A Flap and a Flop
Friday, May 21, 2021
Yesterday afternoon I was interrupted from my reading when my oldest son yelled from downstairs," Mom, Rosie's in your garden!" "Well go out there and get her out of there!" I yelled back. So I hear the door open and shut and figure it's been taken care of. Later I venture out to collect the eggs and while Rosie is certainly no longer in the garden, great big human shoeprints have totally trampled the corner where I planted my dill that has yet to sprout. Sigh... well so much for that. I suppose I can plant some more. It looks like either Rosie or wild birds may have scratched it all out before the human trampling occurred anyway, but either way, that's not coming up now. To be fair, my son had no idea that anything was planted there because I didn't have it marked and I am the only one who goes in that garden. So I can't be mad at him.
Last night we attempted to integrate the baby buffs with the big girls. That was a short lived experiment, and just a flop all in all. Following the advice of chicken experts on the internet, we waited until just after the big girls went in to roost. Then we carried the babies out and quietly deposited them in the coop with the others. Since chickens have poor night vision, the idea is that there won't be a scuffle because they can't see well enough for a good fight. Well, that idea proved false. It wasn't long before there was quite a scuffle indeed. The babies, likely confused and scared, had tried to squeeze themselves onto the roost with the grown ups and they apparently didn't like it. Lilly in particular was the biggest pecker. My sons opened the coop roof and watched as she pecked the babies aggressively at least 3 times within a minute. Knowing that they would not be able to withstand such abuse all night long, we had to abort the mission and bring the babies in for the night. Now we have to figure out a new integration strategy.
In some ways I found it surprising that Lilly was so mean and aggressive toward the newcomers, given that she is lowest on the pecking order in the grown up flock. She was the one pecked at and bullied the most by the others when pecking order was being established with her peers and at that time I felt so sorry for her. I guess she learned all the tricks well from her rude sisters, and was just waiting for a chance to put it all into practice. Today I went out and the yard, chased her down, finally caught her and had a talk. She didn't seem to appreciate it all that much and quite frankly, I must say I don't think any of it sunk in. And, rather sadly, even when she was running from me as I was trying to catch her, one of her sisters pecked her! So now I don't know who to feel the sorriest for but it's all turning out to be way more of a fiasco than I'd anticipated. I think it's very odd that while chickens are flock animals because they need to be for their own safety and protection, they attack members of their very own flock. I've never seen such a nonsensical thing. You would think survival would have wired them differently.
In further fowl gardening destruction yesterday, I noticed that the hens had gone after the only small spot in my strawberry garden they could reach their crazy little beaks in, and bit off all the blooms on those plants. They didn't even eat them, just nipped them off and left them lying next to the plants so I could admire their handiwork. It was just the 2 plants, one on each end of the bed, that weren't fully protested and got deflowered, but still. One more incident like that and the cluck cluck crew are going to lose their free ranging privileges! They were busy, bad birds yesterday.
In other news, I picked up an integrative nutrition journal today hoping the novelty will inspire me to get and stay on track with my diet. I like the SP food tracking, but sometimes feel like it takes too long to really be sustainable for me. Typing in every single item I eat every day and then having to hunt for it on a long list before I can enter it is a bit much. And then, if I can't find the item on the list, adding it and having to input all the nutritional values is very tedious. And most of the time, when I eat that exact same thing again the very next day, even if I manually entered all of it's info just the day before, it's still not on the list, so I have to do the whole thing all over again which is super annoying. Add to that occasional delays due to computer/internet problems, and tracking food on SP is about as slow boat as you can get. It's great for free, and it is effective if you have the time and patience to slog though it every night, but it's slowness and redundancies that shouldn't exist kind of kill it for me. So back to old school pen and paper I shall return!
So that's my update. The sun is out so I'm off for an evening walk. Happy weekend sparkies!