. They only rest for dust baths and even those are important for maintenance.

Anyway. chooks.

The pecking order seems far more complicated than I'd first noticed and it shifts all the time. Splotchy will peck anyone who comes near her. All flee as she struts past. But she doesn't get first dibs at food. So apparently aggression isn't the only hallmark of Big Bird on the Block.

And Shitheel (or Pisspot for the more refined among us) gets pecked by everyone, but she can still chase her big big big sister (big) around. Speaking of big sister, Susie the ChickenDog, she is always at the bottom of the order. That's a constant. She is the biggest one out there and the biggest coward in the yard. She makes our previous near-outcast coward, Shelly, look brave and daring. And I guess that's gone to Shelly's head, because now she's pecking at birds she used to run from.

The Red Stars are in charge. They eat first, they go where they want. But C3B doesn't peck anyone, even though she's the only new girl allowed around the old ones. Even C3 the Original, who is kind of bossy, is much less pecky than Splotchy. But when she wants food, she gets it. No one argues with her.

It's a complicated shifting world. And it's always busy, busy, busy in ChickenLand, which is comforting to observe when you have a longer-than-usual list of things to do.


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