Oct 062011
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It was a sad day today in our Mac-driven household to hear of the death of the iConic Steve Jobs.

Not only was our old henhouse sourced on a Mac but the amazing new one (the Hen Pad) was designed on one, using the latest in rotational animated plans which even included the ability to plot the direction of sunlight in your garden at precise times of the day and year, so that we could predict where the shadows would fall, say, 6months from now at 2.30 in the afternoon on a building that was not then even built.

All of my online hen pin-ups (the breeds on my ever-growing wishlist) have been sourced on a Mac, and much of my hen supplies are bought on one. My two rescued ex-batts were applied for and approved via my Mac and the constant support I received from www.exbatteryhens.com likewise. And of course, every chicken blog, poem or Tweet I have written has started out on a Mac.

So as a mark of respect my hens today invented a new App. Short, in this case, for “Appetite”, the hens did however demonstrate application in pursuit of their new game. It’s called “Hungry Birds” and it proved quite addictive.

In our version, 6 hens pit their wits against a large tin of dried mealworms, to see who can win the most points. No pigs were harmed (unlike the real app!) and no Hungry Birds were catapulted skywards, although Bouncy Bertha had been practising all day in case such skills were required.

The final score was: Entry levels won by Bunty and Bertha who scored 102 each in a team effort, as well as 9 bonus points won by spotting and eating the strange black insects that have hatched in the current sack of mealworms, much to the the hens’ delight.

As the game progressed, Bunty and Bertha were eliminated by Minty, who was then wiped out by Lily, though neither made much impact on the scoreboard. This was largely due to Florence (herself a somewhat “largely” bird) manoeuvring deftly into position over the mealworm tin, and in true Hungry Birds style, hogging it. Well, we had to have a nod to little pigs somewhere in the new game. Florence’s closing score was 327. At this point the tin was removed for health and safety reasons.

Sadly blown out of the water was Sumo, who failed to score any points at all, having not realised that mealworms were on offer and being far busier testing some delicious new berries that had just arrived hot-foot from the garden centre on a tasty new shrub.

So currently Florence holds the top score for round one of Hungry Birds. The next level will see the Hungry Birds doing more daredevil things such as jumping onto picnic benches or flying over the pond. Level 3 involves compost-bin manoeuvres and fighting invading starlings who attempt to alight on the mash hopper. Should any attempt to invade the seed trays, it’s death by beak.

So there you have it. We have lost a great, incisive, far-sighted visionary who in thinking out of the box, got everyone wanting a cube…. and then a pod and finally a pad.

…..And my hens, who are blessed with neither iNtellect nor iNsightfullness have invented a new game….Jobs well done.

But there’s a mighty gap at the top of the pecking order now…

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