Monday 5 July 2010
New hens...new day
I opened the coop a little after 6:30am. 8 hens and rooster shot out. 6 terrified new girls huddled together inside the coop, fearful of adventure. I encouraged them out and they stood about looking in wonder at the world.
I could see the full extent of their captivity; bare patches of skin, flopping combs, white faces and legs and one chicken is hobbling about with what looks like an old injury of a dislocated leg and deformed foot. I worry that she might not be able to make the climb up the ladder back into the coop, but time will tell. We thought we might call her Hoppy but decided she'd probably suffered enough so we're calling her Happy.
After returning from school run I took a million cherries... re yesterday's post... into the garden to stone. One new hen hid between my legs as Whitey and Snow Pink tried to peck her. I soon put a stop to that! In fact I've been very Joyce Grenfell all day!
'No, no.' I say wagging a finger, glasses on the end of my nose, sticky red blood-like juice dripping down my arm, cherry stones stuck to my jumper.
They are operating as two groups of hens; the original gang of 7 and the new gang of 6. Rooster runs between the groups unsure of how to integrate them. I'd liken today to a 5yo's Birthday party. The new 6 are shy, clinging to me while the confident gang play all the games and eat all the sweets.
It's now 9:15pm and dusk is falling. From my office window I can see the coop, the hens are starting to retire for the evening but the white hens aren't letting the new hens in.... I'm really concerned that the new hens will be outside all night, fox fodder. I'm off outside to act as bouncer, I'll blog more later or tomorrow...