Saturday, March 7, 2009

little sam

While I love raising and living with chickens, it wasn't until this winter that I allowed myself grow attached to one. It's not like I have any reservations about making friends with poultry, it's just that those beady little eyes never gave me much to work with. The sheep and dogs have a little more depth to their personalities, so I've been able to meet them as individuals. The birds however seem to live in my mind as a lump sum of eggs and feathers. The birds and the bees were always...the birds and the bees. That was until Sam came along.

Sam, this scrappy little Ameraucana has won me over. She's proven to me that a chicken can not only hang with her farmer, but become a sidekick. Sam's probably become my favorite because she runs to me for solidarity. As the lowest ranking bird in the coop, my presence means safety. No one can peck on her if she's in my arms, so my arms is where she likes to be. It is a splendid thing to hold a laying chicken you raised from a 72-hour old hatchling, that actually likes being held. You can't help but think, "Hey, I pulled this chicken thing off. She trusts me." A homesteader right of passage.

Her place at the bottom of the chicken social scene is proven by her back, which is nearly naked of feathers. Chickens peck at each other, and if you're the outcast of the clan, you get picked on a lot. So maybe it's her underdog status, and maybe I'm making to much out of a pathetic little bird. But I can't help it. She's such a sweetheart.

When I go into the coop for morning feeding or post-office egg collecing—Sam is right there at my feet. She looks right up at me, and jumps onto my hand or shoulder when I pet her head, and she stomps around the yoke of my shirt looking for the correct placement of her little dinosaur feet. When I carry out hay to the sheep she follows behind. When I come into the coop she flies right to me, literally. Tonight she launched perfectly from the roost to my left shoulder. I was so pleased with her I grabbed a fistful of layer mash and fed her right from my hand. What a gal.


Blogger Stacy said...

Jenna! So fantastic! You have a tiny dinosaur pet who loves you. Do you find it much work raising chickens?

PS I made the bread from your book today and everyone seemed to like it.

March 7, 2009 at 11:15 PM  
Blogger Jenna Woginrich said...

thank stacy, and enjoy the bread!

chickens are no work at all. it's a joke how little work they are really. i have 16 chickens and maybe spend ten minutes a day "working" with them.

March 8, 2009 at 8:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I love chickens. I find them plucky and precocious. And very self important.
Haven't managed to make one a pet though. Sam sounds pretty special.

March 8, 2009 at 10:19 AM  
Blogger Tracy Bruring said...

Oh now that is a chicken worth her feed. I can't cure her position in the hen house but I can cure the feather picking. If you haven't already tried Vicks Vapor Rub...please do so. They othr chickens will get a mouthful and perminantly leave her alone.

Very cool....those are the chooks that you want to live a long life with you even after the eggs stop.

March 8, 2009 at 10:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Jenna, How Saro is doing these days ? Did you check out the eggs ?

We all (well me for sure) love to get news of her ...

March 8, 2009 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Kelli said...

I thought for sure Mindy was your favorite.....LOL

March 8, 2009 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Moon said...

Chicken-love is one of the perks of raising chickens well. Cheers, girlie!

March 9, 2009 at 4:30 PM  

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