Doesn't she look authoritative?
Lordee. It's been a summer of change at the backyard chicken coop. We lost Fuzzy the Wonder Chicken to a predator. Lovey the White Crested Black Polish hen, above, took the loss in stride, while we humans were very sad. Lovey stood up straighter than she ever had before. Some of her bouffant grew back. (Fuzzy, you never fessed up to feather plucking.)
We bought two new young hens.
Queen Elizabeth III, standing regally on her water bowl.
Loretta Lee II. Our second chicken named Loretta. I hope this one does not crow.
Pecking order is literal. Lovey pecks the new girls fairly often, reminding them who's in charge. At night they all squeeze into the covered portion of the coop.
This afternoon I cleaned out the coop, and put fresh bedding in the nest box. Queenie and Loretta are too young to lay eggs, but I encouraged them to check it out.
Smell the pine shavings! So fresh. Look, girls!
Lovey led the way toward sleeping quarters. Queenie and Loretta followed behind cautiously.
They all stood at the doorway...
and began to eat the bedding.
Before I forget, here's a funny picture book I recommend: Interrupting Chicken, by David Ezra Stein (Candlewick, 2010), starring two fowls who know their fairy tales well.