Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Three chickens in a box

They came to me in a cardboard box after dark...:

Three new hens from a friend who has to move and needed to re-home her chickens.

I decided that since the winter weather has been so warm and wet lately and, especially with the addition of new chickens, this was a really good time to dust my birds for mites and lice.

So, on the night the new girls came, everybody got it. A bit of dust, here and there. Under each wing:

At the vent:

Then back on the roost to recover from the humiliation:

Look at my poor friend, Lori. She certainly won't be suffering from any lice or mite problems in the near future, that's for sure:

Even despite the traumatic dusting event, the three new girls jumped down off the roost and gobbled up some pellets before bed:

Here's what I came down to the next morning. New girls on the left. My girls (and Roopert) on the right. How very unfriendly of Team Critter Farm:

This was the scene in the afternoon. New girls still on the left - now up on the roost, my girls all still pretty much on the right, continuing to be rude and unfriendly:

Sleeping arrangements on the second night were creative:

I didn't care for this at all and insisted that everybody sleep together:

Today is Wednesday, day 3 since the new girls arrived and the situation is still the same. Since Skippy, Honey and Thumper are pretty much spending their days on a roost in a corner, I've become concerned about their ability to eat. So...
hand feeding has become the norm:

They're very appreciative:

And since my own flock hasn't been polite enough, please...

...welcome Skippy. Skippy is a white Leghorn hen. She was formerly at the very top of the pecking order in her old flock, poor girl. This all must be quite a shock to her. She will be another white egg layer like Dottie, my White-Crested Black Polish hen:

...say hello to Thumper. Thumper is a Welsummer. She is a quiet girl with a gentle disposition who will, hopefully, be laying some gorgeous chocolate-brown eggs:

...and smile at Honey. Honey is the Buff Orpington with the blurry face in the photograph below. She's just about to fend off an attack from Bippity:

See?:

Not nice. Not nice at all. I'm embarrassed by the behavior of my chickens:

George, the barn cat, came by today to check on things:

He was very interested in all the feather rustling:

..but he pretended not to care when Roopert walked by:

Once Roopert was gone, though...:

Of course, Roopert needed to tell the new girls he's their daddy:

Here's hoping Thumper, Honey and Skippy get to spend a bit more time on the ground tomorrow:

P.S.
That's it now, people. The farm is full. There's no more room at the inn. In the last week, we've acquired a new cat and three new chickens. The Critter Farm family is complete.

33 comments:

  1. Nothing doing. You know stuff comes in threes. Somebody else is on the way.

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  2. A lot of chicken.
    Very nice farm.=)

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  3. It won't be long and the chickens will sort things out! The new ladies are beautiful! My lady is looking forward to seeing the dark brown eggs that the Welsummer will lay!

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  4. I suspect the Critter Farm Team blames the new girls for the midnight dusting episode. LOL

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  5. Funny, just when you think that, someone else shows up.

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  6. LOL! No more critters? You know, I say that every single time I take a new one in: "No more room. Nope. Uh Uh. No way. Not gonna do it. Awwww... look at that face!"

    I'm now considering goats since I can't continue to live vicariously through your goat posts. :)

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  7. Your new hens are pretty. It may take them a little while to feel like a part of the original flock. My new hens have been here almost 2 months. They stayed totally separate for over a month. They are finally blending with my old hens.

    Your photo stories are always very enjoyable. Thanks for taking the time to prepare and share them!

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  8. I always say, my hens are the ultimate Mean Girls. I know it's their nature, but I can't stand watching them push and shove and peck at each other. Your new girls are lovely.

    Denise

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  9. never new chickens needed dusting... I learn so much from you!

    also didn't know chickens had such group dynamics! I guess that where "pecking order" comes from.

    you and your dedication to all living things are amazing! on behalf of all things without voices...thanks

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  10. talk about hen pecked. poor girls...i wonder how much time it will take to be integrated. but yay new chickens and that gorgeous kitty!

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  11. I hope your new girls integrate soon. It's good you're keeping an eye on them and feeding them by hand. You may be right about them not getting to the food.
    Maybe put out two waterers as well.
    A full farm, congratulations. :)

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  12. Haha. Very nice family. Welsummer you say? My hubby is all about brown egg layers so I think I may look into that breed.

    You got some nice hens, I think. Hope the new pecking order gets sorted soon!

    Have a great day!

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  13. Putting the new girls on the roost with the others at night is a good idea. If you do so when it's dark, the others shouldn't bother them. If the rude treatment continues, you may want to try removing the two worst offenders, during the day, for a few days to let the new girls form a relationship (make some friends!) with the less aggressive hens first. Then, reintroduce the aggressive hens, one at a time until peace returns to the coop...

