Title: Lady Buttercup
Breed: Buff Orpington
Hatch Date: June 29, 2015
Peep: Lady Buttercup still sounds like she’s 3 days old, except when she gets stuck on her own and then she LOUDLY peeps for her sisters.
Namesake: Lady Buttercup’s namesake is not the famed Princess Buttercup from the Princess Bride, although I see how that mistake can be made, especially when I on occasion slip and call her Princess Buttercup and not Lady Buttercup. (But I attribute that more to ‘Princess’ being one of the pet names my posslq has for me and less to the actual Princess Bride, although it is another classic that’s etched in my personal history.)
Anyway, so Lady Buttercup’s actual namesake is Buttercup the bunny, from the children’s book ‘The Little Rabbit’ by Judy Dunn. This book is about a girl who gets a bunny, names her Buttercup, and then true to bunny-form she gets preggers. I remember loving this book when I was a kid for the beautiful photography, though I’m sure it was furthered by my childhood obsession with all things bunny.
Ever since that book, I remember loving the name buttercup as it became associated with cute things like bunnies and small yellow flowers. Lady Buttercup, while not the smallest chick of the bunch, has been developing by far the slowest, and her persistent young fuzzy appearance combined with her sunny yellow fuzz really screamed buttercup to me, so now I have a chick who’s named after a bunny.
Hobbies: Cuddling with Mommy, perching on things, and trying her hardest to fly as well as her sisters.
Pecking Order: Lady Buttercup is small in stature, but not in balls. Don’t let her stumpy little wings fool you – she is in the upper half of the pecking order.
Bio: Before Lady Buttercup was named, she earned herself a few nicknames; Stumpy and Stubbs. She was the absolute last to feather in the flock, so late in fact that I was concerned she might in fact be a roo and not a ‘lady’ (the internet says slow-to-feather chicks are sometimes actually boys). I am still not sure, I guess, but even if ‘she’ turns out to be a ‘he’, Lady Buttercup is a very very sweet and well-socialized chick so I’m sure we’ll be fine.
When the chicks first arrived even though they were only 2-3 days old they had a few of their wing feathers coming in already. Lady Buttercup however, just had tiny little rounded stumpy feathers that made her look somewhat like the world’s most adorable amputee. Below you can see a comparison with her sister Lady Daenerys:
So as you can see, even 3 days later, ‘Lady Stumpy’ has these ridiculous stubbs for wings, although her body size/weight was similar to her sisters. As she has been growing, her body has gotten bigger, but her fuzz stuck around for a good long time (she still has baby fuzz and at the time I’m writing this she’s about to turn 6 weeks old!) and her feathers took a heck of a long time to come in. So long in fact that I was actually pretty worried for a while that she’d either be bullied or die of some weakness. Luckily though, her ‘stunted’ growth was only in regards to her feathers, and she has been normal and personable.
In fact, for a while, Lady Buttercup was playing nurse to Lady Amalthea. Lady Amalthea had been wounded and had to spend a week in quarantine to allow her time to heal without the other girls pecking at her, and Lady Buttercup kept her company. She was so gentle and sweet and never once tried to peck her wound, even though it seems that scabs and blood are super interesting to chickens. (Either that or mine are part zombie vampire). This earned her a special place in my heart, that even her incessant habit of pecking inside my nose and trying to eat my eyeballs could not expel her from.
So about the pecking – for about a week for her second week of life, Lady Buttercup was so curious about everything that she insisted on pecking anything on me including my lips, teeth, nostrils, ears, and eyes. She also repeatedly got tangled in my hair after trying to eat it. It was challenging to break her of this, but with a little research into chick psychology and some patience and discipline, she seems to have broken those habits now.
Overall Lady Buttercup is usually either the first or second to hop onto me for cuddle time, she sits with me for hours, and her inquisitive but sweet personality makes her a welcome addition to the flock.
Here, I know I posted this earlier in this post, but it’s too adorable not to be shown again. Isn’t she just the most kissable chick ever?