The New World Order

Or… the New Coop Order…

Yes, the fight for dominance is over. My little ‘Leapy Man’ aka Philip has won the bid for Main Rooster. (Don’t ask why I call him Leapy, I just do. Actually, it’s Philip, but sometimes we called him Filipe and from Filipe, we evolved into Leapy.)

IMG_20190116_081607

Philip, aka Leapy, a two-year-old Barnyard Mix with a unique heritage and a strong personality.

Philip is the bio-son of Pavelle and his egg was fertilized by Pip, who is, of course, Dots’ and Abby’s boy.

The new Second in Command, or 2IC, is Sylvester, the Buff Brahma that my Tweety Girl raised last year. He is a year-and-a-half old and although he is BIG, he is gentle.

IMG_20190116_081735
Sylvester, a sweet Buff Brahma rooster, who spent most of his life being called ‘Little Rooster’ even though he isn’t.

They have been Dots’ 2nd and 3rd for a while now, so it makes sense that with him deposed, they would each move up a rank. The position of 3rd is not yet filled. It won’t really matter because once winter is over, and we cull the Summer Boys, most likely they will all go.

Would you like to meet them? My Summer Boys?

Of them, the only one I really like is LRJ. He is sweet and nice and quite handsome to look at.

Manly is shy and hard to pick up, not unlike Pip was at that age. And for being part EE, he is not a spaz like Luke and Padme were. He’s just… Skittish.

Rory is like Luke incarnate. Big, rough with the ladies, but he’s also incredibly skittish. More than Manly. He’s just a wild brute.

Branson is full of ‘small dog syndrome’ or … Little Rooster Syndrome. He’s small enough that I can hold him in one hand, but he acts like he is bigger than Sylvester. He’s the youngest and wants to mate all the girls. They don’t like him. Even his mother, Pavelle, does not like him now that he’s hit puberty.

This ^^^ would be why my coop has so much chaos. Because of these Summer Boys. I suspect LRJ might make a good 3rd of I decide to keep him. It’s a tough call.

So how’s Dots, you ask?

He’s doing well.   His eye has healed and it seems as though the new head roosters have decided that he isn’t a threat to their positions.   He hangs out mostly in the coop, for now, which is probably good for him because he doesn’t like the winter cold anyway.

He doesn’t crow in the mornings anymore.  He used to lead the chorus of ‘good morning! good morning!’ and now, I never hear his crow in the morning.  My Girl did say that he was in the coop crowing for the ladies with him this afternoon when she went down,  I’m encouraged to know that he is. at least, no longer afraid of the hens.   He’s also not afraid of the younger Summer Boys.

Now, if you’d like, I’ll show up pics of some of the other new, summer additions to the flock. I didn’t update all summer and we have quite a few new faces.

Here’s a few more from around the barnyard…

And lastly, DH adopted three beef calves… please meet, Sampson, Delilah and Sheila.

IMG_20190116_080917
From left to right, Delilah, Sampson (in the back) and Sheila.  

How Did I Miss This?

Aka, the post in which I admit I’m not as observant as I’d like. 

A few posts ago, back in March, I posted that I had a possible broody hen.  Our little Maicey spent more than a week debating whether or not to commit to sitting on eggs, but in the end, did not.  

One of my constant readers, however, noted in the video I posted that Maicey was limping.  

I confirmed, yes she was, but I couldn’t find an injury and after a couple days of pretending to go broody, the limp had stopped.  

Flash forward to this week.  A couple of things have been happening. 

1) Both Felix and Luke has been ‘feeling their oats’ as we say.  That is, they are hormonal young cockerels trying to steal a couple hens away from big papa Dots or big brother Pip.  

2) Luke has become fixated on Maicey, much like Pip did Riley last year.  

3) There has been a noticeable change in Maicey’s behavior.  She’s not a shy hen normally, but is now skittish, running away from all the roosters, even Dots, hiding in corners, and squeaking like a scared rabbit whenever they approach.  This is not like her at all.

I thought over-mating, and have been debating that I can’t keep all four, and which two should be the ones to leave.  

I decided to put Maicey in the dog crate I use for medical separation or broody breaking, to give her a break from the elbows and hoping that, in her absence, Luke would find someone else to fixate on.  

Later on, yesterday, I took outside for supervised exercise, and just sat watching her and watching the others.  She sat on my lap for a while.  Luke came over and made a play for her attention and I told him to go away. 

He did, and she eventually got down off my lap in her own and went to forage.  

I watched her for a long time.  And then, I noticed her limping again.  She hasn’t done it for a while, but when Dots approached and tried to wing dance for her, she squeaked and ran, well limped away.  

So I go over, pick her up, and purely by chance, my hand brushed the underside of her fluff, down by the start of her legs.  

There was something hard and dried on.  I parted the fluff, and see – much to my horror- a huge gash in her side, just above her leg.  

I’ll post a picture in a minute, but let me warn you, it’s NOT pretty.  

I have been asking myself HOW did I miss that??? Never mind how it happened – we think a rooster spur injury, and are planning for Dots and Pip to get mani-pedis soon – but literally HOW DID I NOT SEE this big an injury on a chicken I handle every day?  How?  I can’t even – I don’t have words to describe the guilt I feel over missing it. 

