Scruffy, King of the Worm-Eaters

Scruff, with a worm in his mouth

Scruff, with a worm in his mouth

Well, I tried my best to get a shot of with a big, fat worm in his mouth but he is just so dang FAST that it proved an impossible task.  This is my best shot out of about a trillion.  That little thing that is sticking up above his beak is the tag-end of a worm that he is devouring.

Scruffy is quickly proving to be one of my favorites.  He might be kinda small and goofy-looking, but he is smart and so cute!  He now makes this little sound that I call his “worm song” when he is hoping I’ll dig up some worms for him.  If I sit down, bend over, or even just walk around, he comes running over and starts peeping happily.  Then, if I start poking around in the dirt with a stick or a shovel, he starts this little, low-pitched sing-song whistling – his worm song!  SO CUTE.  At this point, he is constantly underfoot as is is constantly hoping for worms.  Unfortunately, I’ve now accidentally kicked him twice because I don’t see him and he is litterally on top of my foot as I’m walking.

in a dirt pile, running toward another worm

in a dirt pile, running toward another worm

It’s actually pretty comical at this point because the score of worms is something like:

Scruffy: 10,732

All other chickens put together: 12

If I turn over some dirt, he combs through it in seconds and pulls out every single visible worm (and some that I never even saw).  No one else ever has a chance.  If I gather some worms and try to give them to the other chicks, he either comes running out of nowhere and grabs it from my (or Brian’s) hand before I know what hit me… or, the other chicks get them, try to run off with them, and then Scruff runs in and steals them.  He has also learned to come when you call him – “hey, Scruff – come here!  I have some worms for you!”  He is there as fast as his little chicken legs can carry him.  He also follows people around even when all the other chickens are doing something else – he’ll just follow you around, about 18 inches from your feet (or closer).  I often turn around to look and there he is!

OK, I just found one more good pic.  Check this one – he is going for that worm in the dirt directly in front of him and it’s about to be GONE.  Quick like lightning – action shot!

Scruffy, in action

Scruffy, in action

Independence

ranging, far and wide

ranging, far and wide

Gone are the days where they all free-range within a few feet of the coop and run.  Now, when I open the door of the run, they all spill out and spread out all over the place.  The three Buff Orpingtons and two Marans boys, JB and Scruffy, in particular like to go far.  They now tend to spend most of their time as far away as the fences allow.  In the above picture, they are in the far corner toward the house, past the garden boxes.  Only those five will go that far, but they are smart because the grass is tallest and thickest there.  The same five are most likely to be the last ones still out when the others have put themselves away for the evening.  Along the fence you can see in the picture is our patch of (delicious) wild blackberries.  The Buff Orpington girls particularly enjoy hanging out among the wild, thorny branches.

Buff ladies, grazing among the blackberry canes

Buff ladies, grazing among the blackberry canes

While the others won’t go quite as far from the coop, they have all recently discovered the empty garden boxes and they find it to be good fun to hop on and off the sides and into boxes themselves, and to walk along the edges, etc.

playing on the garden boxes

Pippin Chick and Lady B, playing on the garden boxes

And then there is the group that likes to stay close to home – this consists of Daisy Mae, the three unnamed Ameraucana pullets, and sometimes a couple of Marans (not JB or Scruff, though).  They come out to reange with everyone else at the beginning, but they never get as far, and they don’t stay out long.  Generally after a few minutes, they head back into the run, and usually even inside the coop.  They also like to hang out on the chicken doors.
The Homebodies

The Homebodies

The same group (plus a BO), grazing in their usual spot - right outside the door to the run

The same group (plus a BO), grazing in their usual spot - right outside the door to the run

