Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Olive will be an overnight Web sensation....

Not only do I have a pet chicken, but I have a pet chicken that thinks she is a dog.  Most of you have heard my stories about Olive. You may have seen her picture on my blog back in December when on an especially cold day right after Christmas, I brought Olive into my sun room and she was afraid of a ceramic turtle. For those who are picturing this in your mind and thinking that I have lost mine, I am posting the photo below.

Yes, this is Olive

Olive is a Polish Hen and they're a little quirky anyway.  They're very social, but if they get mad at you they will pout for days.  She was once attacked while sitting on her nest by a weasel who had no use for that big chicken - he just wanted her eggs. She apparently put up a good fight defending her nest because her little legs were all torn up.  I had to put her in solitary confinement for a couple of weeks to keep the other chickens from pecking on her.  A chicken can be quite the bully  - they gang up on the weakest in the crowd.  They're establishing a pecking order.  Yep, that's where that phrase comes from.

I put antibiotics in her water, washed out her wounds and wrapped her legs so they wouldn't get infected.  This sounds simple, but have you ever washed the leg of a live chicken?....  I didn't think so.  But all went well and I got her settled in her pen with fresh straw, food and water.   She didn't like it one bit....she showed her displeasure by ignoring me.  This habitually hand-fed bird wouldn't eat a bite of food while I was watching her.  She wanted me to think she was on a hunger strike.  I would sneak up on the back side of her pen and she would be eating, but when I would stick my head around the corner, she would turn her back to me and pretend she wasn't.  She continued these silly antics until she was well enough to turn out with the others.  Then she liked me again.  It's sad being ignored by a chicken.

But back to the dog story....  Recently I started noticing little signs that a chicken had been sneaking up on the porch.  Chickens do leave little tel-tell signs wherever they go and they're not very pleasant - trust me - especially if you happen to step in one.  Next, I noticed that I was having to fill our dog's food bowl more often and Fox (our dog) is not normally a heavy eater.  Surely, Olive's not eating his dog food, I thought.  Surely she was - I caught her in the act one morning.  She was eating dog food out of his bowl on the porch and he didn't even seem to mind.  Normally Fox guards his food like a junkyard dog.  I was glad it was the lamb & rice variety and not the chicken & rice that I sometimes feed him.  It would be too creepy for her to revert to cannibalism - ugh.

Now every very time I walk out the door, here comes Olive.  When I walk across the yard, she goes running in and out of my legs like a dog, almost tripping me.  When I stop, she reaches up and pulls at my jeans with her beak wanting me to pet her.  I'll pick her up and she'll snuggle in my arms.  When I walk to my car, she runs up to it and looks inside like she wants to ride with me.  Then I come to the realization that she's acting just like a dog.

I think I'll get someone to do a video and put it on Animal Planet.  Oh, I forgot she's not an animal - she's a bird.  Darn, I was hoping we could be celebrities.  Henry told me to wait until she starts barking and chasing cars and we can put a video on Youtube and become an overnight internet sensation - you know, like that laughing baby whose mom keeps blowing her nose - or the one about Denver, the Guilty Dog.  I'll start training her tomorrow.
Close-up of a polish hen's soft feathery "hair"


  1. What a mix up! Spent a while studying this picture!
    The little turtle looks innocent enough to me...... but then I'm not a chicken!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  2. Maggie, my little point and click camera didn't capture the part where she looked at the turtle and jumped straight up in the air and then turned her back to him. She gets spooked easily and jumps straight up - very comical. She's a strange little bird.

  3. That is such a good post, Glenda. Olive is obviously a real character. I laughed when she was eating when she thought you weren't watching. Then she would stop when you poked your head around the corner! The little minx!!

  4. Unfortunately, I missed this post back when. Olive sure looks like Morticia. Waddles and all. Of course, they are the same breed. Both my Polish follow me around and chatter to me.

  5. I have a Faverolle hen that chases my cat around. Poor thing loves hanging out with the other hens and they all love him except for this one hen! Funny to watch...she'd be the one to eat dog food. Love your blog:)


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