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Saturday, February 04, 2006

More chicks! The saga continues...


I had every intention of getting two Dominique chicks today, but ended up getting only one Dominique (we named her Monique) and a Rhode Island Red (aka Henrietta) on account of what I’d heard about red hens being excellent layers. But she's an aggressive little thing- only a couple of days old and she's already pecking at poor little Monique. It'll be interesting to see how they get along with Sam and Emily when they're big enough to introduce them to each other. At any rate, the flock is now complete.The last three were sexed- so there's a 90 percent chance they're all hens. Sam's the one we aren't sure about, but Sam sure acts more like a hen than a rooster, especially around little Emily, who thinks Sam is her mother and cheeps most forlornly whenever she loses sight of her. Yesterday, Sam taught Emily to scratch out a hole and take a dust bath (not that there's much dust with all the rain we've had). That is a most peculiar looking exercise- it worried me until I figured out what they were doing!


It is impossible to talk sense to a chicken! These four little chickens make the biggest mess! The two bigger ones have a regular big chicken feeding trough and water bottle, but the two little ones still spend most of their time enclosed in a big box with shallow water and feed dishes. They sleep in their food dish and do other unmentionable stuff in it, and scratch all their litter into their water dish. I have tried and tried to tell them that it's not healthy and that I'm getting really tired of cleaning their mess up, but they just don't listen. With all this rain, we still haven't been able to get the coop finished and it was too wet and chilly today to turn them loose in the pen/run, so I let Sam and Emily run around inside the greenhouse- I cannot believe the mess they've made! This is worse than having messy kids and teenagers! How do you ground a chicken? And what privileges can you take away from it for not cleaning its room?


Poor little Henrietta, the Rhode Island Red chick, has developed a nasty lump right above/behind one eye. I made the mistake of doing an online search for possible causes. Gadzooks- I had NO idea there were so many chicken diseases! Now I'm afraid they may all have been exposed to some horrible, incurable exotic disease like ENDS or something- poor litttle Henrietta- I should separate her from Monique until I find out what it is, but I'm afraid they'd both die of hearbreak if they were separated- they go crazy when they're apart. And I just got all four of them in the pen together, so they could all be at risk if it's a virus. Nothing is easy, is it?

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