Thursday, September 24, 2009

Chicken update

Here's a picture taken September 1 of Fifi's latest brood of 4 chicks which hatched August 11. Mr. Fluff and Valentine, a pullet Fifi managed to hatch in 0°F. weather this past February, are also featured. At least one of the chicks, the silvery one, is a cockerel but we're hopeful the other three are pullets.

This photo was taken this morning and shows the chicks out-growing Fifi. She still takes them under her wing (literally!) and shelters them from the rain, tho. And when we had a hawk scare on Tuesday, she sounded the alarm and the chicks stayed put, hunkered under the sweet annie and peonies around the deck, until the still-hungry hawk left the area.

Fifi and family live in the backyard rather than in the portable electric netting we use for the 2 full-size roosters and their hens. She shares the small backyard coop with another of her hatchlings, a green egg layer now almost a year old, known as Bronwyn. Bronwyn is well-known to our closest neighbor as she enjoys going on walk-about regularly. Every time we spot her out of the fenced backyard, she quickly heads home without any fuss on our part but she's determined to check out the surrounding green space at least a couple of times each week.

Dolly and Turkey are two more of the backyard girls. Turkey is an extra-large Turken who sees herself as a pet instead of a laying hen. Oh, she comes up with an egg regularly but apparently believes her main purpose in life is to set on one's knee and be petted and fed tidbits. Sort of like Holly-dog with feathers. Dolly makes a very distinctive coo-ing sound and sometimes finds herself being trailed by Mr. Fluff. He usually leaves the larger hens alone but has decided Dolly's the hen for him.

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