Do chickens really have personalities? Is it, perhaps, just their owners’ weakness for anthropomorphizing, or maybe a tendency to project their own problems and fixations onto their pets? Is it, once again, a case of subjectivity overcoming the rational mind?
Who cares? Let’s do it anyway!
The apparent brain trust of the flock thus far. Jumpy (at right, with a white “J” on her head) is the smartest of the group–the first to find the feeder, the first to eat an ant, and likely to be the first to escape from the box. She’s very curious, and jumps a lot because she wants to see what’s outside. Lumpy (at left) looks almost identical to Jumpy, except she doesn’t have a J. Also, she’s a thug. If there’s trouble, Lumpy’s usually at the center of it. She likes to poke and walk on the heads of her sleeping sisters, and if somebody gets a treat, Lumpy tries to steal it. She’s called Lumpy because her beak was pink and knobby when she arrived, though it’s less so now.
Two Patch (at left) has a white patch in front and back of each eye, which makes her look a bit bespectacled. She’s a bit of a loner, but she’s big and no-nonsense. She’ll peck at any bird who’s encroaching on her turf. One Patch (at right), though rather shy and oddly dirigible-shaped, is the friendliest of the Barred Rocks. She’ll sit on my palm for minutes on end and often snoozes peaceably with the other birds.
Feather (at left) is named after Zoe’s fish. She’s also been called “Big Blonde” and “The Mean One” (after her behavior the first day). She’s mellowed out since then, but she is still cliquish and mostly hangs out with Spalty. Spalty (at right) was called “the darker Ameraucana” for a while, until it occurred to us her plumage looked a bit like spalted maple. Spalty was the most wide-awake of the birds and took a while to settle into a nap routine. Both Ameraucanas seem super-thirsty and are at the watering trough every few minutes.
The smallest and most docile of the birds, Stripèd and Stormy also look as though they’ll be the most beautiful. Stripèd (at left) is the kids’ favorite, with her high-contrast markings and mostly white face. She’s also the underdog (underchick?), having been weak and borderline on arrival. Now she’s feisty. Stormy, despite her name, is the sweetest and calmest of the lot. She has thunderhead-grey plumage, dark cheeks, and a quiet temperament. Unfortunately, Lumpy harasses her a lot. She’s usually as far from the action as she can reasonably get, and she likes people.
It’s still too early to say who’s in charge.