Woops, time has gotten away from me and I realized I haven't blogged in quite a while. Guess I need to give a bit of an update!
Firstly, Copper is now at a nice farm North of us where he has plenty of ladies to chase and crow to his little delight. He was starting to really harass the hens and his crow was unbelievably loud for such a little dude. I admit it was really emotionally straining to me to re-home him. I get attached to those I call family, two or four legged, and feel it is a big personal responsibility to follow through with the commitments you make and the consequences involved with taking pets into your home. Cowboy was not getting much sleep with the roo waking up so early and we were afraid of jeopardizing our entire flock over the noise of one bird. Unfortunately he had to go. Thankfully, I am quite positive he is happier now with a bunch of other Silkies to socialize with.
Second, the day after we re-homed Copper, "Agnes" took his place. Yep, our little special needs girl is really roo #2. Dang it all. The good side is that he is a pathetic crower and doesn't harass the girls nearly as much as Copper did. We have renamed Agnes "Señor José" (please make sure you put in a good amount of phlegm-accent to the 'J' in José). We volleyed between Señor José or Inigo Montoya...still somewhat undecided but Señor José is so far winning. We call him that because of his ridiculous rooster dance. It is half flamenco, half Bus-Stop...either way it is "special". He does this scratch-scratch-kick back with his feet then scuttles his butt towards the hen's side. I am going to attempt to catch video of it to post. It's completely hilarious, especially when I have Cowboy standing next to me doing a voice-over play by play of Señor José's actions. It goes something like this (think Spanish Pepé Le Pew), "Wait wait Senorita, don't run. I will dance for you. You will like it very much, eh?"
It cracks me up every single time.
He does treat the ladies well. He watches over them while they peck and scratch in the yard while emitting low warning growls, curious chirps, or happy grunts. He also lets them eat all the good treats first before helping himself. He's a good roo and his crow is very silly. Again, wait for the video.
Third, still sticking with the chicken theme, we purchased three more chickens from a Mennonite family at the local chicken swap. Meet the three new girls, slightly smaller and younger than our big girls (we didn't realize just how big our girls had gotten til placed near these three):
Pearl: Blue Splash Wyandotte
Lola: breed unknown (seller said hybrid Americauna but others have said she looks Phoenix)
Amelia: an Americauna
I know we were supposed to integrate the two families slowly but we had a few difficulties managing this. Our temporary "hospital/time out" cage was too small for three hens to be in for a prolonged time, we only have one coop and run so we were unable to effectively separate them, and our work schedules did not allow someone to be monitoring and keeping them apart especially at night. Therefore we were forced into a slightly quick but closely regulated integration. The first night I foolishly overslept and got out to open the run an hour later than I normally do. The big hens had ganged up on Amelia in the coop and bloodied the side of her face. I found her tucked in a nesting box where I scooped her up, gave her some extra loving, took her into the bathroom, patched her up, and applied Blue Kote. She is good as new and fully healed. I kept them slightly separated by locking them in the run and allowing the big girls access only to the coop for two days. There have been no further issues and no signs of any illness. The pecking order is still being established but the little girls are learning to be cautious around the big girls and give them priority. The little girls are skittish and not easily handled but I am finding each day is getting better. Pearl is the easiest to catch and cuddle, Amelia second, and Little Lola is the flightiest of the three.
****Breaking News: Tallula and Ellie Mae just laid me eggs today! That's four layers so far- wooo hooo!****
Lastly, I have been bread baking and reading up on sausage making. This next weekend should hopefully be a very productive weekend of homemade yumminess.
This is the bread book I'm sampling from.