    I love chickens but feel SO sad when they're mean to each other!

    Good luck and give a little treat to Thumper, Honey & Skippy for me!

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  14. What fun and how beautiful!
    But I have to admit I'm happy not to be The Chicken Borrower....!
    ;)

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  15. Ha, yeah, I remember saying the before: No more critters, never ever. I was positive. And so I ignored an adorable orange young cat when he showed up hurt and hungry and scared at the back door. One of my beloved pets had just died and I couldn't face the possibility of opening my heart to another. Luckily, Randy took care of the little kitty. One one day I went out and talked to the scared boy, and the rest is history. Jackie now is my love-bug kitty and I don't know what I would do without him for a minute.

    Never say never. You never know! Good luck with the hens!

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  16. Chickens always behave like Jr. High school girls. Cliqueeeeeee. We once had a group of 5 that the others just didn't like their attitudes or were jealous of their combs, who knows and they were always the group of five. Funny, I agree with Paula, stuff always happens in threes...who's that knocking on Critter Farms door??? The Olde Bagg,Linda

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  17. Famous last words, my friend. :)

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  18. Big welcome to Skippy, Thumper and Honey! They are lovely looking hens and I think your hens might just be jealous of those beauty queens! I do hope they will integrate over time.

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  19. but you don't have any rabbits yet. Or sheep, or cows, or...

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  20. Hope Team Critter gets on the ball soon Danni! Are you sure there isn't a Guinea somewhere that needs a good home???

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  21. New girls will eventually settle in, I'm sure the man of the roost will help sort it out. Well as long as he is not too hen pecked :D

    They all look lovely.

    Now I have this poor little chook that needs a home ;wink ;wink

    LiBBiE in Oz

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  22. Awww I hope they all start to mingle soon!!!

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  23. Why do all animals know where to go when farmgirl is in the vicinity? Remember the sheep that followed you home on the school bus? My husband said yesterday, "It's incredible. No animal can resist farmgirl. She has such a connection!"
    Three very lucky hens have joined the flock. The resistance group will soon tire of their ill-mannered behavior.
    More eggies! Yeah!

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  24. They certainly are a lovely trio. Is it possible that they don't want to mix with the, ahem...locals?

    I'm reminded of all the hissing and growling that went on in our house from my inhospitable hostess when our new cat first arrived. I haven't witnessed it myself yet, but The Frenchman tells me they're now sharing the bed during the day.

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  25. I will feed the chickens pasta since it helps them with laying, and I will feed them (instant) oatmeal if it helps them warm up, but I draw the line at having to hand feed them while they are outside....for now at least...

    When I asked my Magic 8-Ball the question; "Is Critter Farm Full?" Magic 8-Ball said; "Reply hazy, try again", so I worked up my courage and asked again, this time the Magic 8-Ball replied; "Very doubtful".

    I can't wait to see what shows up next! I bet its sheep......

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  26. I know you have a lot of comments here, but I was wondering what you dust your chickens with? Is it a chemical? We need to do that. Having these injured chickens, I have noticed some of them have mites.

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  27. I know you have a lot of comments here, but I was wondering what you dust your chickens with? Is it a chemical? We need to do that. Having these injured chickens, I have noticed some of them have mites.

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  28. Aren't chickens something? Mine did the same thing when we took in the foster chicks. Roopert is, I'm sure, very excited at the new prospects. Team Critter farm girls will be excited too once they realize Roopert will be spending more time getting to know the new girls on the block and giving them a break.
    Staci

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  29. Oh, they're gorgeous! I surprised how they're really getting along so well. I love reading about all the farm animals. Chester has the MOST expressive face.

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  30. Congratulations on your new babies. You are such a good mamma! And I still love chicken butts. We still haven't decided on whether to get chickens, but this post really makes me want them.

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  31. Roopert is the spitting image of my first-ever roo. We named him Fabio because of the long, flowing neck feathers. He was such a show-off.

    Miss him, and the hens, so awfully much. We sold them to move west, and now have been without chix for almost 2 years. Makes me heart sick. Which is why I visit your blog. I need to satisfy my farm craving somehow.

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  32. Curious what you're dusting them with, I really should have something on hand. Is it simply DE?

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  33. Yes, sometimes it takes awhile to integrate the new girls with the old flock. Can take quite awhile. I love that photo of Roopert crowing to the new hens. Funny.

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