On Monday I decided to paint a series of chicken paintings. My tables are covered with chickens paintings in varying stages of development and I’m having so much fun with it.
My own flock has been reduced to two – Gladys the Rhode Island Red, who still lays an egg a day at age 3 or 4 and Nimbus the bearded Silkie hen who has given up laying eggs altogether after witnessing one too many nightly maraudings when her sisters were dragged off by raccoons. The coop and pen are constantly being upgraded and fortified to prevent further break ins and it was time to build the flock back up.
So yesterday I brought home 5 new baby chicks and my studio is now filled with the sounds of cheeps and scratches and the smell of wood shavings. When I hold them they look at me with those big grave black rimmed eyes and I feel the enormous responsibility of being a good mother to them. Andy has picked out the feistiest one to name Selassie (after Haile Selassie, a name heard in Reggae music lyrics I guess). New chicks tend to receive male names when named by my sons, even as we all hope they will turn out to be hens and not roosters! But surely naming them that way does not impact their sexuality, does it? I will post pictures of them next, as soon as I can get them to look away from their eating dish (all I’ve got so far is pictures of the downy bottoms!)