Friday, August 1, 2014

Sergeant Peepers and The Injured Hens Club

OH GOODIE! More chicken stories! This time with lots of pictures...

Peepers first... That poor guy is so anxious and neurotic. I was hoping one of these days he would just adjust to being wild outside and start acting like a normal confident rooster, but so far that has not happened. He does wait for me every day now though... he recognizes my car and will see me pulling up (if I'm driving) and run/fly across the street to get to me. It does make me sad every time he perches on my car (which is several times/week) because I know he's asking for me to just bring him home already.

The other day I was jogging home from swimming... There was a guy sitting in his car on the side of the road near where Peepers hides in the bushes... This is what he witnessed: Girl in bathing suit/shorts runs up, stops, kneels down on sidewalk. Black rooster comes darting out of the bushes and hops on her shoulders. She hangs out for a few minutes talking to the wild rooster. Then she stands up, rooster flies off her shoulder, and she continues running.

Fwiw, I didn't know the guy was watching, but he did throw me a shaka when I finally noticed him. Apparently it is cool to be a chicken whisperer.
Most of the time I bring food and sit down on the sidewalk while Peepers eats. Sometimes when he's done he uses me as a perch. When he is perched, he seems more calm/normal, so I have asked Scott to build him a perch that we can put near where he lives. I've surveyed the area and there aren't any good trees nearly that aren't already occupied by another rooster and his hen(s). I think being on the ground all the time is what makes Peepers nervous though.

What Peepers really needs is a hen! And I've found him one! She is a new mama who hatched NINE little chicks a few days ago... I've been throwing food at them when I am there and she is starting to trust me, coming closer and closer. If Peepers would just act like the ROOSTER he is, he could adopt this pretty lady and her babies and live a normal rooster life, so that's what I'm trying to achieve by feeding her...

Snow is doing well. He acts like a rooster, crowing his little heart out on the sidewalk and protecting his hen and her babies. It's cute and since they are doing well, I just throw food at them and leave them alone.

So you can imagine, feeding Peepers and his potential hen/family, Snow and his hen/family, Ellie and my three little whites, I go to the Feed Supply store fairly often. The guys in there know me by now (and Moana too!). A few days ago I was there and saw a white silkie who is apparently about 3 months old sitting in a little cage... not sure why I had never seen her before? Silkies, as cute as they are, don't always end up being bought because 1) They can't be sexed as chicks so you're taking a risk that you might end up with a roo, 2) They lay really little eggs so if you're in it for egg production this is not your most desirable type. But damn are they cute, and they are really sweet docile gentle chickens so they make great pets. Anyway, when we saw this white silkie who looked like the female version of Snow, I asked the guys about her... they said she was injured and couldn't walk. I think they figured they'd never be able to sell her so they told me if I wanted her I could just have her... Um, ok! Moana of course was thrilled to be bringing her home, but nobody was happier than me. :) So this is Snowball! xoxo

I was nervous about introducing her to Ellie, especially since she wasn't exactly mobile nor able to defend herself at all. Older hens are known to be bullies and Ellie definitely falls into this category. She is queen of that yard and coop and she lets everyone know it with a stern peck on the head if they are in her way or trying to eat her food.

In the open yard Ellie had enough space and I think she figured out that Snowball was not a threat to her at all, so I only witnessed one peck and then I sternly took a swat at Ellie to let her know that was not acceptable behavior. That one peck was all it took though for Snowball to understand her place in the pecking order and now that she can walk normally (yup, all it took was ~48 hours and some open space to roam and Snowball is 100% healthy...) she seems really happy. She's still super friendly and easy to pick up and pet, and she eats right out of Moana's hand.

My three little whites are kind of too young to really have a distinct pecking order already so accepting Snowball into their little gang came easy to them. Snowball found her place with them and they all get along just fine.
The White Gang

So there you go! Life as the Crazy Chicken Lady continues... I swear though, no more chickens... at least for a while... My little gang I have is enough.


Steve said...

I like this update Michelle, and I will tell you why. Sometimes your life gets to be all about triathlon and stuff, and we miss out on the real Michelle. You lose yourself to it in a way.

Less is more I think if we get to see who the real Michelle is.

It is little updates like this that help us get to know you.

Angela and David said...

I love that you are so into being the crazy chicken lady. It's awesome!