It has been almost a week since I completely integrated the baby chicks in with our older flock of six hens. The babies, two Buff Brahma Bantams, one Salmon Favorelle, two Easter Eggers and a Golden Laced Wyandotte, seem to be finally settling in. I have doubled up on feeders and tripled the waterers and there is plenty of room in the large new coop. For hours, the kids and I have spent portions of our days, sitting outside the coop watching the two flocks become one. Through our observations, we have come to realize the big girls tolerate the presence of the little ones.
|Don’t be fooled by cute fluffy butts|
Sometimes, I liken chicken behaviors to childrens’ or some misbehaving adults for that matter. Some days their behaviors are down right appalling, surprising, and rude. Over the years, I have seen some behaviors in the flock that make me sit down and scratch my head. Most days are smooth. However, on others I have been known to play referee, try and change behaviors, or even reprimand ones that cannot be overlooked. I continue to learn lessons everyday from this little flock of seven, even if it involves chicken time outs now and then. These chicken lessons never grow old no matter your age.
I have a loner in the flock. Her name is Fifi. She is a Silkie Bantam at the bottom of the pecking order. She doesn’t seem to be concerned about power or authority. She is curious, happy, timid and shy and keeps to herself. She sleeps alone in the nesting box. She has a few friends-all Silkies who she hangs out with during the day, but most times, she is exploring life alone.
Dolly has no head feathers. She has been bald above the eyes for a while now. It all started in the spring, when she had one of her broody bouts; mind you she goes broody about every three weeks. That is just how Dolly is. It is a vicious cycle. Two days ago, I noticed that Dolly’s head feathers were finally returning again. Beautiful dark pin feathers were filling in the bald vacancies. They were about a half an inch long. Was she finally going to have some poofy Silkie feathers? Alas it wasn’t meant to be.