I bet in time, despite her past, through hard work and dedication Hester will come to be seen as an “able” and industrious chicken.
Please excuse the literature reference. I was an English major and just can’t help it.
The chicks are thriving. As you can see, their adult feather colors have replaced the yellow baby fluff. Rosie is becoming an exotic redhead as Hester grows into a charming brunette.
We still pet them everyday. Not having had chickens before, I have no idea whether they can become attached to you or not, but generally believe that petting animals is a good idea. It’s calming for you and tends to produce affectionate animals.
I suspect chickens can bond with you, however. In an earlier post, I mentioned my grandmother’s rooster that believed he was a dog after growing up around a pack of dogs. He was a little like Brian from The Family Guy. You know how Brian will do human stuff like drink martinis and debate politics then turn around and drag his butt on the floor like a dog?
Well, this rooster was also a hilarious mixture of different species’ behavior. He would roam around the yard with the dogs, occasionally pecking at the ground, and nap on top of the sleeping dog pile in the afternoons, his beak tucked back behind his wing. When the dogs got all riled up and started barking in unison, this rooster would loudly crow. Maybe he was thinking, Hmm, doesn’t seem like sunrise to me, but if the rest of the guys are on board…
Since that rooster was influenced by growing up in a foreign culture (dog culture), I figure these chickens might tame from daily cuddling. They are quite docile, so far. Brontë continues to observe them, happily, and yell at the cats whenever they menace the cage.
I’m less certain about the future psychological effects of constant cat menacing. Our kitties regularly spook around the baby chicks, wide-eyed and undoubtedly up to no good. Though Hester and Rosie are safely within their cage, being constantly stalked by four enormous dino-panthers throughout one’s childhood can’t be reassuring.
Occasionally, the kitties would tap on the cage with a raised paw, so we tried to put the cage up on a high shelf. Then the kitties would leap up to the shelf, which probably just made things worse. If there is anything scarier than being stalked by four enormous dino-panthers, it might be watching four dino-panthers leap the equivalent of fifteen stories to leer at you.
Finally, we moved the chicken cage to a back room and kept the cats out of it. Now maybe the little gals can cheep in peace.