As of right now I am Mom to one German shepherd, ten hens, and a mess of mealworms. Want to meet them? Here you go:
Pikka’s full name is Pikka von der Salztal-Höhe. She’s a working line German shepherd from Germany that I rescued from a shelter in 2018. I feel like I found a Ferrari at a yard sale that just had a dent in the fender. She’s smart, absolutely adores me, and is making up for my almost two decades of doglessness. She has a bit of a lopsided face due to an old injury that went untreated prior to when she ended up at the shelter, and of course I think she’s ridiculously cute. As a ninety-pound, high-drive, “sharp” working dog she is a supreme alarm system; she’d be a great livestock guardian if she wasn’t so intent on chasing the animals. (We’re working on that.)
The Rhode Island Reds
Ramona and Beezus were born in March of 2018 and are from my very first batch of chicks. They’re the smallest birds in the flock, but they have attitude! Ramona is also something of an escape artist and is usually the first to lead the rest of the flock into trouble. Beezus is a little more reserved, but will happily follow her sister into the compost heap, iris garden, sheep pen…
The Buff Orpingtons
Gwen (as in Stefani), Dolly (as in Parton) and Madonna (as in Madonna) are also from my first batch of hens. They’re very good layers and are the most likely to go broody. Dolly is patiently waiting for either fertile eggs or a rooster so she can make her bid for Mom of the Year.
The Black Australorps
These were the birds who made me finally band that first flock’s legs, as Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme are almost impossible to tell apart in the milieu. Sage is the boss hen in the flock, though Parsley gives her a run for her money. Thankfully they still see me as the Big Boss, and are the ones most likely to crouch down in the “are you a rooster? Please be a rooster” pose when I go say hi to them.
And Then There’s Rye
Rye is the best little chicken loaf. Actually, she’s one of the biggest hens. I think she’s an Easter Egger, though she lays brown eggs. She showed up randomly in my first chick order in the place of a trio of barred rocks I was originally expecting. She used to be a bit of a bully as a chick but has mellowed out some. She has the dubious honor of being the hardest to catch by hand, and is sometimes maddeningly skittish.
Too numerous to be named individually, and too short-lived to care. Their interests include long crawls through the cornmeal, romantic dinners at the Apple Slice, and pupating.