Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Front Door Delivery

Violet's new nesting box.
Over Thanksgiving, while my parents and sister were visiting, Violet picked a new nesting spot: The cushy loveseat on the front porch.

My parents would arrive in the morning and there would be a freshly laid egg waiting. Violet was just like the milkman, delivering breakfast to the front door.

Sometimes, she'd appear on the porch and jump onto the swing instead of the loveseat. There she'd sit. If someone walked outside or on the porch, she'd gather herself up in a huff and hurry off as if to say "I really can't lay under these conditions."

But eventually, she'd wander back, hop onto the swing or loveseat, wiggle around, scratch at the fabric, settle down and sit. Then she'd stand up, turn around, scratch, wiggle herself down, and try to get comfortable. Occasionally, she'd reach out with her beak and peck at some imaginary something, or the seat cushion itself.

One day, it was extremely windy. I had the new girls in the coop, separated from the big girls, and Violet muttered unhappily at me when I went out to put something away in an outbuilding. I knew she wanted in to the nesting box. I let her into the coop, and she marched in. Then seeing the new girls, she stopped. If a chicken can purse her lips, that's what she did. She then scattered them out of the way, pecked at Mabel, and hopped in the nesting box. But she just wasn't happy.

Five minutes later she was standing at the run door wanting out. I think I must have spent half my morning letting her in and out, in and out, and decided that a job as a chicken butler wasn't really working out for me (I can't leave the coop door open, because the small birds aren't ready to free range). So I let her back out and went inside.

I was downstairs when I heard a racket on the front porch. A rattling sound. I peeked out, thinking she'd be on the loveseat. Instead, she was inside the nearly empty recycling bin, scratching and trying to find a roosty spot on top of the cereal boxes that were in there. She was sheltered from the wind, at least. A little while later, I saw her in the backyard, finally content. I checked the recycling bin, and there was her egg.

She and I both will be glad when our two mini flocks are fully integrated into one again.

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