Pom-Pom is very much her own chicken. She likes to have a lie-in in the morning and get up when she feels like getting up – and not before. She tends to keep herself to herself and could never be described as a sociable type. She’s usually to be found at the edge of the group, or even well away from them, thinking her thoughts and keeping them to herself. However, at the moment, she is more than a little disgruntled.
The reason for this is Fizz. Since his moult and gorgeous feather re-growth he’s a changed cockerel. He’s a bit bigger, certainly bulkier and his spurs have grown enormously. They are no longer rounded little bits of stubble on the back of his legs. They are indeed a fine pair of spurs; anyone would be proud to own them. Fizz has matured into an even prettier chicken than he was before, and he is very well aware of that.
Apparently he’s also learned to read and at some point has come across Shelley’s poem “Ode to the West wind”. The poem’s last line says, “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
“Aha”, he thought, “Spring! That’s when I start my serious bonking. Must get some practice in now.” At least, that’s what I imagine he thought, but for all I know he’s never seen a poem in his life.
Anyway, the upshot is that if anyone lingers in the coop after I’ve opened up, Fizz goes back upstairs and chases them out. Those affected are Punk, Tu-Tu and, of course, milady Pom-Pom. Punk is like me in the morning, it takes her a while to come round. She gets up a little later than the early birds, has a bit of a stretch and then goes out. Tu-Tu is the oldest bird in the flock and doesn’t feel the need to rush out like she used to. She stays in the nest box , contemplating the joys that the day ahead might bring. At this point, Pom-Pom only has one eye half open.
I always stay in the run for a while once I’ve opened the coop up. Rebecca, Irene, Titian and Maggie come out very quickly as usual. Next Fizz races out of the coop and buries his head in the pellets for a quick breakfast. Last year he would have been chasing Punk, Rebecca and Tu-Tu all round the run in order to have his way with them before anyone had a morsel of food. Things are a bit different now.
Having eaten, he takes a quick look to see if Rebecca’s handy for a speedy bonk. But she knows what to expect and will have made sure she’s not in his immediate line of sight. However, Fizz knows where there are more accessible vents to be had. It’s then that he shoots back up the ramp and into the coop.
And the peaceful tranquillity of my lovely rural garden is shattered!
Loud squeals and squawks emanate from inside the coop, then the thunder of tiny feet as Punk races out to escape Fizz’s amorous advances. Further squeaks accompanied by the sound of serious scuffling and the bundle of fluff which is Tu-Tu appears, rapidly en route for the wide open spaces of the run. That just leaves Pom-Pom.
If there’s one thing that Pom-Pom hates, it’s laying eggs – but a passionate Fizz comes a very, very close second. His attentions are generally greeted with shrieks and screeches, the likes of which haven’t been heard in this part of the world since the Vikings went on the rampage.
Underneath all that egocentric blustering, Fizz is really an awfully nice chap. After all, he is British don’t you know. So he limits himself to chasing Pom-Pom out of the coop, followed by a couple of half-hearted attempts at sex, then gives up. He loves her so much, that he doesn't enjoy upsetting her.
Pom-Pom shakes herself vigorously to get all her feathers back where they should be. As it happens, she normally ends up right beside a food dish; there’s nothing like breakfast to sooth a troubled brow (or something like that), so she indulges in a bit of soothing.
I’ve entirely given up any thoughts I harboured of having some little Poland chicks to play with some day. But at least peace is now restored to my bit of the valley …….. until tomorrow morning.