Pet of the Day

May 31, 2003

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Dinky, the Pet of the Day
Name: Dinky
Age: Three years old
Gender: Male
Kind: Bantam Chicken
Home: Carlock, Illinois, USA
   This is Dinky. He also goes by Sir Dinklestone. He is a Brown Red Old English Game Bantam. Bantams are varieties of chickens that are about one fourth the size of their full-sized counterparts. He lives with 50 other pet chickens near Bloomington, Illinois on an old farm. He has 4 1/2 acres of grass to play on. He has been with my flock for three years. I ordered him from a hatchery and right from the beginning he stood out from the rest. He was real tame and the smallest. He was smaller than a golf ball. He is still only 2/3 as big as he is supposed to be, weighing in at only one pound. Dinky has many favorite activities. He stands in front of the nests all day long, monitoring egg production, and flirts while the girls lay. The bigger the hen, the more he flirts - until they peck him that is. He likes Melody (my favorite hen) the best, but she just ignores him. He also loves to chase my oldest rooster around. Lumpy is four times his size but for some strange reason is afraid of Dinky. If that isn't a sight when Dinky chases a big rooster across the yard! Dinky is really funny when he tries to crow. He just doesn't have enough wind in his tiny lungs to make much noise. He is really good at 'strutting his stuff' though. He walks like a soldier, with stiff legs, and he likes to stand on one foot and pull the other one up to warm it.

    He had a big accident when he was young. We were picking tomatoes in the garden and we always throw the bad ones to the chickens. Dinky got hit by one, which probably weighed as much as he did, from about 25 feet away. It knocked him senseless. For a while I didn't think he was going to make it. He wobbled all around like he was drunk for about half an hour. He got slowly better but did not want to be touched for weeks. I think his whole body was bruised! We don't throw tomatoes in the chicken pen any more. We dump them in.

    Despite all his hardships, Dinky's life has been fruitful. He is a father, grandfather, and great-grandfather. He is responsible for bringing six wonderful chicks into this world, every one of them bigger than he. We all enjoy his morning wake-up calls (even though he hasn't figured out that the sun doesn't rise at 2:30 AM) and his delightful personality. He is very tame and wants to be picked up. Often he will try to fly up onto your shoulder. His trademark is the hilarious squeak that he emits every time you pick him up. He passed that trait onto his children too. All said and done, Dinky is a great pet.

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