As promised, here’s a blow-by-blow of Archie and Edith’s adventures in procreation.
First off, Archie is constantly preening and puffed up. He seems to be in a permanent state of arousal. When he sees Edith, when a chicken walks by, when I go outside to feed them, when the goats pass by him, and yes, even when he sees the rabbit. Hell, a sparrow could fly by and he’d puff up.
It’s really Edith who decides when to do the nasty. She will squat down, sort of like a chicken, but laying with her breast on the ground. Then Archie does some puffing and huffing (literally, he makes this airy gulping noise) and circles around her. Then he stands on her wings.
It looks kind of painful, this big puffed up bird trying to balance on her delicate wings. You know how they say factory farmed turkeys can’t ‘do it’? It totally makes sense to me now. Because it’s a balancing act really. And it requires space and time.
Ok, then Archie pecks Edith’s head for awhile. Love pecks, I guess. Then he manuevers around and gets her tail up. He looks pretty funny doing this part. Like a nasty humper. He drapes his wings along her side, and Edith makes some cute chirping noises. Interesting fact that turkeys and chickens don’t have proper penii, they just rub their duct onto the female’s oviduct.
Edith’s eggs look similar to a chicken egg, but larger and with a more rounded bottom–can you tell which one is hers?
While I was in New York Bill reported that she had started to set on a clutch of eggs. But then she got bored and hopped off. I’m hoping spring will make her broody and soon we’ll have little poults marching around. I think Edith is going to be a good mama.