As I went out to feed the chickens breakfast yesterday, I made sure to have my cell phone camera at the ready, because the softly falling snow I could see through the window meant that this wasn't just the first snow of the year, it was also June's first snow day ever. I don't remember the first time I ever saw falling snow because I'm sure I was a baby. June is already laying eggs, and this was the first snow of her life, so I thought it might be worthy of a photograph. Is it just me, or does she look a little worried?
Mrs. Hall kept photo bombing my efforts because she was anxious for breakfast, as usual.
While I was crouched in chicken photographer mode, Pork Fat tried to practically climb on my face. Have I introduced you to Pork Fat? Pork Fat, meet the blog.
Pork Fat got her unfortunate name because she smells like, well, she smells like pork fat! Burned pork fat, to be more precise. At least she did when she arrived from mom's house. Jamie returned from a visit to our parents and walked in the door asking my if I had checked my phone messages yet? If I had, I would have known that mom's poor chicken was being harassed to the point of near baldness by her young roosters, and she decided to send her pitiful bald chicken to me, so she could recuperate. For some reason Pork Fat was the favorite of the roosters, and had been reduced to hiding all day, and only coming out to eat from one of the bird seed feeders I made from the melted and slightly burned pork fat from my fat melting day. I placed her in a crate in Brandon's studio, and when I opened the door the next morning, the entire room reeked of burned pork rinds. Bleck! I was now the owner of the ugliest and smelliest chicken ever. Yay.
She really was pitiful. She wasn't just bald because of the roosters, she wasn't also molting, and was covered in tiny sheath covered pin feathers, some of which were broken from being pecked. Her toes are crooked too, and seem lumpy and swollen. She probably has gout from eating all that pork fat! She was also very timid, but after living in a crate for a week or so, she started to be less frightened of me, and was eating ravenously. Believe it or not, she actually looks much prettier now than she did, and she ain't pretty.
I'm not sure what it is about this chicken (maybe its the smell?), but Mrs. Hall and June hate her. They chase her down and stand on her back and pick her feathers out violently while she squawks like she's dying. They even made her bleed, and I had to keep them separated with wire for a long time. Now, at least, she can be in the yard with them, but if she comes anywhere near them they attack. At night I put her in the coop after dark, and they all sleep together peacefully, so I have hopes that she will eventually find her place. Since she knows that I will protect her, she's the friendliest chicken I've ever had. She tries to jump into my arms, which is very annoying, and I can hardly walk because she is under my feet clucking for me to pick her up. I'm beginning to see Mrs. Hall's point of view. She's ugly, smelly, annoying, and heaps of trouble. Poor Pork Fat.