Here are some excerpts from my "Roosterhen Diary"-- a sort of biography of my critters. We "adopted" Sam Pepys, our first chicken, not knowing whether Sam was a "he" or "she." We really didn't want a crowing rooster, but we did think fresh eggs would be heavenly, so we decided to take our chances and hope for a "she".
We brought home a little chick from my mother-in- law’s house yesterday. I took the little thing out into the garden with me while I was digging-he scurries right along behind me wherever I go- it's hard digging, though, because he gets right under my feet and is just about the same color as the dirt- I've nearly stepped on him a few times already. As soon as I move, he's right there behind me, occasionally stopping to peck at whatever strikes his fancy along the way- then he looks up and realizes I've moved on ahead and scuttles as fast as his little feet will carry him to catch up, cheeping all the way as if to say, "Wait, Wait- don't leave me!" He's a real hoot!
It is not a good idea to try to plant seeds with a little chick beside you. I'm not sure how many seeds actually stayed in the ground- he tried to scratch them all up and eat them! We may or may not have Malabar spinach to eat later this summer.... I also learned that it's a good thing to offer my neighbor extra tomato plants (I have waaaay tooo many to plant!) She came over with an armload of the most beautiful irises from her garden for me this afternoon- including a beautiful deep purple and white one. These spur of the moment plant exchanges are really great
Mr. G. got the frame parts for the pen/run section cut out and nailed together this afternoon. I'm painting them grey to match the house. I hope little Sam Pepys will enjoy it. S/He's been getting more and more independent- still stays fairly close to me but is beginning to explore everything and I can't be out there watching every minute, so the pen will give me some peace of mind and Sam some room to roam. S/He'll still have to go in the greenhouse at night until we get the coop section finished. Now we'll have enough room to get some more little chicks and won't have to worry about stray cats or other critters getting to them or hawks swooping down to carry them off. Better head out and finish the painting so we can put the wire on the frame- a new garden structure! Whoopeee!
Called the farm co-op today- they have a new shipment of chicks in- Rhode Island Reds, Buff Orpingtons and some others. I think it's time to get Sam Pepys some pals. S/He's been watching all the flying birds at the feeders and I think some of the cardinals have been giving flying lessons on the side-Sam doesn't follow me around on foot anymore- runs a few steps and then swoops up about a foot or two off the ground and glides in. Talked to MIL yesterday- she said Sam's dad (that's him in the pic)is heading for the pot-
seems he's been digging up all her flowers, didn't make any attempt to save one of the hens from a possum attack, and she thinks it's time to cook him- I don't know whether to tell Sam or not - s/he didn't seem to have that close a relationship with his father, but who knows what emotions chickens might have- what if he wants to run off and try to rescue the poor old rooster or something... Mr. G and son think I'm totally losing it...especially when I fixed a nice dish of couscous for Sam tonight- Sam loves a pasta treat when s/he's depressed. (I sure will be glad when I can quit this "s/he" him/her" business, though- I wish the chick would either crow or lay an egg so I'd know what I'm dealing with here
5-14-03Poor Sam was sooo traumatized by the thunderstorms this morning that she didn't even want to come out of her box, much less the greenhouse (she sleeps in the greenhouse at night until we can finish her coop). Usually, when I open the door in the morning, she hops out of the box and straight out the greenhouse door, but this morning, she was just sitting there, looking all upset. She finally did run around in the greenhouse, but wouldn't go outside, even though it wasn't raining.
So we headed off to the co-op for a pal to keep Sam company. When I called yesterday, they said they had several different breeds, but when we got there all they had were white leggons and one Americauna (they're the ones that lay colored- blue, green, etc., eggs). The little Americauna was soooo cute, so we brought her home and named her Emily. She took to Sam right away- and they both headed outside.
Little Emily follows Sam around, and Sam is teaching her how to dig and scratch for bugs.That's Emily on the left. Isn't she pretty?