We have taken pity on the lawn. When it was time for the Cluckers to have their afternoon treat, we had got into the habit of throwing things onto the grass. Unfortunately, a summer of being scratched and pecked by over-zealous chickens, bent on finding every last piece of whatever-it-was, had left several bare patches. We decided to give the lawn a break and plonk goodies on the paved path and the patio flag stones instead.
With winter fast approaching, we have been putting down lots of little heaps of mixed corn, dried mealworms and sunflower seeds. We want the flock to fatten up a bit before the really cold weather arrives.
There is plenty for everyone; each chicken can have its very own, exclusive heap. But what happens? They all want to munch the same heap! Wily old Tu-Tu always stays put; that way she has a whole row of heaps all to herself.
I always pick Pom-Pom up and deposit her at the pile which is furthest away from everyone else. If I didn't, she would spend all her time running away. Whenever she catches sight of Rebecca, she scoots off in the opposite direction. Chasing Pom-Pom may be the furthest thing from Rebecca's mind, but the little Poland dashes off anyway - just in case.
Fizz spotted Pom-Pom chomping away on her own and decided to join her. She didn't mind at all, but an unexpected problem presented itself. The predicament took the form of their crests. They collided if both chickens tried to eat simultaneously.
Two necks would stretch forward, each aiming for a tasty mealworm or a piece of barley, but neither beak could quite reach it. As a result of their combined bounteous feather arrangements, if they both tried to eat at the same time, neither could get close enough to grab anything. Their crests met and held their heads apart. As a result, a cosy beak-to-beak supper was quite impossible.
Following this year's moult, Fizz's crest is rather more lavish than it has been in the past. Pom-Pom's has always resembled the 60's Dusty Springfield bouffant hairdo I used to have. (My hair was so rigid from all the lacquer I used in those days, that had you dropped me on my head my skull would have been undamaged).
In the end, the pair of them gave up and wandered off to find alternative stockpiles to demolish independently.