Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Eggcellent Adventures of Mrs. P and Mrs. Q

I have two defect-ies from my flock of older chickens. You all know about Mrs. P., she's the one that I isolated for awhile in the brooder box because the other chickens pecked a hole in her.  I don't know that I shared about her name though.  She is Mrs. P. because I kept calling her P names but couldn't remember which one I gave her; Prunella, Pricilla, Prim, Primrose, Penelope, Perdita all came out of my mouth at one time so since the P was constant... Mrs. P.

Anywhoo... I put her back in after she healed up only to find her out of the area again and obviously picked on again.  The feathers she had started to re-grow were gone.  I figured that if she was comfortable out in the greater regions of the barn then so be it.  I put out food and water dishes for her and called it good.  The next morning when I went out I was surprised to see she had flown back over the little fence in the barn to roost with the other chickens.  I figured it was her choice, so be it.  But later that day she had left the flock again.  This time she was missing all her feathers on one leg.  Poor thing.  She has not gone back to the flock since. She has left the flock for good of her own choice. She still stays near the others just on the other side of the fence. She will occasionally leave the barn to forage outside but never leaves the vicinity of the barn.  Since I have no gardens near by I'm cool with my free-ranger. She likes to roost on my husband's bike/bike tire or on top of our chipper/shredder.

Mrs. P

Once Mrs. P left, the flock started picking on the next lowest in the order.  So a couple of days later I was not so surprised to find that Mrs. P had a friend who joined her in the free-range of the barn.  Hence Mrs. Q was named.  I like to watch my P's and Q's ;).  I just added more food to the dish and figure if they're happy, I'm happy.  The only problem with Mrs. Q is that she has chosen to roost on the steering wheel of the tractor.  My husband will be displeased with the gifts left on his seat.

Mrs. Q

Chickens certainly do have minds of their own.  Every day brings something new. Before we made some nesting boxes out of old cardboard boxes, the hens didn't like the crates we provided and weren't laying (so we thought).  My husband and Reagan were out in the barn one afternoon and watched one of the hens fly over the barrier fence into the barn and worm her way under a ladder and behind a lawn mower near the side of the barn.  She went and sat down there.  My husband went to retrieve her. (This was before P and Q were free-ranging.) and was surprised to find a stash of eggs- Five total!  Silly chickens!

So now, even though the hens are laying in their new boxes, I still check every nook and cranny in the barn for eggs.  It should be especially fun to find Mrs. P's and Mrs. Q's eggs.  They are not currently laying but perhaps soon.

I also wonder how long till another chicken defects from the flock.  Soon I may have the trouble makers free range and the nice ones get the chicken yard.  My husband keeps finding excuses not to put them on the chopping block.  I'm thinking a chicken pot pie would be nice.

As for my chicks... they are still happily peeping along.  They have trained themselves to go into roost at night so all I have to do is close the door now instead of catching each little chicken, putting them in and having someone stand guard to keep them in until we were done.  Andi Rose even said she heard Snowball, our little rooster, try to crow yesterday.  She said it was not a peep but not a big guy call either.  I'm sorry I missed it.

One of the peepers in the chicken tractor

Reagan takes a selfie while photographing  the chickens!

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