Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Two Lone Rangers

I don't often post about our chickens, and I definitely don't post multiple times in a week, but I thought I would share a quick snippet from the lives of our two "lone rangers".  
Broody Piggy in the nesting box- notice how she is puffed up.

We have had our three Buff Orpingtons for several years now.  When we moved to the country and incorporated eight more chickens to the mix including one rooster, they all lived happily for a short while.  Then, the rooster, wanting to be the boss that he thinks he should be, began trying to mate with the three Orpingtons.  One of them, Rosie, took to it well enough.  She is quick and can usually get away from his advances, but when she doesn't it's not the end of the world for her.  Another chicken (Piggy), however, was used to being the ring leader among the three, and she did not take well at all to big Al (that's the rooster).  She would escape him each time, and he did not like that one bit.  So, to make a long story short, Al attacked Piggy several times to the point of drawing blood at which point we moved Piggy and her chicken buddy, Chippy, to live on the other side of the coop separated from the others.  One might think they get lonely, but they don't.  They are perfectly happy without the antics of the other chickens and the "leadership" of a male.  In fact, they probably have the best life of any of the chickens.  While the other chickens are enclosed within a portable chicken fence, Piggy and Chippy free range all day.  They don't travel far, but they travel together. 
She is puffing up to tell me to leave her alone.
The problem is that Piggy has a tendency to go broody.  This means that she wants to sit for several weeks on eggs in hopes of hatching chicks (which of course will never happen since she and Chippy do not have contact with Al).    She has been prone to broodiness all her adult life, and in the past we have tried to break her from being broody without much success.  Now that we get plenty of eggs each day and don't miss it if she isn't laying, we leave her be for the most part.  We do try to coax her out of the nesting box when it is extremely hot, and these days we try to get her out at least a few times a day to be with Chippy.  

Chippy camped out under the table saw.
I feel bad for Chippy roaming around on her own.  She has gotten to the point where she just camps out in the shed with the tractor or on the other side under the table saw during the heat of the day, and she will roam a little when Piggy is out.  

The bad thing is that Piggy is nesting in Chippy's favorite box which has led Chippy to lay several eggs under the table saw in the shed.  This is not a habit we want to stick as we don't want to have to go in search of eggs each evening.  So, here's hoping that the broody chicken snaps out of it quickly this time and the two lone rangers can keep doing their thing (together).  

1 comment:

  1. You have a beautiful and cute chickens. You have been getting these organic eggs on daily basis from this wonderful hens. Keeping them would be difficult but enjoyable.