Dramatis Phasianidae* — The Chickens Who Came In a Box

*(Phylogenic family name for chickens, partridges, pheasants and other game birds. Bust it out next time you play Scrabble!)

On a hot July morning, a small, aerated package arrived here at the Abbey. Mysterious peepings and rustlings emanated from within. Who would send such a parcel? Well, actually, an online hatchery did because we asked them to; it was my birthday present, our new flock of six chickies! This is the Abbey’s second flock (stories of the first will be forthcoming) and we were beyond excited to welcome them: a Silver Wyandotte, a Golden Wyandotte, two Salmon Faverolles, and two Barred Plymouth Rocks. They were beyond teeny when they arrived.

OMG TEENY!

OMG TEENY!

Like babies of other species, chicks eat, sleep, and wiggle, with an emphasis on the first two activities. Sometimes they fall asleep while eating or wiggling. (This tendency freaked us out when we first observed it — is the chick dying? Does it have a neurological problem? — but once we understood it we found it insanely cute.) And also like babies of other species, their personalities were observable from the start.

Left to right: Sally (tail only), Chancellor, Nutmeg, Jenny, Alice and Pumpkin

Left to right: Sally (tail only), Chancellor, Nutmeg, Jenny, Alice and Pumpkin

Chancellor is large and in charge. Nutmeg is a little shy. Pumpkin is a drama queen. Alice Featherlegs wants to be a house chicken. Jenny Linsky is my sweet snugglegirl. Sally is very busy and loves to groom others; she has made herself my personal stylist (which should tell you how lacking in style I am that even a chicken thinks I need help). Stories of their chickhood and day-to-day adventures are also forthcoming, but for now here are photos so you can put names to the faces.

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