June - How to name and train a chicken
Okay, I admit it, I’m a chicken nut! After our huge, scary and very soppy tomcat Clarence, chickens are my favourite animals. They all have distinct personalities and can provide hours of amusement (and hopefully the odd egg too!)
Our three new hens are large greys – the lady did tell me the breed but it was in Galego so went over my head. So far, after only one week it has to be said, they are not going to win any MENSA awards.
It took them three days to find the door from their hut into the outside pen, then another two for the bravest, Kalamata, to venture out. They spent an inordinately long time looking out of the doorway to the ground 50cm below and plucking up the courage. This morning as I opened the door they came out in the order I now expect: first was Kalamata who executed a perfect glide to land beside me and her food bowl. She enjoyed a quick pat and got on with breakfast. Second was an as yet unnamed hen. She hops onto the step below the pen, shuffles awkwardly sideways to the ramp I put in to help them negotiate the drop, then crouches beneath it and hops to the ground. Slow but steady. The third, Katy (after the heroine of the What Katy did books) stands on the threshold, staring downwards for an age before launching herself, performing a peculiar mid-air twist and coming to land in a ruffle of feathers just below the door and narrowly missing hitting her chin (or the chicken equivalent!) on the step. The first day she had taken off with such gusto she flew straight into the far wire fencing! Graceful she is not!
Then there is bedtime. Kalamata (named by my food obsessed niece…it runs in the family!) was happily on her perch snoozing but the other two were still huddled in a corner outside, unable to work out how to get back into the warm and cosy hut!
I will manage to train them eventually and hope they will soon be enjoying life to the full as chickens (and everyone) should be able to. Meanwhile I need some help so, if you have managed to keep reading up to this point here is a competition for you and a chance to win a copy of my E-book Plum, Courgette & Green Bean Tart as soon as it is released. Our chickens have always been named alphabetically by year. By 2020 we are on Ks. Kalamata and Katy you have met but I need a name for the third chicken, the slow but steady one. So, please put on your thinking caps and send your suggestion (one per entrant please) to me at email@example.com I’ll announce the winner in my next newsletter so if you haven’t already signed up do so now (just tell me you would like to join my subscriber list in your competition entry email). I never send out junk or spam, just an occasional update on my books and my life here in beautiful green Galicia.
I look forward to hearing from you