Dee Dee - Queen of the Chickens. This feisty Orpington is the chicken matriarch around here, in lieu of us having a rooster she keeps the other five in line. She's our only original chook - after our first three were gobbled by the neighbours hideous, hideous dog (the dog is now on home detention after I got sick of the horrible thing eating our chickens, and had him arrested by animal control!).
The gang all have very original names - aside from Dee Dee they're all named according to their colour. We have Rosso, Rojo, Rouge, Blanco, and Fragola (who used to be Bianco, but turned a strawberry blonde colour after she moulted!).
Jarvis adores his chickens, and spends a lot of time pursuing them around the lawn trying to give them cuddles. He's getting pretty close, they're very tame anyway and getting tamer every day. He tries to share his food with them, as he does with the cats. They're a little keener than the cats where things like potatoes are involved ;)
Last night I opened the back door, only to see Blanco all curled up on the step, fast asleep! On further investigation, we found four more chickens cosied up around the yard! Jarvis had locked them out of their house and we hadn't noticed - so when they went to go to bed at sunset they couldn't get in! Shane went on a chicken rescue operation, and one by one gently picked them up and carried them back home. Five chickens in bed, one chicken awol. Being the chicken lovers we are, chicken number six (it was dark, hard to tell who was who at night!) had to be found!! Out went Shane, with the camping lantern. In the end it was Boom Boom the cat who found the last chook - she was cuddling up beside her feathered friend in the carport :) I like to think she was keeping Mrs Chicken warm, whereas Shane thinks she was planning some kind of midnight chicken feast...She's never tried to eat anyone before, I'm sticking with my theory!
The apple trees have bud-burst, the plum tree is covered in blossoms, and the vineyard is starting to wake up with tiny leaves on the Muscat. Spring's here!
And, finally, check out the garlic! Bring on December!