My Funny Chickens

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Since Abigail Adams was hen pecked a few months ago, she has been in solitary confinement. Not of her own doing, mind you, but for her safety….funny isn’t it. It was for her own good.

Rockie Rooster

Rockie Rooster

Well, it seems that Rockie the Rooster has had his eye on that little chicky! He’s been checking her out over the chicken fence. I’ve heard him give her a cat call once or twice. He’s been checking out her cute little chicken legs and her funny little crocked back.

So, when I decided to open her gate and let him in for a visit…..let’s just say, he was more than happy to oblige. He does a funny little sideways dance and then pounces. He thinks he’s so sly. The other hens run like crazy to escape his grasp and I guess since he’s also a handicap chicken he can’t out run the other girls, but Abigail Adams doesn’t mind him one little bit.

The experiment was on. Since Annie and Jenny have been flying over the coo coo’s nest to visit Abigail and not doing her a bit of harm, I decided to allow everyone in for a monitored playtime. After giving Henrietta the evil eye, she kept her distance.

Two flew over the Coo Coo's Nest!

Two flew over the Coo Coo's Nest!

What I did notice was that Rockie Rooster was more than happy to protect his favorite chick. When Henrietta tried to go after Abigail, Rockie would step inbetween them. Funny. But he’s been doing a great job. And from the kitchen window, there hasn’t been any fighting going on…and everyone seems to have all their feathers.

So, on our funny little farm, we now have 6 happy chickens. They have been playing very well together for about a week. Mostly the girls like to hang out in Abigail’s little coop and are quite envious of her straw bales! At night they all go back to their respective coops.

I also noticed for the last couple weeks since I’ve been outside a lot more, that Jenny Hen is a broody hen. At first I thought she just was taking a really long time to lay an egg…..a really long time….like 2 hrs!!! Come on girl!

But when I found her in Abigail Adams nesting box setting on Abigail’s egg, I realized that Jenny is just a setter. And since I know that Abigail’s eggs are fertile, well, I just might give Jenny a little nest of her own to set on.

(Ok, can someone tell me why we call it set in chicken talk, but sit in human talk?)

The Dirty Dozen

My men love war movies. Honey is particularly fond of anything WWII. I don’t know how many times I’ve sat through The Dirty Dozen with Lee Marvin. So when my girls began to scale the chicken coop and begin visiting with Abigail Adams, I thought of the escape scene in The Dirty Dozen.

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I’ve kept Abigail separated due to the fact that her sister Henrietta nearly hen pecked her to death. One day I noticed that Annie was in the small pen with Abigail. Then Jenny. I could see the others just jumping with excitement for their turn. It’s as if the phrase “bird brain” doesn’t fit here. These chickens are not dumb.

None of the others seem to have caught on how to get from the ground to the roof of the coop. I’ve watched carefully and neither Jenny nor Annie are mean to Abigail Adams. So I just let them enjoy what they think is a secret. Honey told me he watched them do this all weekend and I never had a clue. Now I know they just come and go at their leisure.

I managed to get some pictures from the deck. I began scolding them and they climbed back to their area. But I’m sure when I turn my back they’ll be in with Abigail again soon. Then as if nothing ever happened they will return to their area.

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Funny chickens.

New Digs

We’re having a real warm spell in the mid Atlantic region so I figured I’d make the most of it. Abigail Adams’ head has healed very nicely and I decided today was the day I’d get her new straw coop made. I picked up 6 bails and when I drove up to the chicken yard, all the chickies came running to welcome me.

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Annie was handing out orders.

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Rockie was singing and trying to figure out how he could get on the roof and look like a Cupola.

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I stacked the bails 2 high. Everyone was jumping up on top and trying to figure out what I was making.

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All the Chickies were in and out of there trying to figure out who’s new digs these were!

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This is my Hillbilly style gate. I had to make it higher so the chickies weren’t going to scale it.

I had just enough 5′ high chicken wire left to fence off the side and fasten it next to the Cozy Coop!

Honey’s going to have to cut me a piece of plywood just the right size for the top. Which I also strung chicken wire around. These girls try to find every which way out of this place.

The entire time Boomer and Lady sat on the other side of the fence barking.

Among the chaos, Annie and Waldeen still laid eggs.

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I was telling Henrietta that her little sister was coming out to join her.

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When I brought Abigail Adams out of her little cage, Henrietta was right there to welcome her.

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Here is Abigail’s wound after I put more Healing Salve on it. The area is almost covered with new skin.

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Abigail’s checking out her new digs. She seems to like them ok.

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I’ll have to cover her up tonight until we get things secured. She’ll sleep in the cage and be snug as a bug.

GOT REAL MILK???

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GOT REAL MILK???

The second day after Abigail was hen pecked, I was able to remove her bandages and apply my Healing Salve. I also started feeding her raw milk kefir. Well, it turns out that little Abigail Adams LOVES kefir!!! Just look at her milk mustache. Isn’t she the cutest little chickie you ever did see?! I’m certain now that she is going to make it. And I have a feeling that we’re going to be really good friends!

Hen Pecked

It wasn’t until I became a “farmer” that I learned where all the sayings that we have in our society come from. Things like: “Birds of a feather flock together”, “Hen pecked”, “She’s just like a Mother hen”. I’ve seen all of these in living color.

I told you about my little Abigail Adams who is a runt that my sis gave me. She also seems to have been attacked at some point in her young life and has a twisted back. Well, I didn’t know that you shouldn’t try to introduce a runt with a deformity, into an established flock. My girls didn’t take to kindly to little Abigail. In fact yesterday morning I found her bloody and cowering in the corner of the coop. Her flesh had been pecked off the back of her neck, larger than the size of a quarter. It seems as if she’d been hen pecked pretty badly. Her entire neck was pecked open to the bone. While crying, I took little Abigail to the house in a little cage.

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I put Abigail in the basement with straw in the cage, then I researched how to naturally heal a deep open wound and found that raw honey would not only heal it but pull any debris out. So I put raw honey on a gauze pad and wrapped gauze around her neck and taped it. I changed it at dinner time and her wound had stopped bleeding. That was good. She slept a lot. I gave her some kefir to drink and grain to eat.

This morning, she was alert and had drank a good amount of kefir. I changed her bandage and the wound actually looked good. It was already starting to close around the edges. She was very sleepy. And it was obvious that she had been through a great deal of stress.

This evening I went to change her bandage and noticed that she drank a lot of kefir throughout the day. I gave her some raw milk and she began drinking like she’d been starved. That’s always a good sign! Her wound looks very good so I left it uncovered for a while to allow it to air. The bandage doesn’t have a foul smell (no pun), and that too is a good sign.

I think Abigail Adams is going to make it. We’ll have to keep her separated from the other hens and give her extra TLC! It’s amazing how hens imitate human life. We can be very cruel to one another, especially those who are deformed and are afraid.  My hens tried to kill Abigail because she was different……let’s not imitate hens!

All the creatures great and small, the Lord God made them all.