Meet the Flockers.

Single stay-at-home mother, three very young children. No one knows who the father is. No source of income. Dependent on handouts.

Dysfunctional family?

Nope, just Pippa and her adorable little flock of chicks.

I think they were all made for each other!

I think they were all made for each other!

And they couldn’t be happier. Pippa is a helicopter mom. A Tiger Mom on steroids. She is ferociously overprotective and never, ever takes her eyes off her little ones. When we tried to “borrow” them for portraits she came at us puffed up like a turkey, wings flapping, and pecked at us like she meant it. Hard to believe this is the same docile little d’Uccle who just a few weeks ago sidled up to me each morning in the coop asking to be cuddled and hand-fed some scratch. I guess she has redefined the term “mother hen”.

Just like all mothers, Pippa is used to her kids climbing all over her.

Just like all mothers, Pippa is used to her kids climbing all over her.

As soon as I saw how well it was going, I wished that those other little ones – the grandkids – could be here to share in the fun. Next best thing: have them help with the naming!

Thomas and James responded first:

James and Thomas in one of their more angelic moments.

James and Thomas in one of their more angelic moments.

They chose to name the little brown Ameraucana and came up with the PERFECT name: Ginger.

Meet Ginger! Thank you, Thomas and James!

Meet Ginger! Thank you, Thomas and James!

Later that day I heard from Evie and Viv (and Caleigh, who will hopefully get a chance to name a future chick when she’s a bit older). They were busy making a l-o-n-g list:

So many good names! We will save this for the future!

So many good names! We will save this for the future!

Here are Evie and Viv unfurling our personal flag on their Duffy boat.

Here are Evie and Viv unfurling our personal flag on their Duffy boat.

My pick from Evie and Viv’s list was Summer, which I think suits the little Buff Orpington:

This is Summer. Thank you Evie and Viv!

This is Summer. Thank you Evie and Viv!

For the Barred Rock, I chose the name Lola. Alexandra and Andy reminded me that it was the name of the parrot they recently befriended during their trip to Peru and the Amazon. I must have catalogued it in my bird brain when I first heard it, because every time I looked at the chicks I kept thinking that one of them needs to be called Lola. So Lola it shall be.

Andy and his friend, Lola, who inspired the name for our little Barred Rock.

Andy and his friend, Lola, who inspired the name for our little Barred Rock.

Okay, she's not as exotic as the Amazon Lola, but I promise she will be a pretty girl!

Okay, she’s not as exotic as the Amazon Lola, but I promise she will be a pretty girl!

This is what Lola will look like when she grows up. (image from mypetchicken.com)

This is what Lola will look like when she grows up. (image from mypetchicken.com)

In retrospect, I realized I made a mistake during our chick delivery process. We were so busy stealing away Pippa’s beloved golf balls that I fumbled and just set the chicks next to her instead of tucking them beneath her. I think that is why she pecked at them a bit; next time I serve as a chicken doula I will remember to place the chicks under the hen so that she thinks her eggs have hatched rather than that she has been invaded by aliens.

Luckily for us, Pippa and her chicks rebounded from my clumsy midwifery. We’ve had a lot of transitions in the past few days, since we have to ready the flock for our imminent departure to points East. Dave and Karen and then our friend, Lori, are bravely taking on the poultry project in our absence.

Dave stopped by to see the chicks last weekend; here he is with Lola

Dave stopped by to see the chicks last weekend; here he is with Lola

First, we moved them from the nesting counter to the floor – I didn’t want anyone to topple over the edge! Along with that move came the chicks’ introduction to “Auntie Luna” who has been soldiering on all by herself while Pippa has been brooding and mothering. Sweet little Luna has been very respectful of the chicks – I think she would like to help mother them, but Pippa is having none of it – see how she puffs up to protect her brood when Luna comes near?

Pippa puffs up as Luna tries to meet the new additions.

Pippa puffs up as Luna tries to meet the new additions.

Personalities are already beginning to emerge. Summer stays very close to mom and, true to her Buff Orpington breeding, seems the calmest and most confident. Ginger skitters here and there, exploring new territory and then careening back to find her flock. Little Lola is the shyest, often seeking shelter under Pippa while the other two have a look around.

Ginger and Summer peek out, while Lola has characteristically taken refuge under Pippa.

Ginger and Summer peek out, while Lola has characteristically taken refuge under Pippa.

Next step is to give the little flock their first “big world” outing. Then we head out on our trip and our intrepid house sitters will take over. By the time we return, the darling little chicks will be entering adolescence and will have that scraggly vulture look that chickens take on during their ugly duckling stage between babyhood and hen-hood.

Summer is the quintessential baby chick - yellow and fluffy!

Summer is the quintessential baby chick – yellow and fluffy!

For now, though, they are preciously adorable – just like all the grandkids who named them!

Our other little flock - the cousins who named the chicks, all together in Hawaii a few years back.

Our other little flock – the cousins who named the chicks, all together in Hawaii a few years back.

About polloplayer

Empty nester searching for meaning of life through the occasional chicken epiphany.
This entry was posted in All Things Poultry, Animal/Vegetable/Mineral, Big Fun, Chicken Facts and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Meet the Flockers.

  1. dizzyguy says:

    Lola, Summer and Ginger now add to the coop heritage. Portraiture by Dave cannot be far behind. The CCL has talked Pippa into raising hatched golf balls; yet another coop xxx coup for her!

  2. Phyllis says:

    Now that they all have proper names, they had better get busy on the egg laying duty. We all miss those farm fresh eggs. Love the idea of the children getting to name the two, perfect!!

  3. Gorgeous photos. Can’t wait to see more of these cute little chicks.

  4. pollo amigo says:

    Love the names. The chicks are such cutie pies. So fun to watch them. Well done, Pippa!

  5. tdevir says:

    Don’t know where to start… The chicks are beyond adorable and Ev & Viv had so much fun coming up with a list of names. Thank you for letting them be a part of the naming process, it was very special for them. Glad Pippa came through as a perfectly protective momma, and the old pic from Hawaii is just priceless. (Viv looks like a baby!) Good luck to Dave & Karen with the chick-sitting. Great post!! Xo

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