New Friends

About a week and a half ago two new girls came to live with us.

They are Annabelle (left) and Hildy (right).

Annabelle has a bit of a reputation as a bossy girl. She’s been known to beat up some on Hildy (note the Blu-Kote on Hildy’s comb!).

Moments into their arrival here Annabelle took on Ducky – who currently sits at the top of the pecking order and it was only moments before blood was drawn.

Dang it all.

Ducky was NOT amused.

BB became pretty miffed that someone would go after her pal Ducky, and joined the show down. More blood was drawn.

It took about 3 minutes to get Annabelle cornered and captured, and sequestered in solitary confinement. We kept Hildy in a separate location until everyone had gone to sleep, and then put her on the roost next to her new flock mates later that night.

Hildy melded into the flock with hardly half a thought.

Annabelle stayed in solitary for several days. It was interesting that after the first night, Hildy would come and sleep near Annabelle – with the chicken wire wall between them. There must be some love between the two!

Things have gone swimmingly since Annabelle came out of solitary confinement. She has avoided further conflict with our existing flock, and has been getting along quite nicely with Hildy. We have noted that each night Hildy and Annabelle roost up on the roosting later next to each other. It’s also interesting that they seem much more attached to the coop than the rest of our girls are. They do free range some with the rest of the girls – but they come back to check out the coop pretty frequently throughout the day.

I will say they are likely the smartest two of the flock – when it’s raining, windy, and cold – they head straight for the cover of the coop. Smart girls! How come the other girls haven’t figure that out yet?

(The girls enjoying stir fry for morning snack – Annabelle waiting her turn.)

I am happy to report that Scarlet is finally over being broody. Hooray! If she goes broody when it’s warmer I plan to let her set eggs and see how it goes. I think she’ll be a good mom. To be honest, I’m hoping Shelly or one of the other girls will go broody, too. I’d like to hatch chicks this year, rather than buy from a hatchery. We’ll have to wait and see if the girls will cooperate with my scheming!

In real life news – I started my new job right before the end of the year. The other day I met one of the managers for the hospital and we got to talking. He asked where I lived, I told him, he mentioned he lived in the same vicinity. We got a little more specific as to location and then he said, “Oh! I totally know where you live – you have the chickens in your yard and a large garden!” Turns out he has chickens, too. Gosh, I’m starting to think about half of our neighborhood has them! Anyway, we had a lovely conversation, and he promised to stop by one day to meet the girls. 🙂

Seems impossible that we’re 8 days into the New Year. Time has just flown. Jessica got an acceptance letter to another university – it’s about number three on her list of five faves. It will be late March or early April before she hears from her first choice. Jonathan continues on with the JV2 basketball team – he’s loving it, and continues to train several times a week to go on with developing his skills. William – after much nagging, potential bribing, etc. on his mother’s part – has finally decided that reading is pretty cool. He’s read two books in one week. That is quite possibly a miracle! All we have to do now is keep on with this trend!

There have been a number of developments in the family that I’ll write about later. Suffice it to say that we’re trusting God to guide and comfort us as we go forward.