By Elizabeth Jardina, Sunset researcher
Every time I visit the chickens, this is what I hear:
Our friend Ruby, who has grown into quite a lovely lady, makes this decidedly unladylike noise at the sight of people. Like a creaky door. Sometimes it means "Give me some of whatever you're carrying," and other times it means "Don't feed Charlotte that delicious grass! I want it," but it can also be a greeting for any human who dares enter the coop.
Ruby's body looks almost like it's covered in netting. Her feathers are very matte and very smooth. (Soft too, when she lets you give her a quick pet.)
Which brings us to our other Rhode Island Red, Carmelita, the lady who was looking like a dude to us. Here's an updated picture of the two of them:
Carmelita (on the left) certainly has a lot of greenish feathers on her body. Now they're 22 weeks old. I think that if she was going to secretly be a rooster, she would have said something by now.
Since we last blogged, the girls have grown up in a few other ways too. Their vocalizations have changed. Rather than a weird combination of creaking and cheeping, they sound like a happy, clucking clutch of hens.
A happy clucking bunch — with the occasional creaky door noise, which is always Ruby. Fellow chicken-wrangler MacKenzie and I were worried for a while that the creaky-door voice was going to morph into a cock-a-doodle-doo, but Ruby's so decidedly hen-like, we decided our fears were baseless.
Of course, MacKenzie is no slouch either. Listen to her traditional chicken call here:http://oneblockdiet.sunset.com/files/heybawkbawk.mp3
This is either Charlotte or Honey. I can never tell the difference.
So, does our Alana look like president Martin Van Buren or what?
Even with all this maturity, still no eggs. Yes, I know it's the dead of winter, but I'm dreaming of fresh eggs. Scrambled with the baby arugula that's just popping up out of the damp ground., Yes, I know we planted that for the chickens, but still, it would be scrumptious with their (potential, future) eggs.
I leave you with a photo of a funny butternut squash from the garden. Talk about an awkward growth spurt: