True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lucy and the Ghastly Nuggets

I had read about hens accepting young chicks and caring for them, and I was eager to see if Lucy, having already raised a chick of her own, might take a shining to these wee nuggets.

So on a nice warm day, when they were exactly two weeks old and their Marek’s vaccine was well-integrated into their immune systems, I scooped up the chicks and whisked them outside to greet the sun ---
and to meet an honest-to-goodness chicken. 

Once the chicks were situated on the lawn, I carried Lucy over to take a look. 
I placed her beside the cage.

For a moment, she ignored them  -  but only for a moment.
Then Lucy lifted her head, raised her hackles, and shrieked like a banshee.
The nuggets just stared at her. 

Lucy was terrified. I wonder if she even recognized them as chicks.
She turned and lumbered away from their cage, and scrambled to the safety of my lap. 

Only when she discovered the tag on my pants
did her hackles settle 
and her panic subside. 
After a while she glanced up to find that those freaky little nightmares were still there. 

Poor Lucy. The prospect of enduring motherhood again nearly sent her over the edge.

I carried her back to the safety of the coop and the reassuring company of her geriatric companions.

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .
Once the chicks had grown and it was time to integrate them with the old ladies, I worried for I always do.  Her disability is evident, and the youngsters might very well choose to pick on her.   

But Lucy held her own. 
She and Lil'White share the position of Top Chicken in the coop, and the nuggets have not contested their status.  
They stick pretty closely together, these little gals -  they're a sub-flock within the big flock. 
They don't aim to bother Lucy. 

But Lucy's peaceful afternoons beneath the forsythia
are no longer so peaceful.

And in the coop, I've noticed young Dorrie choosing to stand right beside Lucy --- 

---just because.

Dorrie reminds me of Pigeon.  
I told Danny this, and he replied, "Maybe she IS Pigeon."

Pigeon or not, I think Lucy's in for another big adventure.


  1. Love it! The adventures continue...

  2. Wpnderful - love you and your girls!

  3. Lauren, you make me laugh. For starters, I love how ADD Lucy is. Nothing like a clothing tag to get her mind off her troubles, and two, when I saw the title of this post I thought it was going to be a story of Lucy's, um, how shall I say... indigestion/elimination. So glad it wasn't!

  4. Oh Lauren, I am so excited to hear all about your new adventures with your nuggets. Just warms my heart!

  5. Dorrie stood with Lucy is so sweet, I wonder if they are drawn together when they look similar or if they even know they look similar.

  6. I know exactly how Lucy feels. ._. But I think it's so cute that Dorrie wants to hang out with her. <3

  7. Absolutely adore these chickens! Congrats on the integration, looks like things went very smoothly.

  8. We have a flock within a flock situation - it's always entertaining!

  9. Aww, it's too bad Lucy didn't warm up to the chicks right away! But at least it sounds like things are going smoothly with them all in the same flock now. I've noticed that new girls do tend to form their own small flock within the main flock once they're integrated. That seems like the best solution for everyone though!

  10. I so enjoy your pics, cartoons and postings! I don't even think all of this adoration will go to your little chicken-loving head! I hope to see you at the next Poultry Congress! (met you this January in Springfield).

  11. Awesome as always.

  12. I understand Lucy's reaction! If I discovered three toddlers waiting in the yard for me, I'd scream & run for cover too! She & I have been there done that
    Love your blogs & book & art!

  13. I just love reading your updates!

  14. Hee hee! I'd yell if I saw nuggets too!

  15. I love this :) I have just posted a review of your book on my blog The Compost Bin,. I love your book as well :)

  16. In 2001 somebody offered me a free Himalayan kitten - I'd always wanted one - but I had two elderly (over 15) female cats and I worried about the effect on them of dropping a kitten-sized atomic bomb in their midst. There were no problems! An hour after I brought Cameo home he was fast asleep 'spooning' behind Paisley with his little pansy face buried in her neck ruff. He adored his two step-grandmothers and I believe they were fond of him. Sorry it didn't work out so well for your brood. PS, I loved the book ~ Cheryl

  17. Always fun getting a few newbies into the flock !

  18. I absolutely love your chicken stories and blog. You give a smile to my day.

  19. This comment has been removed by the author.