Meet the Flock: Zeste

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As I watched the trio of tiny Barbu d’Anvers run around I was immediately drawn to the extra tiny one. Despite being noticeably smaller than the other two she had the biggest presence, running right up to the glass and pecking at everything while the other two casually explored. Zeste is the reason I ended up with all the chicks instead of just one, because I wanted her but was afraid her spunky personality was a sign she was a rooster. I decided it would be best to get a second one as a backup, but then I couldn’t take two and leave one all alone.

Right from the start you could tell she was a bit… Special. The entire trip home was punctuated by the “tap… tap… tap!” of Zeste’s beak against the side of the berry box they were traveling in.

You can probably guess which one is Zeste.

You can probably guess which one is Zeste.

Zeste means, well, zest. It works well for her, both tying in to the food theme and suiting her bubbly personality. She’s the only one that thoroughly enjoys being held and petted, and will fall asleep in my hand. She even enjoys hugs.

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I attribute her extra friendly temperament to the fact that she went on a stress-induced hunger strike when young, nearly died of malnourishment, and had to be kept in the house. I had to literally hand fed for a week until we could set up a separate bantam coop to get them away from the large chickens. We spent a lot of quality time together while I held her in one hand and coaxed her to take a few bites of food, or a few sips of vitamin-laced water, every hour.

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When we had snow she was the first to figure out that perching on my hand was a great way to warm up her feet.

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Zeste lays oval, slightly tinted eggs that are surprisingly large for her size.

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Like Sel, Zeste’s colour is blue quail. She’s a lighter shade though, and doesn’t have as dramatic a transition from her hackle to her body feathers.

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She’s always been the easiest to take photos of. Sometimes it almost seems like she poses for the camera.

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Zeste and I are buddies, and I’m sure if I was able to let the chickens roam the yard all day she would be the one tapping on the window asking to come in the house. Then she would probably lay in an egg in my shoe or something.

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