Featured Post

I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Lessons from Blackie

FIRST... HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KIRSTEN!!! I cannot believe you are already TWO!!! ^_^

So, for the past many days Blackie has been acting a bit differently. She's been FAR less patient wtih her growing chicks. She's been especially hard on the two birds who seem most surely to be males. She's hen pecked them, pulled feathers and then consumed them... and basically been a bit mean. Additionally, she's been acting a bit nuts... like almost flying into the main door I use to access the outdoor part of the chicken tractor. She's definitely been more anxious and nervous... and her chicks have seemed more anxious and nervous and definitely afraid of her.

Blackie came from a farm. She was a chicken who roamed 34 acres. Or very nearly. There were that many she could've roamed. When she hatched her chicks, she was confined with them to a small space. Apparently other hens will kill the chicks that are hatched. I'm not sure why. I'm still really new at this whole thing. I can imagine, though, that it's far too much of a job for one hen to protect her brood from lots of other hens. So confining her with her chicks is a good safety measure.

Well, I've seen the confinement area for the hen and chicks. It's quite small. So, when Blackie came here, she was moving into a larger home than the one in which she'd been confined.

Until her chicks grew some.

They are now flattening the grass area in about 24 hours when they are moved to a new area in the yard. This would not serve a chicken who has been used to fresh grazing every day for her whole life prior to babies. At least, it wouldn't serve or be sufficient when he chicks are more able to fend for themselves a bit more.

What resolution could there be? Well, I decided, even though my fence is no more in place than it has been, to let Blackie out to fend for herself. I did so for a few hours yesterday afternoon. She was nowhere in sight when I went out to put her back in the tractor. I looked. Didn't see her. And then I called her. And there she was... walking right toward me after I called her! She came to the tractor, wandered around it looking for another way in than the one I offered, and then reluctantly made her way in when I moved out of her way. She investigated the run area a bit and then made her way into the coop.

I let her out again today. Hopefully it will continue to work this well until I ca let all the chickens out all day and close them up at night. That will happen when the fence is fully in place. Thankfully the chicks really have not known anything other than confinement for their short lives. They are not really stir crazy!

So, the lesson? Any guesses?

1 comment:

vicki said...

Do tell...
the lesson?
I haven't formulated one b/c I am being lazy.
love, lazy mom

copyright notice

© 2008-2016 Tori Gollihugh All Rights Reserved