I immediately took her into the house, plopped her in a sink of warm water and try to clean up around it so I can see.  

There is caked on dirt and other stuff, and something that looks like an advanced stage fungal infection.  All likely.  

It smells gross, it looks grosser.  

She stood rather still and took most of my efforts at cleaning rather well.  Maicey is good girl.  I kept telling her how sorry I was and how good she was being.  She really was.  Anyone else would have pecked me, scratched or tried to get away.  

I kept up until I hit a point where the deepest dirt was.  When I touched her there, she cried they squeaky rabbit cry, and tried to get out of the sink. 

A little cleaner, but that is where it hurts her the most. 😓

 My poor Maicey Grace!!! 

My inquires on Facebook yielded the possibility that this is a spur related injury.  

I’m treating with Scarlex Oil spray, vitamin B (orally) and if she continues to have pain, I can add penicillin and baby aspirin.  

She is going to be in the dog crate for a couple of days, but I will also be taking her out for supervised exercise, so I can ensure her safety.  

And yes, the boys with spurs are getting mani-pedis soon.  

I’ve also begun checking the other hens for injuries, now that I know where to look.  So far, this is just her.  

My poor Maicey after her bath/torture.

I’m still upset over not seeing this.  How do you just not see that big an injury on an animal you see and hold every day?  Maicey is one of the favs.  My lap hen who likes to sit in my lap and get petted.  How did it go undetected this long, especially when I checked her over back in March?  

I’ll keep everyone updated on her status, and how it heals.  

And also the Boys and their mani-pedis.  

The Easter Egger Curse

If you’ve been following my blog at all, you’d know that DH and I have been on a quest for some time now in regards to Easter Eggers.   That is to say, we want them and they are eluding us.

All the EEs we have attempted to let Miss Abby brood have either died (infertile eggs, broken eggs, died after hatch, etc), disappeared (the two missing ones from this last hatch) or been a rooster (Esther).

I had boldly declared that these last two – whom I preemptively named Leia and Padme in honor of Little Dude’s Star Wars fixation – were being kept no matter what they turned out to be.  Boy,girl, hen, roo. Did not matter.  I was keeping them.

I am keeping them.  Both them.

Even though Leia decided to CROW at me this morning at breakfast time, crushing my hopes that she was just a tall henny.  But no.

My Leia is not Leia.   He is… TBD.  I guess we’re going to vote on a new name tonight at dinner.  Options are Luke, Han, Chewie, or (possibly) Anakin.   But no Darth Anything… I will NOT be raising little Sith Lords.

 

 

The Scaredy Babies

Abby’s little ‘egger babies’ (as I have affectionately called her Easter Egger chicks since they hatched in November) are babies no longer.  Sort of.

They are approaching 17 weeks now and, of all our chicks, are a bit antisocial and – dare I say it – scaredy cats.  Scaredy birds even.

What are they afraid of?  I’m not really sure.   The first and most logical answer is Double Dots and The Big Hens.  Because when they were little chicks, Momma taught them that The Big Hens were to be respected at a safe distance.  And Dots, while not necessarily mean, is big.  And BIG = Scary in little eyes.

Yeah, that makes sense.

But there is also the niggling memory of the two other Easter Egger babies.  The ones who vanished on the day Abby took her four little ones on their first outing into the Run.  She had been missing the outdoors and it was a nice, not cold, not rainy or snowy day and she went out, expecting her Littles to follow her.  I had taken a picture of them contemplating the door, but thought they wouldn’t go because they were afraid.  You could hear it in their voices.  Later, at lock up, I made the discovery that two of the babies were not there with Abby.  And the next day, I made an even worse discovery – blood droplets on the ramp of the run.  They had gone out.  And there had been Trouble.

No bodies.  No other signs of struggle.  But Abigail, the ever constant helicopter momma, kept her two remaining chicks close to her side and safe inside the coop for the rest of the winter.  Unlike Pip, her first winter baby, these two rarely saw the light of day unless it came through the coop window.  And then it got snowy and no one went out anyway.

Regardless, it’s almost spring now, and things are turning green, and Abby is off doing Hen Things and no longer mothering chicks.  So no one has told the Easter Eggers that it’s safe to go outside now.  Oh sure, they see everyone else rushing outside when I open the door to the run.  But do they follow?

Nope.

In fact, the only time these two go outdoors is when I pick their little butts up and carry them outside.  And when I do, they only stay outside if too many Big Hens are blocking their route back into the coop.  Because, it turns out that despite being almost as big as the rest of the flock now, they are still terrified of the Big Hens.

I have no real feelf or whether they are hens or roos.  I suspect hens, as there is a decided lack of saddle feathers, so I have been calling them Leia (the dark one) and Padme (the lighter one).  Because Little Dude wanted Star Wars names and I didn’t want to name them Darth Maul and Darth Vader.

However, more recently, my friendly little Leia has started to concern.  In rare video footage of them – gasp – outside, you can see Leia showing more of a rooster-like stance.

 

As the caption suggests, I can’t really tell.  Leia has roo-like qualities in this picture.  At 17 weeks, still no signs of saddle feathers, but she’s still taller and more upright than little Padme?  Could I have a little Luke or Chewbacca on my hands?