The Brood Hath Broken

Well, yay. Broody Goldie is back to normal. It seemed she stayed out longer and longer for cherished backyard free-ranging time the past few days. And her annoyed, frustrated boks of discontent seemed slowly to return to the sweet, melodic chirps of times past.

Today I took out my trusty calendar and counted the days since the brooding started, and wa-la: it is time. Now we need the Goldster to gain a couple of pounds back and start poppin’ out some of those delicious golden nuggets. And perhaps Marge will stop running her down and beating on her now that she’s come back to us. I swear, Marguerite has no tolerance for the weak, weary, or maternal. In the world of wild chicken-dom, I believe the rule of natural selection would be invoked by Large Marge, and Goldie would’ve been tossed out on the plains on day two of brooding. Sad but probably true. As Sting, the great master of lyrics says, “Nature’s red in tooth and claw.”

On a separate note, the girls had their share of wild game today. A slow-moving cockroach (is there such a thing?) found its way onto my leg after I resurrected my pottery apron from the land of too-long-unused, and in a disjointed dance of sheer, wild panic, I tossed it to the ground–only for it to be immediately snatched up by the sharp beak of an extraordinarily fast Mabel. An hour later, I rescued a tiny Cuban tree frog from my watering can (it climbed onto my waiting hand in a polite sort of manner: “Why, thank you; I don’t mind if I do.”) and I set it in the shade of my pool box–only to have a sharp-eyed Mabel immediately pluck it from the ground and shake it senselessly–while giving chase to two other hens–before dismembering it and…down the hatch. Eww. At least she shared with the other girls. (Note to self: place all future rescue-ees in trees; up high.) Until I owned chickens, I never knew how vicious they could be. Yes, Cuban tree frogs are non-native and bad for our local frog population. But nobody deserves to go out like that.

Time for the girls to roost. And I shant be long to my own roost…

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Mabel and Goldie enjoy the early-evening breeze.

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