Thursday, May 13, 2010
If you're sweet, unaware and a wanderer, you are Legs. Not really part of the flock, not really not part of the flock. Kind of whatever. She's a little spacey but always approachable. Connects once in a while. Once laid an egg.
Stretchie - and I wish I could get a shot of her long neck when she telescopes it up - is an ugly duckling that grew into a swan. When we first adopted her, she had no feathers on her neck, and was picked on by the others. She would peck at me, peck at you, peck at anyone because she was just tired of being pecked on. She was Bitter Chicken.
I decided to mix up a tea tree oil blend. I figured it smells bad, and might stop the others from pecking at her. And it has healing properties, so it might get those feathers growing again.
Now, look at her. Mother to be and the first to commit to laying on those eggs. She is patient with the chicks when they hatch, and readily shares her mom duties with Lulu.
However, she still has a dark side.
Each of my hens has a personality. Coco has the most. There isn't a single time I've gone out to the coop that she hasn't been the first to come over and say hello. I can tell her cluck and trill apart from all others. She's always got some news to tell or a greeting to give. Outgoing, friendly, even likes being petted.
Coco, Stretchie and Lulu are the oldest hens I have. Stretchie and Lulu took on the task of hatching the eggs we sprung on them. I've learned since that putting in a few decoy eggs is a good way to get the hens broody. Then switch the decoys out for real eggs.
I like having a mixed crowd. I know they aren't egg layers, but they're darn good mothers, and I think the first to co-parent as well.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
We spent a great Mother's day at a llama and sheep festival. Then we came home and put Luigi, Moon and Angel outside for the first time. They didn't know what to make of it. Moon and Angel sat on my lap a good deal of the time. And Luigi -- who we maybe should not have named Luigi -- took on Georgia. So, we now suspect Luigi may be our next rooster.
I had to work, so I asked Mary to check on the chicks. On Friday, when they were, what, 48 hours old?, she found them wandering around the run! That means they had to jump down from the nesting box, down the step out of the coop and around the run. Mary scooped them up and brought them to her house. Stretchie and Lulu did all they could to keep it from happening, but in the end, Mary won.