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The Chicken Chronicles: Butter Bi*%& Established A Pecking Order
Introducing Butter Bi*%&
She had another name but for the life of me I can’t remember what it is. I have always called her “The Bi*%&” and for good reasons. Oh, wait, I remember….Butter Cup! Not even close to appropriate. In case you can't figure out her name, it rhymes with "itch"...I had to change it or the advertising would be discontinued. :)
Butter Bi*%& is our resident Rhode Island Red, a pretty chicken for sure, but one with a very distinct personality. Get comfortable and I’ll see if I can’t give you a vivid description of this rather dynamic fowl. I in no way mean to disparage THE BI*%&! I do not belittle her with the words that follow. I am simply a writer and a novice backyard farmer. I make no judgments regarding THE BI*%&. I just observe and then try to relate with words what I see, as all writers are meant to do.
Keep in mind the quote above from Angelou as you read about THE BII%*.
Meet another member of our flock
- The Chicken Chronicles: Regalia Defies The Odds
Learning about life by observing chickens. Who would have thought it possible?
The Pecking Order
Show me a playground in any school in the world and I will show you a pecking order. Establishing our place in the grand scheme of things is a natural progression. There is no rightness or wrongness in it; it simply is the way of things. Some are brainy; some are strong. Some are mouthy and overbearing and some are mild and meek. In any group this pecking order establishes itself rather quickly, as though it were pre-ordained by some power above, and so it is in any chicken coop.
Butter Bi*%& was one of our originals. She survived the test of time, proved that she was not a rooster, and took her rightful place among the flock….and that place was as the leader. By the age of one month it was pretty obvious who the Queen was. THE BI*%& took on all comers to her crown and tossed them aside like yesterday’s garbage, and you better believe that also included humans.
When I say “pecking order” I am referring to the act of pecking, and THE BI*%& is a virtuoso when it comes to pecking.
About twenty years ago I raised some pigs. Now something you may not know about pigs is that they will eat anything if it is stationary, and anything includes your foot. I learned early on to wear heavy boots when I was out feeding the pigs so that I would have all ten toes when I returned to the house. The same is true with Butter Bi*%&. She has no problem getting your attention by slamming her beak into your foot and make no mistake about it, that will get your attention. If you are not giving her her due, you will be limping back to the house. Bev and I have learned that when feeding our six chickens, we should always feed THE BI*%& first. That way there is hope that everyone else can dine in comfort and Bev and I won’t need first aid.
Actually this is quite interesting
She Is a Bold One
There is no fear in THE BI*%&! Two legs, four legs, six legs a dollar, all for Butter Bi*%& stand up and holler!
Take a look at the picture to the right. That is Butter Bi*%& sitting on Bev’s back. One day Bev was out doing her chicken whisperer thing, and she bent over to pick something up off the ground. THE BI*%& decided that Bev’s back looked interesting, so up she flew. It is now her favorite roosting spot, and neither Bev nor I have the guts to tell THE BI*%& that she is being inappropriate.
She’s just being THE BI*%&!
The other five chickens give Butter Bit*% a wide berth when passing, sort of like the driver of a Cooper gives a wide berth to a semi-truck. You just know if you get too damn close to that truck that you are going to be a roadside pancake. So it is with THE BIT*%! Our dogs give a wide berth; visitors give a wider berth; anyone or anything concerned with their health gives the widest berth possible.
We have hawks that fly overhead on any given day but not once have I seen them drop below 100 feet when above our backyard. Such is the reputation of THE BIT*%! Not even a natural predator dares comes within ten feet of her beak and temperament. Normally as dusk approaches the owner of chickens will make sure they are all tucked away safely in their coop. The nighttime is a dangerous time for chickens as possums and owls and raccoons do their stalking thing when the sun goes down. Around our house we have no worries. Butter Bit*% is on patrol and all predators know that hunting is not allowed in her coop.
But Beneath That Tough Exterior
Well, if not a heart of gold then at least a heart of community, for Butter Bi*%& takes her role as leader seriously, and like any good leader, she embraces her responsibility and looks out for the weakest in her family.
Butter Bit*% insures that our backyard is a democratic backyard. She is the protector. She is the guardian for the weakest. She is, in other words, everything I wish our political leaders were. She does not hand out free food, but she does make sure that her brothers and sisters are capable of feeding themselves. She does not allow outside influences to upset the serenity of her community, and the only agenda she is interested in is the agenda for the common good. Special interest groups need not stop by for a chat wielding their influence because THE BIT*%& will peck their asses back to where they came from.
You have to love and applaud a leader who realizes that to lead is a responsibility and not a right. THE BIT*% understands that and walks her talk. She has no favorites among the other five. She is a bitch to them all but she is a fair bitch and really, that’s saying quite a bit.
I do not like bullies. I have fought them often during my lifetime, and I will continue to fight them. THE BIT*% is no bully. THE BIT*% is a strong leader who takes seriously her role as a leader, and you have to admire that. If she thinks her community is being underfed she will let us know. If she thinks the water supply is inadequate she will let us know. If we do our part as landlords then she is more than willing to do her part and lay egg after egg after egg. She is a working class hero who seeks not fame but rather fair treatment, and yes, you have to admire that as well. She is a whistleblower who demands righteousness for all, our own little Rocky standing above the backyard with arms outstretched, taking on all comers and demanding respect.
And yes, you have to admire that as well.
2013 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”