Daisy is the White Cross. She is a Leghorn/New Hampshire and she produces beautiful white eggs.
Right from the start, I noticed Daisy was the – shall we say – ‘special one’. She was the last one to venture from her cardboard box when we opened them up in their run. Instead, she sat there making disgruntled clucking noises. She had decided the cardboard box was fine for her.
She is also the one that refuses point blank to go in her run at night. The only thing that may lure her in is the promise of mealworms – but there’s only so many trips I can make to CRT before they think I’m some sort of addict.
She will stand there watching her gang wander up to the run, ready for their evening feed and drink, before settling down in their cosy coop. They chat away to themselves and seem happy their day is done. But Daisy follows them for a bit – and right at the last gasp, just before the threshold she stops and thinks “Fu*$ that. I’m off.”
What then ensues is half an hour of me gently coaxing, talking sweetly, or trying to lure her with blueberries in stooped back-breaking fashion. She is not interested in my pathetic begging or my blueberries and runs in the opposite direction! Some nights I have to confess I get so irritated with her I walk off. “OK see how you survive out there on your own through the night – see if I care.”
The trouble is I do care – so after 15 minutes I’m thinking about predators and I’m back out there doing the same routine. There are some occasions where she will surrender and squat down so I can pick her up – but generally, it’s bribery that gets her back in the run with the others.
All the other girls work around Angus quite happily. Millie and Maisie are not the least bit bothered by Angus. They will walk beside him, duck under him or huddle with him around the watering bowl -quite happy. Maggie-May takes that to another level and actually seeks Angus out to play with or eat with. But Daisy just has to see Angus and she gets herself in a frenzy. waargh … waargh… help…. help …. waargh … waargh! The thing is Angus literally stands and waits for the girls to walk ahead of him. He has somehow learned just to wait his turn and no-one gets flapped in the face. No I’m afraid Daisy is like that annoying little brother that cries, ‘mwah she looked at me the wrong way’.
It’s my own fault of course. I had read that Leghorns were a bit scatty and easily freaked out. In actual fact, Leghorns and Leghorn Crosses don’t make the best ‘pets’ – but I wanted to ‘experience’ what they were like for myself which is why I only wanted one. I was possibly swayed by the fact Leghorns originate from Italy – Tuscany in fact – and well – I am a sucker for Italians and have a special place in my heart for Tuscany.
If I were to describe Daisy’s personality I would say she is as stubborn as a mule – deliberately dense – or perhaps she is just a bit up herself (I’m just not sure which it is). Either way – she is a frustrating bird when it comes to getting her in that coop at night. For all her faults – she is a beautiful girl and I wouldn’t want to be without her. She adds an interesting dimension to the social order in the coop. Maybe I should try to woo her a bit more and speak Italian to her … bella gallina …per l’amor di dio, ti prego, gentilmente, di andare a correre …perhaps she is just a little misunderstood chook.