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Which Fluffy Yellow Fanny Do I Follow? May 2, 2006

Posted by Joe in Uncategorized.

Poor little peep! Remember the Mama Hen who had only one little chick hatch out of the dozen eggs she was setting? Well, she has turned out to be a rotten mama- no wonder she only hatched one! She soon left the special protected “nursery” area of the henhouse yard and returned to the “big house” to sleep among the others on the roosting poles. Who cares if her baby isn’t big enough to hop up that high? She eats the best stuff herself instead of giving first choice to her baby. She forgets it and runs off to take a dust bath with “the girls” and leaves it crying pitifully. It calls to her but she doesn’t answer. It tries to catch up, but there are a lot of big fluffy yellow bums from which to choose. “Are You My Mother?” to quote one of my favorite childhood books. You can’t sidle up to just any yellow behind for warmth and protection and be welcomed.

The mother hen is a Buff Orpington. I chose that breed in part because they are considered dual purpose- pretty good egg layers AND fairly meaty birds for the table. The other main reason I got them last year is that this breed has not had its setting and mothering instinct bred out of it like many others. They are usually excellent mothers. This mama hen was the first to go broody this spring and persistently set her eggs (although she only hatched out one chick), but she failed the final test. Cutting your baby loose before it has feathered out is a no-no. Coq au Vin, anyone?

The best mother hen we have had is one that is older than the hills (for a chicken, that is). She lived here when we bought the farm and is at least 3 years old. We named her Sergeant Black because she has arthritis so badly that she goosesteps stiffly when she walks. She is also the one that is most docile and tolerant (not to mention SLOW), so she has to endure a lot of love from children. She set eggs back in the fall so her youngest children are now grown-ups, but they still love their mom and she loves them back. Sgt. Black can’t manage sleeping on the roosting poles anymore with her infirmity, so she sleeps in the nesting boxes instead. If you go out and shine a light in there after dark, you will see at least 3 other full-grown “babies” peek out from around her just like they did as chicks.



1. Deanna - May 2, 2006

We’ve discussed your gift for writing before but ya know in this post i’m seeing some children’s stories in all that! You need to git on it girl! 😉

2. Anonymous - May 9, 2006

Oh my gosh. I immediately thought of “Are You My Mother” also. That makes me sad. There was also some cartoon that ran during Tom & Jerry sort with the same plot, but it was a little turtle. And it was even sadder than Ugly Duckling. In fact, it was so sad I couldn’t believe they aired it for kids. But how sweet that Sgt. Black’s almost-grown babies still sleep with her. She is so lucky to have you and sweet children as owners.

3. Anonymous - May 9, 2006

Oh, yeah. And speaking of following fannies… Do you remember when we were little kids and Mom took us to Baskin Robbins and I walked right up to some large black woman in line and hugged her right on the butt from behind? She didn’t even see me coming. In fact, much to my surprise, I don’t think she even noticed. I thought it was Gladys. Maybe that woman was used to having little kids hug her or something, because she didn’t get evil on me or anything.

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