Apples and Sprout have a totally adorable thing going on. They’re so attached. I hope it lasts into Sprout’s adulthood.Also, Apples has made an astonishing and unexpected total integration into general population. She’s turned out to be a big Silkie hen, the opposite of what made her a house chicken in the first place. She’s still extremely relaxed and mild, and rides my arm without hesitation, reasons why I thought she’d be attacked by the outside chickens.She’s always been into hay bales.
Sprout was starting to spend more time out of the chickery than in, just orbiting Apples like a satellite, and I saw Apples get frustrated pacing at the wall, so I just lifted it up and out she strolled. I monitored to be able to interrupt any fracas. She promptly fought, actually fought the ranking Silkie rooster, who was probably so surprised at being challenged by a girl he threw the fight, and that was that. She’s got some kind of agreement with Philippe the big rooster now; she’s under his protection.She’s even becoming a little more tolerant of Sprout’s three siblings, the orphans. Sprout is spending more time with them too; that’s nice.There’s the Family in the background, hovering. Philippe the rooster, Cheeks,Puffcheeks, Galahad the Guinea, and two layer hens (aka “those hens that are always glued to the rooster”) make up the Family. Always together.My phone rang.Ok, let’s all groom at once! There’s the orphans. Speckles the Silkie cross and … I have a lot of names now and many of them are tentatively reserved, but if they’re not gender neutral names, they aren’t firmly assigned yet because I don’t know yet who’s roos. Also it takes some time – names don’t just get applied, they have to settle on the bird. Like, is this right for you?Trying out neighboring haybales.Like Big Bird, only, not big at all. We can haybale too.Try out the other one!Perchick’s chicks sometimes hang out together, but usually they’re scattered far and wide. I can’t get over how confident and independent these little birds are. Many times more so than Sprout and the orphans, who are much older than them. I’ve even seen them peck the older chicks, and they have to reach up to do it. They’re just out in the weedy wild on solo missions most of the time.
I rebaited the trap, in case there’s a second raccoon, and the hens really, really, want that egg.Ok, we gotta work the problem!
The little silver chick is the cutest thing ever. I wonder what s/he will turn out to be.Their colouring is uncannily similar to their mom’s.Only, she’s not their real mom. This one was hatched out of a full-sized egg, so there’s no direct genetic connection to this mom. Maybe she’s really the aunt, though (?). Whoa! What is that!?
There’s a red bug, walking, on the wood juuust on the other side of that mesh…Long neck:)The bug has walked to the right, and its progress is being closely followed.Too bad it’s not Easter. Look at this.
This brazen baby bunny has been visiting the chicken snack bar, and the chickens don’t blink at her. Here comes Perchick, spending some time with her chicks for a change. Adorable!!
Every year around this time, a raccoon wanders in and gets a little too comfortable. I know, because I see someone’s been washing their dirty hands in the water dishes, and I have to get the trap.
The chickens weren’t quite as alarmed and fascinated as I expected, but the guinea was aghast. He hopped back into the greenhouse to alert me, shouting. Threat!!! Threat!!! Hey! You seem to be ignoring that there’s a RACCOON out here! He and Puffcheeks are the only birds that attempt to communicate with me, looking me in the eyes and vocalizing, like they really mean to tell me something, and giving me the benefit of the doubt that I might be capable of understanding. The barred rocks were the most concerned, looking at it, looking at each other.
This is Ketchup and Mayo and their Mom. Every day they hop up on the edges on Silkietown for post-breakfast perching hour. In fact, they come and go all day. These are the year’s first chicks, and they are now being taught to go in the coop with the big chickens at night. I fish them out of the Silkie coop and stuff them in the big coop, and they take it well, but in the morning, they fly home for breakfast and perching hang time with Mom.I was inspired by “Mustardseed”, and thought, oh, those two are perfect, red, and well…more white than yellow, but they can be Ketchup and Mustard. I was pointing them out to HW and he said “Wait, who’s Mustard? (scoffs) No way!!! That’s Mayonnaise!”I couldn’t argue. She’s very white. But condiments are a very rich line of potential names. There will be a whole fridge door of chickens.
She’s over here, the chicks are over there…well they’re just all over, now. Often in this pine tree.They are scattered, seemingly not too attached to being with each other, either, let alone Mom. It makes them really hard to count, now, to check on them, now they are roaming solo.
They’re so confident! So small still, but they think they’re big chickens. Even in the coop at night, they’re all scattered around, with their own little spot claimed. They’re really done with Mom, and she’s done with them. It gave me a heart attack at first, I thought she’d been taken, but then she was safely found under a pine tree, bathing, having adult time.Looks good in there!Meetup! Meetup? By the door in two!Perchick was on a long solo date with Philippe today, like a poly wife that’s getting her “husband alone time”. They were out together in the pig field, oddly far away from the other chickens.
Ursa Minor’s looking smug (it’s funny how they always look smug or proud when they get their chicks, but it is an achievement that cost endurance and attention). Four chicks! How exciting, she got all of hers.There’s one!There’s another one. These two new moms got transferred out of their broody kennels into boxes and chickeries today, so I could clean the kennels for the next tenants.Daisy finally got her suite upgrade.This one (tentatively “Wolverina” is still so fierce! She only has two chicks hatched, which isn’t good, but she’s sticking to her eggs. They were both model sitters, so the problem must be with the eggs. It’s sad when they don’t get all their chicks. Side by side chickeries.There’s a kennel vacancy (not for long I don’t think). That’s Sprout and Apples enjoying greenhouse privileges.
I happened to be inside to see a bird fly straight into the window. I’m quite sure it was a young robin. There are two being attended by frazzled moms right in the vicinity of the house, and one overactive and very friendly baby woodpecker that’s always on top of us – very cute. But this wasn’t the woodpecker, it was a substantial dark bird, so I’m sure a robin.
The bird came straight at the window full tilt, and then slammed into the screen, spreadeagled like a cartoon of a bird whacking into a window (not a funny cartoon!), then instead of errrk, cartoon squeaking down the glass… SPROIIING! The mesh rebounded and threw it back, the bird tumbling and recovering in the air. I didn’t even have time for my mouth to fall open, watching the whole thing in an instant.
The heat wavefinally expired in a thunderstorm, as they often do. After so many days sticky and gross, I decided to go out in the downpour in near swimwear and plastic shoes and just get drenched with the rest of the hot thirsty world. I had to move lots of water, as I always do when it rains, to make sure not to waste a drop that the roofs are catching, and shuttling water in a rubber suit to stay “dry” underneath was not appealing.
It was as glorious as I imagined! I was even a little cold at first. It’s good to be reminded of the true function of eyebrows. They divert water from your forehead around your eyes.
The only thing lacking was listening to something; electronics don’t mix with water like that. No pictures either for the same reason, but I had to risk it for this: The hens were not as enthusiastic about a good drenching, and utilized the heck out of their hen tents. They love their hen tents. Perchick and her chicks were running around in the rain at first, the chicks shaking off like dogs, and then I didn’t see them for awhile. I worried they were in a cold wet huddle somewhere, so I went looking, and found six of them in the coop! The coop they learned to use only the night before. Quick studies. The seventh was with mom:) They’re at peak cute, with their fuzzy little heads but feathered bodies, long legs. Full of personality chickenality. Well, I guess peak cute lasts a while.
The tomatoes are taking off now, the eggplants are coming, the cucumbers have decided to start growing after putting growth on hold completely for a solid month, even the melons are experimenting with a few new leaves – seems like there will be a crop of some kind after all.