Monday, June 30, 2008

Someone is Asking for a Good Old Fashioned Tail Whooping

Lucy, my little White Faced Black Spanish, is really turning into a bit of a bully. She is constantly pecking the snot out of me, dive bombing the other chickens, and lately she's been challenging Duke - a rooster who is easily twice her size. Duke stands up to her, but he doesn't seem to take her too seriously. I've told Lucy that Duke is going to kick her scrawny tail feathers across the chicken yard, but she pays no attention to me whatsoever.

Since Duke found his voice and started crowing, he has really been acting like the alpha rooster. It is really fascinating watching the pecking order take shape in our chicken yard. Interestingly enough, not only do the roosters have a pecking order, but there is a pecking order among the hens as well. As the chickens attempt to work out these social structures, you can imagine the chest bumping, puffing, and challenges that are now routinely occurring.

Bobby Lee is not quite developed enough to make much of an impression as a rooster so, at least for now, the title of alpha rooster belongs to Duke. Lucy is trying her hardest to make a bid for the alpha hen, and by the looks of it, she has a good chance. I haven't really seen any other hen challenge Duke. I suspect if Lucy weren't so darn cute, Duke would have already had her for breakfast.

Here's a short video of Lucy challenging Duke. It's interesting to me that Bobby Lee runs up to watch the whole thing from the side lines. Duke is the big one that takes off after a Silver Leghorn - and then gets challenged by Lucy, the mostly black one. Duke almost trips over those huge feet of his, but recovers in time to stare Lucy down:

I've been following Duke around with a video since Saturday morning when he first crowed. He is camera shy and will not make a peep when I have the camcorder rolling. He crowed this morning as I opened up the coop, but when I grabbed the camcorder he got completely silent. I'm determined to capture it, but it looks like it may take a little bit. While I still believe his first few crows were beautiful Saturday morning, I have to tell you that he seems to have forgotten what he did. He now sounds like he is getting over a bad case of laryngitis. His beautiful "cock-a-doodle" now sounds like "erk-er-ererererk". In his defense, it is still quite loud.

MissPrissy, from Backyard Chickens, posted a recipe for making home made yogurt. I made some yesterday, and I have to tell you this is the BEST yogurt I have ever eaten. I mixed in some of my Raspberry Jam Syrup, and it was wonderful. The recipe is simple and the ingredients are easy to find. If you're interested, check it out. This recipe makes plain, non-flavored yogurt. If you like flavored yogurt, just add a little jam, granola, honey, or whatever you desire.

Bernie is finished with all the fence posts for the front and back yard. Tomorrow he will start stringing the fencing wire. Those rolls of wire are really heavy and difficult to manage. He and Tex made a really cool "spool" for the wire today that should help Bernie a good bit. I'll take pictures of it and post them later this week.

I have a list a mile long of things I need to do this week. I might actually accomplish some of them if I weren't busy following Duke around with a camcorder. I sat with him for over an hour this afternoon before supper, and all he did was sleep on my lap. He is such a little sweetheart - I just wish he's crow for my camcorder dad gummit! I'm sure he sits up all night crowing. And laughing at me.

Bee Free,

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