4th of July at the Hipster Hen Ranch

It's a fine summer day here at the ranch.  Here's Snowball the Silkie rooster, up close, as he takes a little stroll through the chicken run.

Arlene the Barred Rock is not having a good week.  She's started going through an unusual summer molt, so is sloughing off feathers left and right and is covered in pin feathers.  As though that wasn't enough, she's somehow injured her leg.  There's no wound - it's more like a pulled muscle - and she's limping pretty badly.  I moved her to the broody coop to limit her activity for a while.  She seems to have calmly accepted her fate and is spending the holiday just sitting there in a Buddha-like pose, contemplating the universe.

Speaking of injured birds, in my June 6 Facebook post, I talked about how Willow the buff Orpington had sustained a permanent injury that had slowed her down and made her a huge target for Emile the rooster.  To keep her away from Emile, she's been living in the center part of the pole barn by herself.  Her newest domicile is the small coop with Snowball the rooster, the Silkie hens and the Legbar teenagers.  I am happy to report that she's getting along with everybody there and things are working out better than I imagined.  She has to negotiate a small tunnel (shown here) to get to the pop door and go outside.  She's a big, slow-moving hen, but she's figured it out!  After spending a few weeks by herself in the center of the pole barn, she's happy to be with other chickens again and thrilled to be able to go outside!

Willow peeks out the pop door and say, "Yay!  I can go outside again!"

Meanwhile, Courtney the Silkie hen has become an empty nester in a very real way.  The Legbar teenagers still live in the same coop with her, but they're doing their own thing and no longer need her care or protection.  Here she is, enjoying a solitary stroll through the run.

And here are the kids (from left to right, Paulette, Marissa, Nicky and Bonnie).  They no longer hang out with Mom, but still stick closely together with each other.  

Here's Marissa striking a pose.  The Cream Legbar Standard of Perfection would say that she has too much salmon color on her head and neck, but I say she's turning into a gorgeous hen.

Here's Marissa again - such a pretty girl!

Here's Marissa's sister, Paulette, also a very pretty hen, doing bug and worm recon at the base of an oak tree.  

Meanwhile, over in the big hen pen, Roxie the Rhode Island Red notices a feather out of place on Jennifer's elaborate crest.

"Hold still, dear!"  I'll fix it for you with my beak!"

"Oh, that looks so much better!  You probably even feel better!"

Happy 4th, from me and the hipster hens!


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