Saturday, July 21, 2012
We're not so creative with chicken names here at Mucky Boots. There's Hector, which isn't bad as a name, but after that came Hector Jr (son of Hector), Hector Jr Jr (a slightly smaller son of Hector), and this year we're back to Hector Jr again for the new generation.
We're having the same problem with Gump's offspring, now that he's beginning to have some. Gump was one of the chicks we hatched last year, and the only cockerel we kept. We were looking for a replacement for Pee Wee, who had begun to get aggressive with the hens, and even though there were some nicer looking cockerels in the bunch we chose Gump because we fell in love. He was always sweet, always a little out of things, always in his own little Gump world, and as a result his tougher male siblings picked on him and made his life miserable. How could we not chose him over the others?
Gump has grown into an excellent rooster. He's a conscientious guardian of his flock, foraging tasty treats for his hens and keeping an eye on the sky for overhead predators. But as he matured, even though we were grateful for the role he plays in the flock, we began to miss the dopey little fellow he had been.
No more. Now we have Gump Jr, offspring of Gump and the one Buff cockerel Kim decided to keep this year - partly because we knew he was going to be enormous, and partly because he's a chip off the old block. He's so much a chip he's practically a clone. Most of the time he's clued out: where's the food? Where's the door? Where are his feet? Those feet are gigantic, and at the end of equally giant sized legs - if we didn't know his parentage we might suspect an ostrich played a role in his conception. He hasn't quite figured out how to coordinate them yet, so when he runs he's the most awkward thing on two legs, but as a result he's entirely, completely endearing.
Here's scratch-eating Gump Jr style...
...and Part 2, when I stopped being so distracted by the bunny.
Yes, we're suckers for the underdog, here at Mucky Boots. And I like it that way.