Gelly

It’s Sunday Funday, as Stacey and I call it, and we’re dunking cookies in coffee and hanging out. This is the one day a week we make a concerted effort to really slow down, disconnect from our work and its challenges, and connect.

So why, oh why, am I writing for the blog this morning? To introduce to Gelly.

Magellan is her full name and she is six this summer. She is an Easter Egger, which is a sweet little name for a mixed breed chicken who lays blue or green eggs.

When I got my first little batch of chicks in 2013, Magellan was in it, with one other of her breed. By the time these babies showed up, I had read a pretty fat stack of library books. This group was mostly unsexed and the books had mentioned methods for how to tell early on if you have a pullet (female chicken under one year), or a cockerel (male chicken under one year).

One method is to drop a fairly large object close to the chicks (some suggest a hat, I used a small cat toy ball with a bell inside) and the ones most bold about immediately approaching it are probably males. Well, this little mottled brown chick always came right up to me and anything I added to the brooder. Friendly and inquisitive – typical male traits in chicks – I felt completely confident I had a little future rooster on my hands. So I chose the name Magellan, for the explorer of course. May he be a bold leader of the flock.

Well scratch all that: I was wrong. My he was a she.  I lightened up the name to Gelly, and here we are. Isn’t she a cutie?! I love her poofy cheeks and gray beard. She’s a refined old lady who is still spry enough to give an unruly chick a dignified bop on the head when etiquette has eroded at the feed pans.

I enjoy Gelly’s calm demeanor and quiet chatter when she hangs out with me in the yard. We once had a very intense and aggressive cockerel, and I started noticing that she

wouldn’t come out of the coop in the morning until she saw me go by and stay close. She was using me as a bodyguard so as not to get cornered or chased by the cockerel. I was so honored, and took my duty very seriously until we were able to eliminate the cockerel from our flock. After that, she resumed her usual morning routine.

I am grateful for Gelly, and so happy to have another season with her.

Life is good.

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