Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Meet Dumplin'!

This is Dumplin, a little Bantam hen and our neighborhood chicken. Never heard of one of those before? Neither had I, until a couple of years ago. A chicken showed up one day, and my neighbor Chrissy adopted her and named her Henny. She had a little hen house in Chrissy's yard, and pretty much free rein of the surrounding yards. She was quite entertaining, if not particularly friendly.

Then, when Chrissy moved, Henny disappeared. There were no "remains," and I think someone had her trapped and taken to a nearby farm (maybe the one she came from in the first place).

Well, Mr. Dave (of the infamous pine tree incident posted previously) decided that he liked having a chicken hanging around. He has a friend who raises chickens, and brought home two - Dumplin, and Biscuit. Biscuit has since relocated herself a few streets over - we don't know why. Maybe she got chased there?

Anyhoo, Dumplin is still here. She's a strange little bird. She doesn't like it when you try to catch her, but if you give up and turn away she shrieks. Sometimes she sounds like a duck. Since Mr. Dave works all day and we are usually home, she likes to hang out with us. We like to feed her birdseed - she eats out of our hands. We leave the garage door at least cracked, if not open, during the day so she can come in - she spends a lot of time there when it's raining or particularly windy. She likes to roost on top of our cars (which are outside), even though I am sure there are warmer places for her. She seems so cold in the mornings now - it's been getting down into the 30's at night. This morning I found her standing on one leg, trying to keep her other foot warm, I guess. I thought about knitting her a little chicken sweater, but I can't figure out how to go about it. At the suggestion of some of the very knowledgable ladies from the Well Trained Mind boards, I think we're going to try to build her some kind of nest box this weekend, so at least she has a place to snuggle in if she wants.

If you have any suggestions for our little chicken - even if it's just to tell me to leave her alone because she's perfectly able to take care of herself - I would love to hear!

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