A Tale of Two Chickens

This is Lizzy. She belongs behind bars:

You may recall that Lizzy has some issues. She’s a mean old thing who has attacked me in the past and who always throws herself at the chicken wire walls of the run every time I walk by — even when I come bearing gifts, like delightful (if you’re a chicken) beetle-ridden cantaloupe halves

Lizzy has also been pecked at a lot by someone, though we gave up on trying to police the pecking order months ago. She’s actually got some new feathers coming as part of her natural fall molt and is looking pretty good, though she still freaks out about nothing several times a day.

Today was much worse. I brought the chickens the aforementioned cantaloupe for an afternoon treat, and when I opened the door to the run to give it to them, Lizzy straight up attacked me. She jumped on my leg and chased me out of the run. 

Chickens don’t have teeth, but she has some little spurs on her feet and pecks with her beak. Having a chicken jump you will freak you out even when you know they can’t hurt you— there’s a lot of fuss. 

So after I jumped back and remembered I was wearing pants (so there was no way she could scratch or peck my legs), and Kirk ran over.

He finally believes me now when I say Lizzy hates me — she couldn’t be stopped until he ran at her with a bamboo pole. 

Meanwhile, Abigail also came running out of the chicken run, and it took us a few minutes to corral them both back in. Though I was tempted to leave Lizzy out and see if a hawk would come by, she found her way back inside.

Though I assumed at first that Abigail’s escape was merely a crime of opportunity, it turns out that she was actually rushing to my defense. She’s the heroine of our tale:

A bit later I went back to the chicken run to snap these photos, and once again Lizzy got her hackles up and dove at me, trying to peck me through the chicken wire. 

So Abigail jumped down from her perch on the straw bale, jumped right on Lizzy’s back, and grabbed a mouthful of feathers off the back of Lizzy’s neck!

Now when I walk by, Abigail does a slow pace toward Lizzy. She’s got her own neighborhood watch going, it seems. 

I almost feel bad about it, because Abigail jumped on Lizzy again later when I was trying to get another picture. But she did deserve it — that little brat totally tried to peck me again. 

At any rate, it would appear that somewhere along the line this summer Abigail ascended the throne as ruler of the roost, and she’s taking her duties pretty seriously. She also owes me one, and it appears she has not forgotten the debt. 


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