Hello! Well, what an unexpected surprise this weekend.
My friend emailed me this morning and told me that after repeated raccoon attacks like me, he was down to one orphan. You can’t keep an orphan–it’s cruel. So now we are home to his Black Francis. She is lovely. I am keeping her crated in the shade with food and water until tonight, when I will pop her in the coop. The idea is that the old girls will be too tired to fuss much, and then I will get up at half past the early bird’s ass tomorrow and let them out. Then Ms. Francis will know her home, and will be familiar to my girls. It’s been so long since I’ve had a rando bantam like this. I am delighted. I don’t roll the dice on them because they are impossible to sex as new chicks.
So the talk is that my friend and I will do the chick co-op thing next spring and go in on a order of sexed ones. I will have to rope some other people in as well to avoid ROOSTERS INCLUDED FOR WARMTH. (A picture of tiny Zsa-Zsa, FNIF.)
I have a post script on poor Veronica. It turns out she was hiding the fact that a raccoon had taken a chunk out of her side. The next day after the attack she came limping out of the coop and I took her to the e-vet before we went to Portland that weekend. Very sad! So now there are 6 with Death Ray being the O.G. chicken, and now she has a bantam buddy.
I will also say that when half your small flock gets traumatized, what happens is you often get rogue behavior like tree-sleeping and egg-hiding. We are lucky in Seattle to have cool days, and my coop is mostly shaded, so the weekend I came back from Portland (about one week after the attack, which was a week of chasing chickens out of bushes and stuffing them in their home) we did what I call a Home Day. The chooks spend all the damn boring day in their coop with food and water and any vents open, of course. You leave them that night and let them out the next morning. I find this often brings a certain cohesiveness back to a scared or divided flock (at least one that is not attack/feather-pecking each other). Now they hang out more. I also trimmed the flight feathers of one wing on each bird, which I should have done a while ago–no more cedar sleeping.
Gardening a lot this weekend…I am about to hull local strawberries for jam. YUM.
Gertie brought in the same flicker three times in 12 hours around the fourth. TSK, GERTIE!