Friday, June 1, 2018

Chick Integration, part 2

Hi everybody.  Today is National Donut Day.  I personally prefer doughnuts, but I probably won't turn down a donut today if you offer me one.  I know it's short notice, but there is still time to make these super easy homemade dough/donutsI'm going to try these Krispy Kreme copycats, using my bread machine to mix, knead, and raise the dough. 

This concludes both the doughnut and the donut portion of this blog post (by the way, spell check knows that doughnut is the proper spelling--why doesn't anyone else?).

When last we spoke (about chickens), I informed you that two Sundays ago, I integrated the chicks with the chickens.  The littles were big enough that in order for them to be able to come and go from their safe spaces, the openings had to be big enough that the bigs could also enter.  There didn't seem to be much point in maintaining safe spaces that were no longer safe, so I removed them. 

What I didn't tell you was that I proceeded to leave town less than 48 hours later.  I didn't want to.  But it was the way it had to go down.  At one point during the week, Bbil, my favorite brother in law, looked at me and said, "so, you integrated the chickens and then you left?"  Yes.  I did.  When we got chickens, Hubby had two conditions.  First, no roosters, and second, the chickens can't get in the way of travel.

It was bad timing, but there was nothing else I could do.  Also badly timed was the heatwave that hit while we were gone.  I don't think the high temp was below 90°F the whole time we were gone.  One day a friend posted a picture of her outdoor thermometer reading 112°F.  I was already worried about the chickens getting along, and then I had to also worry about the heat killing them.

We returned home on Tuesday, and I am overjoyed to announce that all of the chickens made it through the week. 

And they were so happy to be outside that they didn't even mind the rain.

As far as integration goes, there are still two distinct flocks, and the bigs still chase the littles.  It's a lot better, though, than when I left.  Rocky is the most mellow toward the littles, which surprises me a little because she was, and still is, the meanest to Esther.  Esther is the most intolerant of the littles, which does not surprise me.  Esther's on the bottom of the bigs' pecking order, so she's thrilled to have someone to pick on, and she also has a lot at stake.  As far as sleeping, Indigo keeps trying to sleep with the big girls every night.   Rocky and Toasty don't care one way or the other, but Esther keeps chasing her off the roost every night. 

The littles are 12 weeks old now, and it's conceivable that they, or at least Hazel, could begin laying in about a month.  Hopefully as the littles get bigger and start laying, the chasing will decrease.  I suspect the littles will be on the bottom of the pecking order for a long time, but I do hope that the girls will eventually start behaving like one flock.

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