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Pecking Order
The Walshok Family | 12th Street

The Walshok kids.
Photo Kimberley Nicole.
Click to enlarge.

You know you’ve arrived at the multigenerational Walshok Compound when you are a greeted by the sounds of happy clucking chickens. We have raised these winged beauties since they were chicks and some even as hatchlings. Our birds range in breeds from a Silkie whose feathers feel more like cotton balls; a Polish Frizzle with its odd shaped head that looks like something you would find in a Dr. Seuss book, and the majestic Ayam Cemani, originally from Indonesia, highly revered in its native country. Each chicken has its own individual personality and name. They lay eggs in a variety of colors and shades, from creamy white, to dark chocolate brown, to olive green, to a bright Tiffany blue. In addition, the yolks are dark yellow and in some instances a deep orange which is the result of the chickens’ organic Del Mar diet consisting primarily of greens grown in the garden and protein from bugs.

We Walshoks, an Old Del Mar family who have resided in the community for almost 50 years, raise our chickens to be a part of our group. They enjoy a beautiful large coup adorned with grape leaves at the back of the property on Lois Lane between 12th and 13th Streets that is visible and accessible to passers by. Local families often stop by on their daily strolls to greet the chickens. Neighbors often share their organic greens with the birds. During the weekends, the chickens are often out of the coup exploring the outdoors, scavenging for bugs, and entertaining the 12th Street kids. And yes, these chickens literally know their visitors. Chickens have good memories and can recognize up to 100 human faces. It is no coincidence that they rush up to greet neighbors with their melodic sounds.
Chickens can also count and perform basic arithmetic. They are socially complex animals, think “pecking order.”

 

 

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