After the death of Hen Solo, Cluck Skywalker and her friend Chewbucka came to keep Princess Layer company. They arrived as mere bundles of feathers from one of our local garden centres. Cluck is a Silver Amber Link, originally a very white chicken but now the colour of whatever she has been dust bathing in most recently.
Cluck and Chewie rapidly became firm friends, possibly out of solidarity because Princess initially hated them both. Aunty Princess mellowed, though, and they had a few lovely months together before Princess passed away.
Cluck is the roadrunner of chickens. She’s lean, fast and almost impossible to catch. She has remained nervous around humans, although she’ll come and say hello if you’re holding a pot of poultry corn.
During the early days, when Princess wouldn’t accept the new arrivals and it was hazardous to go to bed in the eglu, Cluck decided to roost in a tree one night. As dusk fell I spotted her because she was white, but attempts to catch her simply sent her running off through next door’s garden and into the alley behind. I eventually caught her trying to squeeze through a hedge, but as she would not have survived on her own Pete was very afraid for her and still doesn’t really trust her not to run off again!
Despite her lean physique, Cluck lays giant white eggs almost daily – even through the winter. She is top of the pecking order, but she and Chewie never fall out. They’re the best of friends, but when we introduced Bluebell, Daisy and Buttercup, Cluck was keen to exert her authority even though they arrived bigger than she is!
Cluck has a weak beak that regularly cracks and then breaks off, although it doesn’t seem to cause her any problems and grows back right away. She’s one of our ‘Raggy Hens’ – made imperfectly – and we love her regardless.
Cluck Skywalker left, with the Raptors, for a free-range village life in January 2012.