Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Snack Pack

Cheeto, Frito and Dorito are the Buff Orpingtons. They were named after a lunchtime discussion with my sister and nieces concerning all things yellow. Clearly someone was in a junk food mood.

Cheeto has turned into a boy. Clearly he's a little rooster. There has been no crowing so far, but I figure he'll let loose in a couple of weeks. Already he is fatter and taller than the others. Personality wise he's a bit stand-offish. I make a point to pick him up and hold him for a bit each day. I'm told that establishes my, ahem, Alpha Rooster position. As I am clearly not alpha dog in the house (a position held by Max the Cat), I suppose Alpha Rooster is the best I can hope for. Cheeto is not terribly happy about being tucked under my arm like a football, but he generally puts up with it with a minimum of squawking. My goal is to have a well-behaved grownup rooster. If that means Cheeto walks around with me like a little feathery pigskin, then so be it. I might just have to hum a bit of the Auburn Fight Song while Cheeto and I roam about though.
Cheeto stares down the puppies in the back yard. Lily just can't seem to contain herself when the chickens are out free-ranging and whines and barks and carries on. I'm guessing there will be a dog/rooster skirmish as soon as Cheeto feels up to the job. He routinely stares moodily through the fence at the 50lb boxer mutts.

Dorito the chicken could go either way. I can't tell if Dorito is a hen or rooster to be. The comb and wattles are smaller than Cheeto's and redder than Frito's. I guess I'll just have to wait until either a crow or an egg pops out. Until just recently Dorito has been a big scaredy-cat (or a big chicken, if you like). Just within the last couple of weeks has she made the mental leap to seeing me as the bringer of all good things. She has taken to flapping up onto my lap in the evenings to see if I have a stash of treats. She's still not as relaxed about it as Frito, but she seems to be getting fairly comfortable with me. While Dorito has been know to peck at my hand if she is displeased with me, she is also pretty content to sit and let me rub her head. A moody one, our Dorito.

I must confess that Frito is one of my favorites. She's incredibly affectionate and friendly. Pretty much anytime I sit down in the run she is up in my lap chirping to me. She especially seems to like having her neck rubbed. Many evenings she dozes off while I am petting her head. She's fairly confident and is often in the middle of things. She looks pretty chunky in the photos, but her body is actually kind of small. She (and the other buffs) are just really, really fluffy. She and the other buffs have the softest feathers of the lot. She's just a really sweet bird.

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