Sunday, June 28, 2009

One Big Happy Family

I must have fretted for two weeks about how to integrate Flora and Gertrude into the coop with the other girls. The recycling bin seemed to shrink as the new girls grew and grew and though they never complained I felt guilty as the days went on. The little girls enjoyed days in the yard in my makeshift portable pen where they were totally ignored by everyone else. But at night they returned to the safety of the kitchen while I figured out how to move them permanently to the coop. I had bad memories of Eunice joining the family and how terrorized she was by the others for that first month. There's real truth to that pecking order thing...
I finally came up with a way to divide the coop run with one of the fences I had made for the driveway when escape to that area had been such an allure. I gave the new girls a small area in the back of the coop and settled them in to meet their sisters. I nervously waited for the squawks and pecking, even through the fence, but they never happened. It took all of one day with a fence and one night altogether in the coop for everyone to come together. That was fighting, no pecking, nothing... I was astounded and relieved. Had I known it would be so easy I wouldn't have waited so long to move the girls out. As it was, it was almost 7 weeks before they left the kitchen. What can I say...I'm a cautious parent.
After two weeks everyone seems to be getting along just fine though I don't think they've formed a community yet. It's still big girls roam the yard and little girls stay closer to the coop and that is fine with me for now though I hope at some point they all roam together (so I know where everyone is!). Flora and Gertrude still have their lovely chirping voices that seem to go non-stop and now I've noticed the big girls almost purring (in imitation?). Anyway, the new girls have discovered dirt baths and bugs, sleeping on the roost, and the joys of low flight to get across the yard in a hurry. It's fun to watch them all.
On a side note, the girls had a lovely visit to the Second Congregational Church in Beverly last weekend for their Strawberry Social. They were invited to highlight the work the Sunday School has done with the Heifer Fund. The kids (and the adults) were charmed by the hens and the chicks and I did some shameless plugging for raising chickens in Beverly. There was some definite interest from a few adults and practically every child! As always, the girls love visitors so contact me at to arrange a tour.
I'm going to figure out how to attach files to this blog so I can post the documents I mailed to folks during the May Open House including Beverly specific forms and general FAQ's and health information. More to follow...

1 comment:

B.Hicham said...

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