20 November

Animals Have Egos Too: Making Peace: Zip And The Formerly Imperious Hens. Maria Is Our Gandhi

by Jon Katz

Zip and the hens got off to a rocky start. Simply put, he ran them out of the yard where they used to hang out, not because he wanted to eat them, but because he wanted them to understand that he was the Imperious One, not them.

The hens, who had never been chased away in that way, were highly offended; they responded by going out into the pole barn and the back pastures during the day and staying out of Zip’s rapidly expanding territory. We miss seeing the hens in the yard.

We’ve only seen them recently when they come in at night to get to the roost. Zip has stopped chasing them, but they are still wary of him.

We pride ourselves here on being the Peaceable Kingdom; all the animals (Simon accepted) have always gotten along, so Maria set out to bring peace to these enormous animal egos. She brought some kibble for Zip and some cheese bits for the hens. Two of them ran off when Zip came close; the older hen held her ground and got her cheese.

We’ve done this before. It will take a few days, but Zip, who seems at ease now that he has taken over the farm, and the hens will learn to get along. Food and patience will do it, and there is no better animal peacemaker in the world than Maria. Stay tuned.

23 August

Bedlam Farm, Wednesday, August 23, 2023. Beautiful Day, Country Fair, Minnie And The Peonies, Imperious Hens And Maria’s Shoes (And Stale Granola)

by Jon Katz

Today’s big news was our trip to the Washington County Fair to join the Mansion residents on a joyous and fascinating trip. We all had a blast; photos and a story to come later this afternoon.

This morning began beautifully with the sun lighting up Maria’s Coneflowers. When I went outside, it appeared the Imperious Hens were praying over Maria’s grungy sneakers, which she put out to dry. I think the Hens thought the were some God; they were fascinated by them and stood in a circle around them for a few hours.

Minnie fled from her cat house when Mike Conklin came to mow the lawn. She retreated to her safe place beneath the Peons, which is also an emergency tunnel leading under the front print. She was verbal again today, not eating,  drinking a little water. She is otherwise unchanged, shows feelings, and moves out when she sees us.

The chickens were fascinated by Maria’s shoes, they couldn’t figure out whether it was good or magic.

I went out to throw them some stale granola that was in the kitchen cabinet for too long. They forgot about the sneakers.

25 July

Moldy Cottage Cheese. Today’s Morning Treat For The Imperious Hens

by Jon Katz

Nothing organic gets thrown out here; it goes to the compost box, the donkeys, sheep, dogs, or chickens. The chickens get a gourmet leftover treat every morning around 10 a.m.

Above, Maria is stirring the cheese so it will be easier for them to peck at it. I wouldn’t mind returning as one of Maria’s chickens in the next life.

19 June

Maria To The Imperious Hens: “Stop Trying To Eat My Foot!…”

by Jon Katz

Maria and I were sitting outside in our friendship chairs, and she suddenly moved her foot. “Hey, Older Hen,” she said, “stop pecking at my food. You know the difference between food and my foot!.”

The hen did not look in the least apologetic or abashed; she just looked bored and turned quickly away, disappointed,  and pulled a worm out of the crown. She seemed much happier with that.

Nature is rough in tooth and claw.

Bedlam Farm