Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Big Boy

with 3 comments

During the recovery phase after Cyndie’s knee surgery, we’ve enlisted the assistance of our animal sitter to help with outdoor chores on the days when I am at work. Yesterday, she reported to Cyndie that we should check on the Buff Orpington hen because it looked like maybe she’s getting pecked, most likely by Rocky.

This didn’t startle me at all. I’d already witnessed those two square off and challenge each other’s perception of dominance. First, the Buff fluffed up all her feathers to look twice as big and stood up tall. Then Rocky did the same exact thing to pretty much equal her size. Since that didn’t decide anything, they took turns jumping on each other’s back.

There was a little pecking exchanged by each, and after a very short time, it appeared that both agreed to call it a draw. Calm was restored very similar to the way our horses would immediately return to grazing seconds after a spat.

The possibility that Rocky was starting to gain an advantage over time was not unexpected.

He’s grown into a very big boy. How would you like to be prowling the territory and suddenly find yourself face to face with this menacing looking guy?

In the afternoon yesterday, Cyndie ventured outside using a walking stick to look in on the chickens while I walked Delilah. She couldn’t find the Buff. By the time I returned to see what I could find, the Buff was standing right in the middle of all of the chickens. In fact, I wondered if Cyndie had mixed up the adult hens somehow because I couldn’t find the Wyandotte anywhere.

When I closed in on the chickens, I found just what Anna was talking about. The Buff looked like she had been mugged!

But, I have seen this look before. She is molting.

A short time later, the Wyandotte appeared. All 14 chickens accounted for, safe, and sound.

Hopefully, Rocky will see no need to challenge the Buff for however many weeks it is going to take for her to get her new feathers in. According to what we’ve read about molting, the new feathers are highly sensitive and touching them can be very painful.

I would expect a true protector to know how to respect her situation for the time being.



Written by johnwhays

December 10, 2020 at 7:00 am

3 Responses

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  1. I thought you’d like to know that Carlos asked after you today, so I gave him a brief run down, based on your descriptions. He asked me, too, whether I thought you’d ever make it back to visit us again. Who can say with the current restrictions. But who knows: this Covid thing, too, shall pass! It is important to focus on that and the renewal which will surely follow.

    Ian Rowcliffe

    December 10, 2020 at 12:46 pm

    • This is so wonderful to read! I shared it with Cyndie and she immediately responded that she had just been thinking about Carlos. I also think of him frequently. Cyndie just dusted off the beautiful glass framed statue from Carlos and she often refers to the best honey she ever tasted that Carlos gifted us upon our departure from the farm.
      I do look forward to the post-pandemic possibilities that I hope will enable a return visit. Won’t that be something!


      December 10, 2020 at 8:55 pm

      • It will, indeed. I will also pass on your sentiments to Carlos. They will surely brighten his day!

        Ian Rowcliffe

        December 11, 2020 at 4:22 am

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