The Chicken Diaries

White Orpy 650Story & photo by Alyson Champ

03/21

Dear Diary,

First day in my new home! I’m so excited!

03/22

Dear Diary,

My pink legs really stand out here. Everybody else has yellow legs except for the rooster, who is black. The hens pecked at me and said mean things like, “Why don’t you go back where you came from, Pink Legs!”

I hate it here.

03/24

Dear Diary,

I caught the rooster looking at me from across the coop. He’s cute. His name is Floyd.

03/28

Dear Diary,

Today Floyd came up to me and said, “Did it hurt?” And I said, “Did what hurt?” And he said, “When you fell from heaven, ‘cause you look like an angel.” Then he did this funny dance where he shook out his right wing and dragged it along the ground while circling around me. He said, “Hey, I hear you’re an Orpington. What a coincidence because I’m an Orpington too.” And then he asked me if I would like to be his girlfriend. I said OK because I don’t have any friends here AT ALL. So then he said we should DO IT, and I was like, “Do what?” and he said, “I could describe it, but it would be more fun if I just showed you.”  So I said OK.

OMG!!!

04/02

Dear Diary,

Floyd and I DID IT five times already this morning! When I shook myself off the last time, the old Light Sussex named Sylvia told me it would be better to just squat and think of England. I will try that because DOING IT is a little boring. Floyd seems to enjoy himself, though.

We got loose in the sheep barn, which was fun. I went for a sheep ride, then had placenta for lunch. Everybody is into Raw Food these days.

04/04

Dear Diary,

Today when we DID IT I tried to think of England, but it’s really hard to think about something when you don’t know what it is you’re thinking about.

04/06

Dear Diary

The strangest thing happened! I had just hopped off the roost when I got this overwhelming urge to go into a small, dark space. I found a comfortable spot, and next thing I know my butt starts moving all by itself! I looked between my legs, and this big beige thing fell out onto the straw. It was so totally WEIRD! I might have magic powers!

04/08

Dear Diary,

I told Sylvia what happened and I don’t have magic powers.  Apparently I have reached something called sexual maturity and the beige thing was an egg which came out of my ‘cloaca’. Sylvia said the egg thing will keep happening and I should stop being a twit. She also told me that England is a PLACE, so that mystery was cleared up at least.

I don’t know how I feel about this sexual maturity business, but I really liked that word cloaca. I said it over and over again until one of the Barred Rocks told me to shut up unless I wanted another ‘beat down’, which I didn’t.

Sour yogurt for lunch. Mould—yum!

04/12

Dear Diary,

I am getting bored with DOING IT all the time. It would be nice if Floyd talked to me once in a while.

Lunch was leftover sushi. Wasabi makes me sneeze.

04/26

Dear Diary,

A Rhode Island Red slut-coughed me today when I was walking by. She is such a…Well, I won’t say it, but it’s a bad word that starts with ‘b’ and rhymes with itch.

I think Floyd might be seeing someone else.

04/30

Dear Diary,

Floyd wants to DO IT so much that the back of my head is now bald from where he bites me. He says the bald spot lets everybody know that I am his chick, like having a tattoo. SIGH.

05/02

Dear Diary,

We went outside for the FIRST TIME! I mostly hung around with Sylvia. I am ignoring Floyd. I don’t like him much anymore because he’s kind of a jerk.  All he does is talk about himself. Plus he looks at other hens. I’m starting to feel like I’m being used.

Weed buffet for lunch.

05/06

Dear Diary,

Floyd is definitely seeing other hens. I caught him DOING IT with one of the Leghorns—I forget her name, but it’s the one who goes off like a car alarm every time she lays an egg, like that’s SOME BIG DEAL. Anyway, when I confronted him about it he said we were in an open relationship and he’s sorry if I didn’t understand that, but that’s the way it is. So I said, “Does that mean I can see other roosters?” He laughed. JERK!

Some of my feathers fell out today. Could it be stress?

05/12

Dear Diary

Today Floyd paraded around the run with that skinny little Leghorn he has started going out with, the one with the spindly yellow legs and spiky tail. And that huge, floppy red comb of hers? Everybody knows it’s an implant.

My back is completely bald. I’m really worried.

06/03

Dear Diary,

Today Sylvia and I found a hole in the fence. We took a long walk around the yard together. She told me to forget about Floyd because he is a user and will never change. Then we went to the garden for lunch. I had the salad. Sylvia had the Slug Platter.

All my neck feathers are gone!

06/15

Dear Diary,

Today Floyd cornered me and said I should take care of my feather problem or get out of town because bald chicks are a major turnoff. So Sylvia said, “Why don’t YOU get out of town, Jerk.” Floyd bit her on the head, THEN SYLVIA BIT HIM BACK! Floyd was so embarrassed he didn’t know what to do. So he started pecking away at the ground. I laughed!  Sylvia is really great.

I am almost completely BALD. I feel like a FREAK.

06/18

Dear Diary,

I hid out in the nest boxes today because I am cold and feel so ugly. Sylvia stayed with me, which was really sweet of her. She said that I shouldn’t worry about how I look. It’s what is on the inside that counts. I felt a little better after that.

06/20

Dear Diary,

I haven’t laid an egg in over a week. Sylvia told me that she hasn’t laid an egg in over a YEAR and because of that she knows her days are numbered. She has decided to live with gusto, seize the day, etc., which I totally think is great. Then she said “Want to Do It?” and I’m like, “But Floyd…” And then she said, “Not with that idiot, with ME.”

I’m SO CONFUSED right now.

06/23

Dear Diary,

Sylvia and I are a couple. There, I’ve said it. The hens talk about us, but I don’t care. Sylvia loves me for ME. I have never felt so close to another chicken in my life.

06/30

Dear Diary,

Sylvia and I got out of the run and went sun bathing. She found some mouse guts and we shared them. I think we are soul mates.

07/13

Dear Diary

This morning I woke up all alone. Sylvia was gone! I don’t understand…

07/18

Dear Diary,

I overheard the Barred Rocks talking about Sylvia. They said something about Freezerland. I can’t believe it—Sylvia went on vacation without me!

07/20

Dear Diary,

Seven days and still no sign of Sylvia. How could she do this to me?

07/30

Dear Diary,

Not even a post card! I don’t know where Freezerland is exactly—probably in England—but I hope it’s raining there.

08/12

Dear Diary,

Well, it’s been a month now since Sylvia left and I guess I have to face facts: she never loved me and she is never coming back. Boy, you think you know a chicken!

Good news: My feathers are growing back.

08/17

Dear Diary,

I have been hanging around with the Chantecler sisters. They look mean because they don’t have combs, but they’re actually nice, although I don’t understand most of what they are talking about because they are French.

More feathers today!

08/24

Dear Diary

The Chanteclers and I got out of the run, then hung out all day under the fruit trees. We ate fermented pears until we could barely stand up. They call it GETTING WASTED.

I think I am getting over Sylvia. I wish I could get over this headache.

09/01

Dear Diary,

Most of my feathers have grown back and things are getting back to normal. I laid an egg this morning! Floyd vanished during the night. Gone to Freezerland! He and Sylvia deserve each other.

09/10

Dear Diary,

There is a new rooster here, some young mixed-breed with a flashy tail. He came up to me and said, “I hear you like chicks. COOL! Wanna DO IT?” UGH, MEN!

Alyson Champ is a farmer and artist living in St. Chrysostome, Québec. Her art can be seen at www.alysonchamp.com.


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