After not quite a week with us, Matilda and Lorena have gotten the idea that the monkeyslaves bring food. When we visit their pen they no longer automatically hide behind their house, but instead approach us with hopeful and beseeching “bweeeeee? bweeeeeeeek?” noises. Today they ALMOST ate a brussels sprout from my hand. They wanted it but the monkeypaw was too much and so there was much chickeny muttering about the injustice of it all. Of course then when I put it down for them, they kicked leaves over it. Chickens.
The delivery of their crumbles was also the occasion for hopeful bweeking, and then for satisfied quiet mutterings. They like scratching for the crumbles, but when they run out of scratchable food they will go for the ones in the feeder. Theoretically the crumbles are a Complete Chicken Diet full of everything a hen needs to lay eggs, but screw that says I. So far they have enjoyed apples, cauliflower, parsnips, carrots, potatoes, and brussels sprouts, all in appropriate amounts. Matilda particularly liked the parsnips, whereas Lorena is a potato fiend.
Whereas Lorena was initially braver, Matilda is really coming out of her shell (HA! …get it?) and is now the more hopeful when she thinks the monkeys might have food. It’s really soothing to sit and watch them; this weekend I will try to get some video for you of chickens being chickens and doing chickeny things and making chickeny noises! Also this weekend we will be adding a Welsummer hen and possibly an Ameraucana as well. Welsummers are reliable layers of very dark brown eggs; Ameraucanas can lay greeny-blue ones. Matilda lays the skinny pale brown eggs we get now, Lorena has been verified as the producer of the rounder pale brown eggs.
Each egg is a minor miracle. We give Lorena and Matilda food and water and leaves to scratch through and perches to sit on and a warm cozy house, and in return they produce eggs, perfect and smooth. Also since we have five of them as of today, we are down to a mere $160 per egg. Woo!