True stories of a small flock of remarkable individuals -- and other critters.



Friday, June 18, 2010

BECOMING A CHICKEN

continued from previous post: The Same Only Different


Ahhh - hot summer days - 

The ladies recently helped me add a back room to their coop.  I got creative and made it with bits and pieces of wood and fencing that I already had, so it technically cost me nothing. -- which technically makes up for the cost of the original coop, which technically cost quite a bit.


Now that their coop is twice as big, do you think they'd enjoy it more?  

No.

They still hurl themselves indignantly against the door every time I pass by, expecting me to come let them out of their prison.

They do get plenty of free-range time.

When I let the girls out, Lil'White heads straight to the garden to hunt for her favorite treats: 

plastic vegetable tags.  
If she could swallow them whole, she would.

On these hot days, Lucy heads for the densest shade to lie down.

I have to listen very carefully to find her.

Fern and Daisy aren't big enough yet to wander the yard.
But a few days ago, they had their first supervised playdate with the big gals.

There is no tried-and-true method for introducing new chicks to a flock.

My method:  I rolled out some fencing, put everyone together, and sat on a stool in the center of things.


It all began pleasantly.


But things soured quickly.

Lil'White attacked, babies screamed... it was ugly there for a minute.
I scooped the babies away from Lil'White and let them chill out in the corner.

Just when they were beginning to calm down, 
along came Pigeon, the queen bee.

I felt sorry for the little ones, but knew they'd have to learn to protect themselves eventually, so I waited and watched as Pigeon sauntered slowly in their direction.

Little Fern and Daisy cowered in the corner.

They hid their heads and squealed in terror as Pigeon craned her neck and.....

took a good close look at Fern's beautiful plumage.


Then Pigeon turned and walked away.


So you just never know...

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Something else you just never know about until it's too late:

Are these chicks going to one day lay eggs, or are they going to crow?

I've been burned once by Mother Nature----

She gave me this:



which turned into this:






...so what's with this tail on little Daisy?
....and these little black neck-feathers?



...and how about this tail of Fern's:
???
Am I paranoid?

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  
Next post: Critters

20 comments:

  1. Daisy's saddle feathers look awfully rounded - which should put you in the clear. My Easter Eggers kept me guessing - well I am still guessing. I have had neither egg nor crow yet.

    So happy to see you back - I missed everyone.

    In my little flock the Alpha hen has very little aggression - but number 2 is the enforcer that keeps everyone in line.

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  2. What a perfect end to my last day of school! Thank you! You know I am no chicken expert, but I am a bit suspicious......

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  3. I have been waiting and waiting for you to post, thank you!!!!!!! lol. I truely enjoy your blog and having chickens of my own i totally can see their personalities each one has and the funny things they do,lol.

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  4. Thanks for the update - I guess that was a happy ending...those are colorful tail feathers. This is the closest I have come to knowing any chickens and a rooster - and I am enjoying it!

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  5. Ironically, I will be posting soon about our own hen or rooster? drama. I will leave you guessing. But your Fern looks like my Mei and she is most definitely a hen. Not sure about that tail on Daisy. Our Saffron does not have a tail like that and is the same breed. Time will tell!

    Thanks for the post, I always look forward to them!

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  6. They look like hens to me, but a lot of times they'll be all hen and then go through some sexual transformation overnight and crow the next morning. Sigh. Silly chickens. I have three chickens too and read your blog religiously, but don't comment as often as I should. Just wanted to say thanks for an awesome blog! I'm so drawn to your art! It's really amazing!

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  7. I. Love. Your. Blog! Thanks for the update - I was suffering withdrawal symptoms.....

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  8. So Cute... hope the new chickens turn out to be girls for ya!

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  9. ahhh I loved the part where "this" turned into "THIS"... I laffed out loud. rooster potential - the dramatic tension has me hooked!

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  10. So glad to see your post. I've missed it!

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  11. Bright spot of my day when I read your posts. My house is too urbanized to raise chickens...so I'm following your posts closely, getting vicarious chicken thrills. Thanks.Always a real pleasure.
    -Ingrid

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  12. Am I paranoid?

    Of COURSE you're paranoid! You raise chickens!

    ;-)

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  13. Love your stories, they both look like pullets to me, especially the EE's coloring.

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  14. Fern looks like a gal to me (based on my EEs), but Daisy looks like possibly a Duke. (pardon, lame late night attempt at a pun)

    Either way, thanks for another wonderful story & smile.

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  15. My Daisy, an araucana, looks like your Fern. Our little Daisy is probably just a couple weeks older than Fern and she is definatley not a rooster.

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  16. So glad I discovered your blog searching how to introduce a new hen to my two-chicken flock. Can't wait to read more :) - Lori

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  17. They look like chicken to me, but many times they are all the chickens and then go through some metamorphosis night and crow sexual the next morning. Sigh.

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  18. People are creative and done with pieces of wood that had fences, which technically does not cost me anything. which technically makes the cost of the cooperative of origin, which, technically, the cost a bit.

    Free Poker Money

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  19. Donna helped him just add a back room of their cooperation.They have creative and cut into pieces and pieces of wood and networks, which already had, so technically it costs me nothing

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