Tuesday, August 26, 2014

New Birds on the Farm

A few weeks ago I thought my original flock of chickens was down to two.
Mavis and Louise.
Mable was the most recent to have disappeared.

On the other side of the yard we also had Peepers the lone Guinea that FabHub managed to hatch in an incubator and his little Cochin friend Buddy that we got at the flea market.
Peepers was so small and alone that we looked for another small bird to be in the box with him.
Buddy is the only one we found and is a small bird even when grown, but the two of them stay together all the time.

And then there are these two that also came from the flea market because they looked like they would grow up to be pretty. 
The man said they are Red Wyandotte -- I don't think so anymore.
FabHub said they are roosters -- Probably??
They haven't crowed yet, but the big girls do not pick on them at all, so maybe?
We will have to wait and see. 
I named them Laurel and Hardy because one way or the other there is a joke in their story.

Back to the disappearing flock.
So I was down to two chickens and didn't want to have none.
Then I saw a posting on FB from the source of our original eggs that they needed to downsize their flock either by selling some birds or filling a stew pot.
I offered to take four of them and then became the rescue home for another.

The girls run around the yards and fields all day so they hadn't been keeping up with the weeds inside their chicken yard. The morning we went to get the new girls I decided I better clean it up so they wouldn't wonder what kind of a jungle they had moved into.

So I am pulling weeds and tossing them in a pile...
and then look what I found.

Sitting on a pile of "never going to hatch" eggs.

Actually, I found the lower pile first. They seem to have been the ones she kicked out of the nest.
Then I found her on the upper pile giving me the stink eye look.
I had been missing an egg or two every day for a while. I kept looking for them, even in this yard, but obviously not well enough.

When I got done with the clean up the yard reappeared.
I pulled everything to try and make sure Mable didn't have a nest anymore.
She was mad.

Then we went and picked up the new girls.

These two are so sweet. Definitely used to being handled some.
The one on the left was the rescue. 
I don't know if she is laying eggs, but she is pretty.

We kept all of the hens locked up in the chicken yard for a couple weeks to make sure the new girls know where home is and the whole flock could sort out the living arrangements. 
My yellow girl, Louise, has turned into a big old domineering crank.
Kind of funny since she was the dizzy blonde in the beginning.

And did I mention Mable was mad?
Yes, she lost her egg pile and had to argue over her roosting spot all in a really bad day.
She pulled some feathers out of some butts to share her mood.

Then they all started to tolerate each other so I let them out of the yard.
That all happened in July.

A couple of days ago we risked more bad attitude by moving the other four in with the big girls.
They have been sticking together in their own group. 
We didn't lock all of the birds up again, just figuring the younger ones will follow the old girls.
So far that has mostly worked. 
The first night they tried roosting on the outside of the yard fence.
FabHub moved them inside.
The second night they were inside the building, but not on the roost.
There is progress anyway.

Everybody seems to be happy, especially with some cracked corn snacks.

Coming soon -- Baby Goats!

Get rid of that camera! This is not my good side! -- Little Violet

This photo was approved by Little Violet and her Minions.