Sorry for the delay today, I usually get my posts up before 10 but today I’m a bit behind. The heat wave has finally broken and I think that my body, after days and days of oppressive temperatures and humidity, has started its own little protest.
A little extra sleep and lots of water are on the schedule for today.
Last night, I wimped out.
The plan was to introduce our two young marans (Josephine and Mrs. (Mr.) Bucket) into the flock under supervision while they were all free ranging in the yard and then if that went well (which it did) put them in the coop with the rest of the flock for the first time last night.
For days now, the entire flock has been free ranging in our backyard with hardly a peep toward the addition of our two juvies. Oh, sure, there would be an occasional tweak every now and then but everyone seemed to be getting along. Our two juvies ran around together and the older birds made sure that the youngsters didn’t overstep any boundaries.
Last night was supposed to be the big night. I was going to move the juvies into the coop and then move our indoor babies out to “juvie pen” (which would have meant no more chicks in the house, always a blessed event in a chicken owner’s life.) We were all very excited about this move (especially Spencer who has his computer set up near the indoor baby chick pen.)
As the sun started to set, the kids helped me collect all the chickens and get them into the coop, including our two marans.
Who immediately squished themselves into the corner where the dreaded cinder blocks had been (Marc had removed them long ago) and started calling out to me for help. The older birds in the flock knew an opportunity when they saw one and kept pecking the trapped youngsters from behind.
Peck. Squawk. Moooooooooooom!
I tried to be strong, I really did. But when Josephine called out to me and she then reached out pleasingly with one of her feet on the chicken wire, like a puppy reaches out its paw to you in the pet store, I knew that it couldn’t go on.
“What do you want me to do?” Asked Griffin who was also a little upset at our juvies being so obviously bullied.
“Take them out.” I decided, visions of Violet’s demise still lingering in my brain. “Put them back in their own pen.”
None of my babies were going to be joining the flock that night.
Wendy Thomas writes about the lessons learned while raising children and chickens in New Hampshire. Contact her at Wendy@SimpleThrift.com
Also, join me on Facebook to find out more about the flock (children and chickens) and see some pretty funny chicken jokes, photos of tiny houses, and even a recipe or two.