Thursday, 6 September 2012

Baby Girls

The Baby Girls are getting on wonderfully.   We've moved the Cube (again) so that their fenced area includes their own personal flowerbed playground.  We  hacked down some Verbascum that were causing problems with the netting:They'd finished flowering anyway and, as I'm not a great fan of Verbascum,  I was happy to chop them down before the seed pods opened.  I've  no idea where these came from as they only appeared last year and they are now trying to out compete the equally enormous (but much loved by me) Hollyhocks.  I did resist taking the opportunity of chopping down a neighbouring Verbascum who wasn't actually in the way:   I don't hate Verbascum, I'm just not that keen on them.

I also had to prune my Rosemary, which she needed anyway;  and the Bay tree had to have a trim.

The Welsh Black girl continues to be a happy little thing,  pleased to be picked up (usually rewarded, of course) unless she is On A Mission.  The Exchequer doesn't like to be picked up thank you,  but if I have WB on one hand,  the Exchequer launches herself to land either on my head,  or on the WB. This is highly amusing for me, although not the WB,  but I can see this may be less smile inducing as she gets bigger.

Yesterday as she launched herself from the ground I put my arm out; she changed trajectory mid flapflap and landed delicately on my arm.    We did a couple more of these during the day,  I'm looking forward to seeing whether she does the same today.

I still haven't settled on names.

I find myself looking at these two apparently content little girls, and thinking about what will happen when they are old enough to go in with the Big Girls.   Two years ago I had four same-hatchlings who had grown up together and got on well.... and when they were introduced to the Big Girls and had to get established in the pecking order, things changed.  'Tilda, our disabled chicken, started getting picked on, and remains hen pecked today;  Custard turned into a spiteful old bag,  actively seeking out Tilda to bully her; Florence doesn't go quite that far, but asserts her dominance over Tilda at every opportunity; Roobarb, however,  gets on well with TIlda and I've only seen a rare quick tap from her. 

I look at my happy new girls and I find myself thinking maybe keep them as two flocks   II  certainly won't be in a hurry to integrate them, especially while Milly (superbitch) rules the other roost.  She's the one from whom the others learnt to be bullies.

Even poor Tilda turned into a frenzied moster the other day: one of the Littlees escaped and walked near to here Tilda was sunbathing, on the other side of the fencing.   I didn't keep any of last year's hatch because I didn't want to put Tilda through integration

I wasn't going to be adding to the flock this year... but we had to buy-in fertile eggs this year, and the chap I bought from also has Exchequers.   I thought about it, thought about Tilda, and resisted the temptation.  But then the incubator failed,  and we had to go back for a second batch.    Still I resisted, and asked just for 20 Welsh Black eggs.

I collected the eggs this time. When I got there, he didn't have 20 eggs available, he only had 17. I saw it as a (convenient) sign from fate, and I  asked him to add two exchequer eggs.  Only 2. I didn't get 3 and round it up to 20,  I just got two in the hope that one or both would be a girl.  If neither was a girl, well, I wouldn't be keeping any of the hatch then. I'd leave it to Fate.

And here we are.

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