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Posts Tagged ‘Polish’

Popcorn is the chicken in the bottom of the picture. Check out her

So about four weeks ago, June 9 to be precise, I got a small package in the mail with five loudly peeping chicks in it. I should have blogged about it immediately, but it was all I could do get a few lousy blurry photos that whole week – I was consumed with chicken care and worry, their box was lit with a red lamp that is horrible for shooting photos, and they were at all times moving WAY too fast for snapshots, especially snapshots in a dim red light. That’s my excuse. In case you’re curious, I got 5 different breeds, and I got them at My Pet Chicken – a great website for browsing fun photos and descriptions of dozens of crazy heritage breeds.

In the meantime, they are growing by the minute and changing every day. It’s high time I got them up on this blog, since they will be an integral part of my kitchen garden, after all. So instead of trying to tackle a summary of the whole lot of them in one post, I am going to go the route of posting profiles for each of them. While this may seem extreme, I think that they are developing enough personality by now to justify the attention… and according to the amount of chicken activity out there on the web, I am NOT alone in thinking that this is one cool pet. Worth writing about. So here goes; first up is:

Popcorn

Popcorn is a Polish Crested chicken, a Bearded Gold Laced Polish to be precise, and she is really just here for fun. Polish aren’t supposed to be great layers, and they’re apparently not even all that hardy in the cold – two criteria I had set for all the other girls in the lot (the third criteria was a calm personality, which all 5 breeds were described as having, though it’s all relative I guess… I ended up with a couple of slightly bizarre characters). But for pure entertainment value, you can’t beat this chicken.

From the beginning Popcorn was both the most mellow and the most curious chick in the lot. In the first couple of days, when I picked her up, she instantly fell asleep in my hands. That’s pretty cute stuff, but it turns out that all day-old chicks will do that if you hold them a few minutes – it’s the warmth of your hands I guess. They need lots of sleep – and Popcorn was getting more of it than the rest. This chick was always sleeping. She was always getting rudely awakened by other chicks trampling over her, and we worried that she was a little too lazy and maybe something was wrong with her, but I think it’s just her personality. In the following weeks, while two of our other chicks quickly began flying up to the rim of their cardboard box and perching, Popcorn slept on – she had all the feathers and wingspan and no motivation. I don’t think she even really tried until about a week ago. Now she’s flying just fine. Some chickens just need a little more time, I guess.

Popcorn’s curiosity also stood out – she was always the one to crane her neck up and cock her head to look at us when we approached the box. Everyone adores her – between her fancy headdress and this adorable head-cocking behavior, she gets all the oohs and aahs. While she doesn’t hop onto my hand or into my lap as readily as my Ameracauna, Sesame, she is quite tame and when I set her on my leg, she’ll often just settle down and stay put. She also doesn’t squawk and run around in fear when I get too close; I can stroke her feathers when she’s passing by my hand without setting off alarms. She’s often a bit of a loner, doing her own thing while all the others cluster around a new object or head off as a group to check out a new area of the coop (where they are spending just a few hours a day at the moment). And she doesn’t say much. Some of these chicks just will not shut up, and one (Tipsy) cries loudly in the most vaguely stressful of situations, but Popcorn is a pretty quiet chicken. She’s basically a sweet, gentle and slightly eccentric girl with really silly hair.

I’m including a few photos of her at different ages along the way. The best is definitely yet to come; these birds feather out into a truly dramatic topknot and I just dare you to keep a straight face when looking at one. You can see one here – though it’s a different color than Popcorn, it’s a gorgeous picture of what I have to look forward to.

Popcorn at one week old. Still sitting calmly in my hand.

Popcorn at one week old. Still sitting calmly in my hand.

3 weeks old. This gives a slight idea of her cute

3 weeks. Trying to be tall for the camera.

4 weeks. That’s Sesame on the right: “Whoa! Get a load of her hair!!”
Blurry, but the only decent side shot I have. That is a mullet!

Blurry, but the only decent side shot I have. That, my friends, is a mullet!!

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