Saturday, October 12, 2013

Birds of Other Feathers

My new birds are settling in. By that, I mean I'm managing the ongoing stress as best I can while they figure out that their new home is not the most horrible place in the world.

The day I went out to take pics of them happened to be sunny, which meant all the pics of the black hen turned out really cruddy. I'll get her on a cloudy day sometime. Until then, here's the splash hen, who has yet to have a name stick to her. She's sweet, and destined to live at the bottom of the pecking order, poor thing.

And here's the new rooster, Argent. I like that argent means silver and also sounds like sergeant without the s. He's mellow but not a pushover, and when he finds his feet, or beak, or wings, or whatever, I think he'll get along with Sophie, my pain-in-the-butt silver-laced Wyandotte hen, just fine. At least as well as I can get along with her. She's always sneaking up on my and zinging me at the top of my thigh/base of my cheek. She favors the right side. Dang, I'm tender there, and she knows it! Anyway, Beatrice, my American Araucana/Buff Orpington mix, gets along with everybody. If it were just her, I could throw them in together with no worries. Except, well, you're supposed to quarantine new birds. They don't have the same immunities and bugs as my local birds, and by local I mean my farm. The neighbors probably have a completely different mix of bugaboos that their birds carry and are immune to. Despite knowing this, I keep my birds all in the same coop overnight because there's no other safe place to put them, and then they're separated during the day.

And, because these things happen, we have a rat problem right now. Still working out how to get rid of the one under the coop without endangering the chickens. Thinking ....

Other than having to get up at first light every day to check on the birds, distribute feed and separate the flocks, this has been pretty easy going so far. The birds are stressed, of course, and I worry, and every day seems to bring a new challenge, but they're totally worth it.

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