There are three sets of chick/s running around at the moment, that I see have yet to be introduced, my bad…
The other White Chocolate hen, sister to the loaner, has three chicks; the shirt chick was adopted; and this little Silkie hen has three- two Cheeklings and a Silkie chick (got rescued into the greenhouse on rain day).
This particular hen’s quirk (they all have at least one), is that she does not, ever, want to go to bed in the coop. Instead, she hunkers down in the grass, in the exact same place, every night.
Normally I train them to go in a box, say, in their chickery days, and then I transfer the box after dark to a lock box.
Not this one. I have to bring the box to her. She hunkers down; I set the box near her.Well my word, a box! Look at that, kids! How ideal for our purposes!They move right in. Then I pick up the box and shuttle it into the coop.
The evening box ritual. Every night. Well I never! A box, how nice.Today, because it was raining and the new chips were probably exciting, she settled down under the pine tree – daring!
They do love a good sun day.This one started it all (Cream Puff).Oh that looks like a good idea.Whatcha doin’?Then the participants change.What’s even happening here? (There’s three hens)Then everyone’s in on it.There’s also a dust bowl a little ways from the sand box.The guineas like to lie in the grass in the sun.
Two hens are on loan to another family who needs some chicks. They are sitting on eggs and will return when their chicks are grown enough to not need their moms, like Cream Puff did last year (with a boyfriend in tow). Broody hen rental service.
The hens, one Silkie and one standard, got boxed and transported at night, installed in their brooding accommodations, and after a day to adjust, they have settled in extremely well.
I visited. Their coop is elevated, so when you open the access door, you’re eye level with the chicken. Hilarious!I love this look. Part baleful rage, part total serenity. She’s fulfilling her destiny, but she will also take your finger off if you get ideas. She’s not going to blink either. She’s watching you.
You couldn’t pry her off those eggs now. She’s in full pancake.
This one is SO happy to finally have eggs. She’s been brooding around, squealing every time I lift the coop lid, because she knows I’m rudely going to take all the eggs out from under her that she’s been busy stealing and hoarding all morning. I haven’t had a place to set her up to brood, or I might have given her an egg or two to keep. I’m not trying to grow my flock this year.
Then this need for loaners arose, and fluke of flukes, I only had one Silkie broody (!). So she lucked out. She gets to keep eggs of her very own, and she is incredibly pleased about it. Mine. My precioussss. She’s a very fiesty broody.
The Silkie mom is on the other side of the partition, and they’re set up in deluxe momming suites.
This girl is one of the white chocolates– all grown up! My other one is already a mom – she went broody some time ago and is running around with three little ones.
Cheeks progressed to spending all day outside. She started eating from the trough with the other hens, then started laying her eggs in the nest box of the coop!
I hardly saw her from the morning post-yelling eviction until the evening.
She would still come to the door of the house at bedtime, or if it rained heavily. Hello. I still live here. And I’d put her back in her banana box for the night.I can’t reach the handle.Ah! There you are.Do open this confounded door for me, would you? I thank you.
I don’t know why chickens often get English “I say, old sport” accents in my head.
So funny! Coming to the door like a cat in the evening:)
I was sitting on the sill of my open front door, a convenient place I’ve found for potting up starts, my dirt and trays arrayed in front of me, when the guineas wandered up.
They arrived quite suddenly, maintaining their constant twittering conversation about everything, and they came right up on the deck to see what I was doing. Whatrya doing?
I was so glad I was in arms-reach of my camera. I thought they were after the green stuff, but they didn’t make a move for it. Then, they apparently reached a conclusion about what was happening here, and, inspection done, they turned and left just as quickly, still ceaselessly conversating.Carry on. You passed. I’ll be checking up on you later, Cheeks.
Notice Cheeks was with me at the side of the deck, and she was subject to inspection too. She looked a little nervous- she froze and her eye got big.
Guineas are so funny. Strange, and funny. They’re different. I’m so pleased with this bunch. They roll around like friendly patrol cops on a beat, keeping tabs on everyone, including me. Oh, gardening? That’s acceptable. Hi again, how’s the job coming? I haven’t seen them on the deck before, but it’s great that they come around the house so close, instead of insisting on being cagey distant wild animals.
This little rooster is cerebrally challenged. In other words, he’s kinda dumb.
The last surviving rooster of the refugees from the horrible, terrible chicken place (all the hens recovered and relearned how to chicken, although they are all super small), he gets to stay in with the hens because of his beautiful colouring and mild, meek attitude. His brains, on the other hand, leave something to be desired.
The Colonel is at large in the GH, still the ruler of the roost, and boy is he kept busy teaching the young roos some manners. One flying drop kick at a time.
She took a whole arm off of this plant (right), and a couple of beak shaped bites out of another arm.
Then she took the tip off another plant. She really ate quite a lot of it, despite the bits she left behind. Apparently, today she just wanted some aloe. It’s good for her. No one else is eating it (I’ve tried, I find it bitter).
This is the box she stands on, to eat, and just to hang out for a lot of the day. Easy to clean:) The aloe just seemed like part of the buffet.
I got some more work done in the greenhouse. Specifically, I untied all the strings crossing the top third, that suspend tomatoes in the summer.
You can just see the strings in this pic. So I’m taking them down and crochet looping them up to decommission them until next year. The guineas will be able to fly around in the upper third of the GH again.
This festooning makes sense to me.
Then the irrigation came out, and the pool went in, and coops were shifted – oh my! When HW was yanking out the irrigation tape, he exposed a nestful of a family of shrews or voles that ran scurrying, and the chickens leapt into the air and screamed like little girls! Which made the whole room erupt, and they talked about it for quite a while.
The Silkies noticed immediately that their dust bath was refilled:) by immediately I mean seconds. About ten.
Cleopatra wants in there SO bad. So bad that I was able to catch her, the notorious escape artist, and take her jacket off- she’s all regrown.
Everyone wants into that dust bath. So much so that there was an invasion from outside:
A half dozen chickens that don’t belong hopped into Silkieland to use their fridge-drawer baths (how rude), all the while ignoring that they have a new grand bath of their own:
There was so much upheaval – wood chips and hay and coop movement and the addition of baths and overturning of turf, that the roosters were bleating about “New things! New things!” for about 20 minutes straight. Other than that it was very, very quiet. All must be investigated.
This little adventure chicken got in on the action when I went to hang some long poles for perches at the opposite end of the GH from where the guineas now roost. First, I rested it on the coop.
Whitey got aboard. More impressively, stayed on and rode the pole as I tied up the opposite end at 6’ish, then came to the coop, raised that end and tied that up.
What are you gonna do now, little bird?
That should keep them entertained for a couple days.
All very peaceful, until a croissant comes out. First it was pie crust, similarly discovered by accident – I was eating it within her reach, and she stabbed out her beak- I’ll have some of that!
Multigrain croissant has proven to be such a huge and lasting hit, that I’m like Ok, eat some more of your grains, and then you can have croissant. She’s like I’ll wait. I can carry a box of them through the room, and her little head periscopes out of her banana box, following me.
She gets a wicked glint in her eye when the croissant comes out, and she attacks! I used to break up beak sized pieces for her, but she prefers to rip her own bits off of the source, getting her whole body involved.
Why does she like it so much?
We don’t know, but at least she’s got an appetite.