Meet my chickens: Mosa and Tetra

Mosa and Tetra - photo by Adina SenftMimosa and Tetrazzini, the latter an 8-month-old crested Silkie and the former a nearly two-year-old noncrested one, came to me courtesy of a friend who wanted Silkie eggs for their healthful properties, but didn’t know how to manage chicken keeping with the five Golden Retrievers in the house. Talk about irreconcilable differences!

So I made her a deal. I would keep the Silkies, and she would get the eggs and bring tasty treats for the birds whenever she could. If there were ever any vet bills, we’d split them. Doesn’t that sound fair?

It didn’t take long for Mosa and Tetra to make me fall completely in love. They are tiny—about half the size of my standard chickens—but they pack a lot of personality in those compact bodies. Want to know something else about Silkies? Their skin is black. Their ears are blue. And their eyes are a deep, velvety purple. They are the most exotic thing I’ve ever seen. But the best part is their attitude. If you speak, they’ll reply and give you their opinion in no uncertain terms. I left Tetra behind a closed screen door once, and you should have heard the language! I never did that again.

They pick up English words really quickly, and if there’s a gesture that accompanies it, they learn that, too. For instance, if I point at JoJo and say, “Back in the grass. Go see JoJo,” they’ll realize they’re too far out of the yard and I want them over by the other birds. And off they’ll trundle on their little legs, back to the flock. You know what else this means, right? Yes. They know the other chickens’ names, too.

Silkies. They look like Persian cats with beaks, but they’re more than just a pretty face.


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