Loyalty Runs Deep, Even with Grapes in the Picture

Loyalty Runs Deep, Even with Grapes in the Picture

It’s mid-January and there’s a noise at the deck doors. It’s Connie, our Grey Guinea hen who’s part of our original flock. She’s calling to me through the glass doors – beckoning me to come out and give her grapes on the deck. She’s 3.5 years old now and in the past few weeks, I’ve noticed some changes. When I throw grapes to the flock she can no longer get them – too slow and the hens get them first.

The changes appeared suddenly.  Her age is showing. So she waddles across the snowfield around the house and comes to the sliding glass doors to the deck and calls me.  I throw grapes onto the deck for her. She’s alone and eats them all. This goes on for 3 days, then on the 4th day I turn around and she is there with 3 other hens. I look and there are our 2 Gold Laced Wyandottes and a black hen, who I recognize as Big Bertha, our Black Jersey Giant. They are all original flock mates. And I realize that she has brought them with her to reap the harvest – her three best friends. She has let them in on one of her best kept secrets.

It’s so funny to observe and to realize who is really BFFs with who. For example, our three original Polish hens, Audrey Fandango, Suzie Q. and Dina Ross. They hang together and they were the ones who always partied as young chicks. Party around the food dish, party around the water dish and never let your rooster push you into going to bed early if you don’t want to. Their theme song was Girls Just Wanna Have Fun.

Buttercup is their rooster. He’s a cross beaked little Bantam with a lot of courage. But Polish girls are bossy and sometimes when Buttercup pecks Suzie in the head she pecks him back 3 times for good measure.

The 3 Polish girls do everything together. But when Dina Ross was sick and in the ‘hospital’ for a few weeks and I placed her back into the coop, she pecked Audrey in the head a few times to let her know that “The B– is back.” So, even besties have their squabbles.