Pippin – Still the Mystery Chick

Pippin Chick, on a garden box

Pippin Chick, on a garden box

We have had a new guess as to Mystery Chick’s breed.  A couple of BYC (Backyard Chickens) members think he/she is possibly a White Jersey Giant.  White EE (Ameraucana) is still the most popular guess, but the Jersey Giant guessers feel like it’s a solid guess.  The first person who guessed it is someone who has had Jersey Giants from McMurray Hatchery before, even as a “surprise chick,” like Pippin here.  This person said that his tended to mature more slowly and then eventually caught up to everyone and then surpassed them in size (Giants are huge chickens, true to their breed name).  He also described Pippin’s personality to a “T.”  He said his tended to be quiet, a bit timid, and to be “loners,” in that they didn’t really care what everyone else was doing and didn’t feel the need to be around other chickens.  That is Pippin Chick EXACTLY.  So, a Giant would be cool.  A second person chimed in and said that it’s a solid guess, and that person is apparently a licensed poultry jude with over 40 years’ experience, so that seems like a credible authority to me :)  Everyone who has been guessing for me has made me promise to keep them updated with pics so they can see the development.  Nobody is certain at this point.

looking ahead to a brighter future, where her breed is clear...

looking ahead to a brighter future, where her breed is clear...

Growth Pics

I was upset with myself for once again not having my camera at an opportune moment yesterday.  I was chillin’ in the coop during my daily twilight visit and snuggle with Lady B (she jumps on my lap every evening now and settles down for a nap and a snuggle – so sweet), when I noticed that Daisy Mae had positioned herself up on the perch bar in front of the nesting boxes just like she did a few weeks ago and I snapped her picture.  Only yesterday, she was as tall as the entire opening of the nesting box!  It strck me as markedly different from that old picture.  It would have been great to post the old pic next to the new pic so you could see the difference in her size – it’s really amazing.  Anyway… I tell you that whole story for no reason, because I have no new picture.  But, if she does it again, you can be sure I’ll get the pic for you!

On that note, I will provide some nice individual pics here so that you can see everyone’s progress.

First, the Ameraucana ladies:

the reddish one

the reddish one

the goldish one

the goldish one

the tannish one

the tannish one

Lady B

Lady B

Daisy Mae

Daisy Mae

I think it’s about time the other three Ameraucana ladies get named, don’t you?  I was kinda thinking of names of ladies of American history like Betsy Ross, Harriet Tubman, Martha Washington, etc.  You know because they are “Ameraucanas.”  We could even think of “Lady B” as “Lady Bird Johnson” instead of “Lady Banks” rose.  That would fit with the theme.  And, while Daisy Mae doesn’t have historical significance, it still sounds pretty American, right?  Any thoughts?  Votes?  Love it?  Hate it?  Another other ideas or other American woman names?  Let me know – I’d love to hear from you.  I just pulled those off the top of my head just now, so no definite plans yet.  Except for Betsy Ross – I think that’s a fantabulous name for a chicken and I plan to use it for someone.  I’ve been planning on it since before I even ordered the chicks.

Now for pics of JB and his ever-increasing manliness :)

This is my favorite chicken picture of all the ones I've taken

This is my favorite chicken picture of all the ones I've taken

a nice close up of JB and his fine wattles and comb

a nice close up of JB and his fine wattles and comb

 Getting the Dirt on Our Garden

delivering the dirt

delivering the dirt

On Monday morning, we got our veggie garden dirt delivered!  It is very exciting!  We got it from City Bark in Vancouver, and it is their “3-way,” which is organic soil, compost, and sand – perfect for vegetables!  The only problem is that it’s been raining so much that they couldn’t drive it over to dump it near our beds because the truck is so heavy that it would get stuck in the soft grass and dirt.  So, we have to devise a plan to move it ourselves, by hand, the 200+ feet over to the beds ourselves.  We’re in for some good excercise!  Also, it’s a race against time because if it sits on the front grass too long, it’ll kill it and we’ll have a nice, ugly bare spot to fix.  We’ll keep you posted on how and when we go about doing it.  TTFN!

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3 thoughts on “Scruffy, King of the Worm-Eaters

  1. Hi Lisa, found your website on backyard chickens. I have backyard ducks and doing the same blog website. Too many family and friends wanting pics and I couldn’t keep up. Better this way and more fun! Enjoy yours!

  2. YAY! pippin is just like me! shy little loner as a child and then turns into a GIANT!! weeeee!!

    that first pic of JB is GORGEOUS!! nice!

    HOLY COW that’s a lot of dirt! it’s so pretty and dark though! have fun hauling it – wish i were there to help – i need some exercise!

    ~sister

  3. Pingback: The Cucumber Review, Wondering About Worming, and Other Tales « Lisa Has Chickens

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