THE TAENISH GROUND BIRD

APPEARANCE - SPECIAL ABILITIES - TERRITORY
HABITAT/BEHAVIOUR - DIET - MATING - MYTH/LORE

The Taenish is a small bird, about four spans in both length and height. It is easy to take care of and its meat is easy to cook, making it a good bird for farming and consumption. Its drab look and lack of intelligence makes it easier to do away with when supper time arrives.

Taenish Cock, Hen and Chick

View picture in full size  Picture description. Taenish cock, hen and chick all posing for the artist. Image drawn by Bard Judith.

Appearance. The Taenish is dull-colored, a mass of black-tipped grey feathers. Cocks have a wattle and comb of dark blue, as well as large ankle-claws called spurs. Hens do not have any of these features. Males are slightly larger than females, and and are known to be more aggressive. Both have yellow eyes and a white-yellow beak.

Taenish cluck incessantly. In good moods their cluck sounds more like a rumbling purr, but when aggravated the Taenish will crow and caw until the aggravation ceases.
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Special Abilities. The Taenish has no special abilities. Its characteristics make it an easy animal to breed, raise, harvest and serve, but these aspects are not necessarily an advantage to the Taenish.
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Territory. Taenish can be found nearly everywhere, as long as there is a sentient race capable of giving the Taenish the bare essentials. As most Taenish live on farms, cages, or coops, they are not territorial, unless it comes to their eggs. Then they will crow and caw when another creature approaches, the Taenish will not leave the nest.
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Habitat/Behaviour. The Taenish is almost unable of taking care of itself. It relies on food and protection given to them by farmers. Most of its instincts are intact, no matter how useless.

Taenish spend most of their time foraging, scratching at the earth with their clawed toes, and picking seed, insect and grain from what they dig up. The females sleep in clutches of 3-5, fluffing their feathers for warmth. The males tend to sleep alone, at the highest spot in the area. In enclosed pens, the strongest male will sleep at the "high spot", the rest of the males sleeping at the base of the spot, in case the head cock moves.

When predators approach, most Taenish do not know what to do. They usually run, crowing loudly, but some are so confused they may stand in one spot. These are usually picked off the quickest.
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A roast taenish

View picture in full size Image description. A banquet with delectable roast taenish as the speciality. Picture drawn by Seeker.

Diet. Taenish eat nearly anything you give them, as long as they can fit it down their gullet. Bread, grains, insects, meat and grasses are the most common foodstuffs. They have been known to pick at Taenish carrion, as well as their own broken eggs, but this has been proven to cause birth defects and poor-tasting flesh. Return to the top

Mating. The Taenish are fertile all year round. This esnsures survival of the species; strength in numbers. A female will fall into heat, and she will parade herself before the males. Males will fight with beak and spur over the female until one wins. Fighting Taenish males are very violent, and if stubborn (as most are) they may fight to the death. The winning cock will then mate with the female and then leave.

3-5 eggs are laid three to seven days later. The hen will lay the eggs in a dark, quiet place, where she will sit on them for long periods of time, only rising to roll them and feed. Most hens grow very thin during incubation. The chicks hatch about a month later, their feathers fuzzy and yellow for the first month, then greying out. At birth, males already have the first marks of their comb at the base of the beak; these are usually the first sold. Older males have a tendency to kill young male chicks, to ensure their place in the pecking order. Male chicks are safe after 2-3 months of life, so good farmers will separate them from the main flock until this time in a "Bachelor House". At 4 months, a Taenish is sexually mature. Taenish usually live 3-6 years.
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