Meet the Flock Roundup – August 2017

Snowball the Silkie Rooster:  Feeling very modern and sophisticated in his fancy new hen pen.

Emile the Bantam Cochin Roo: "You conniving scoundrel! Here you are in my coop with that menacing camera contraption again! You've been warned! If you harm my hens in any way you will feel the wrath of my fierce spurs!"

Paul, the frizzled bantam Cochin:  My handsome, small auxiliary rooster.

Paulette, one of my pretty Cream Legbar hens: This is a shot from the summer of 2016.  She was about two months old in this picture - about age this year's chicks are right now.

Jennifer the White Crested Polish hen:  She’s looking quite proud of her gorgeous crest.

Squawky the Sussex chick:  Sitting on the roost in the chicken gazebo thinking deep thoughts. This shot was from the chicks’ last day in the woodshed and gazebo.  The next day I moved the chicks into their new coop in the pole barn.

Mary the free-spirited and petite Golden Campine:  Since Mary's in her fifth year, I have no great expectations from her for egg production - but she's been rocking and rolling this summer. She gives me a pretty little white egg almost every day!

Pippi the Speckled Sussex pullet:  How could anybody not love this face!

Emile, my alpha rooster, developed an eye problem. There was no swelling and no discharge, but he kept his eye closed all of the time and it obviously bothered him a lot. My suspicion was that he had been poked or pecked in the eye and my hope was that after a few days this good little rooster’s eye would be back to normal. His eyes are the eyes of the flock – he always sounds the alarm and moves the flock to the safety of the coop whenever there is any danger be it real (a dangerous hawk) or perceived (me pushing the scary garden cart down the hill).  With Emile on the sidelines, Paul, the small substitute rooster stepped up to the leadership challenge by strutting around the coop and crowing a lot!

The good news was that after about a week,  Emile's problem eye was completely back to normal and he once again had two eyes to be the watchful guardian of the Hipster Hens.

Angitou the Golden Polish hen: Contemplating the universe from somewhere beneath her bountiful crest.

The majority of the chickens in my flock are in their fifth year, so it isn’t surprising that some of the girls are showing their age, nor is it surprising that I continue to lose some of them. But it’s still dispiriting each time a hen dies. Buffy the Buff Orpington passed away at the end of August. Kathy and I were out of town on vacation, and Ashley, our fantastic chicken sitter, was providing care. When she noticed Buffy was under the weather, she turned her over to Heidi and Grant, neighbors who are not only wonderful people, but also very competent flock keepers and are both vets to boot. So I know that Buffy was in good hands, but sadly, she passed away before we returned home. I’ll miss this little girl, but as is the case with all my chickens, I am comforted by the fact that she had a good life.

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