Let’s Talk Chicken Feet and Dog Fur

Yes, whenever one of my personal heroes passes away, I reach out to my animal companions for comfort and distraction. I will say that while Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg may be gone, her spirit will inspire generations to come. This I know.

But, before that surprise hit me, right at sunset that signaled the beginning of Rosh Hashanah, I had been thinking about how things are sometimes right in front of you, but you don’t really see them.

Happy New Year to my Jewish friends. Pomegranate grown around the corner from my office.

That leads me to chicken feet. I guess I originally thought that all chicken feet were alike, with claws, nails, and a spur sometimes. Then I read that some have more toes than others. Hmm, that made me look at my chickens.

Bertie Lee has pink feet. They are close to the color of light-skinned humans.

All mine have three front toes and one in back, but then I realized they were lots of different colors.

Patty, who by the way, lays large brown eggs, has bright yellow feet.

I figured they’d mostly have gray legs, but that was not at all true. However, the black and gray hens do have gray legs. Too bad I never got any good photos of those hens’ feet.

And Bruce, who would not pose, has gray legs.

The pinkish lets are pretty common. Fancy Pants and Hedley’s are pink.

Yellow legs come in a variety of colors. I found it interesting that the two Welsummers have different shades of yellow in their legs. By the way, I have good news that Buttercup is walking almost normally now, so I think she’s gonna make it and be able to join the flock in a few weeks, along with Butternut! I wonder if her legs are pale because she’s not as robust? Henley, the Ancona who didn’t make it, had a very pale comb her whole life, compared to Hedley.

And finally, I guess red chickens can have red legs, because Clarence’s legs have a lot of red in them. They are also HUGE compared to the other chickens. He’s a big brute.

So, next time you see a chicken, see if it has healthy and bright feet or pale sickly ones. And if you see a guinea fowl, they might have mixed feet like Gertie:

I have fancy feet. I’d also like some more watermelon.

This leads me (awkwardly) to all the debris around the ranch right now. All the chicken mating activity means there are feathers everywhere. It’s not a gentle activity! But, not all that flutters in the wind around the area is chicken feathers.

Why, whatever could you be referring to?

It’s once again Alfred shedding season. Or maybe it always is. But, his coat is all clumpy and puffy, and the dog hair balls rolling through the house are even more numerous than usual (yes, we clean them up; they come back). Yesterday, though, he was in one of his extra loving moods and kept following me around wanting to be petted. And he let me do this!

There’s more where that came from!

He let me get hair from his hips, his neck, his chest, and EVEN his belly. He rolled over and let me pluck! Usually you get about two minutes’ worth of plucking before he goes away, but last night he was great and stuck around until I was tired! He let me hug him and tell him he was a good boy.

There, that nonsense distracted me a little. More later.

Author: Sue Ann (Suna) Kendall

The person behind The Hermits' Rest blog and many others. I'm a certified Texas Master Naturalist and love the nature of Milam County. I manage technical writers in Austin, help with Hearts Homes and Hands, a personal assistance service, in Cameron, and serve on three nonprofit boards. You may know me from La Leche League, knitting, iNaturalist, or Facebook. I'm interested in ALL of you!

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