Thursday, June 6, 2013

Silver lining to my Very Cloudy Day, Part 2 ~ Meet the New Chick in the Coop!

Yesterday I shared my pharmacy fiasco that turned out to have one redeeming event in the whole night...that was bringing home 'Big Red'.  Let me tell you about our Newest Chick in the Coop!

'Red' as her previous owner called her, is a 5 month old Red Sexlink hen that has been laying eggs for about a month now.  She came to live with us because her owners had too many hens and needed to downsize their flock and Red was the one chosen to be re-homed.

Lets see where did I leave off...Oh yes, I put her in the dog crate in the coop and went to bed! 

At 5:13 am the next morning, the ADOR automatic coop door, opened and my chicks all wondered out into the early morning.  They did their morning routine of getting a drink of water and filling their tummies with chick food.  Then they all went back in the coop to check out this stranger in the dog crate and I joined them.

Red was a beauty, and although she was nervous about me picking her up the night before, she seemed calm this morning.  She was as curious about the chicks as they were about her.  I poured some feed into the dog crate and she ate it with vigor.  The chicks stuck their heads through the bars and helped her eat it up.  She didn't seem to mind them.  When the time came for me to finally let her out into the run to explore her new home, she was more than ready.  Everyone came to greet her.  My dog Daisy didn't know what to think about this big bird...she had only seen my little chickens, never one this size.

One of my cats stopped by to check her out on his morning routine past the chicken run.

 The chicks followed her around the yard.  Then, as if on cue, the rearranging of the pecking order began.  Barry (my possible rooster), was the first to puff up at her to let her know he was the one in charge here.  She complied and moved back a little when he approached her.  My Rhode Island Red chick (who is already named Red) approached Big Red and didn't get pushy, but kind of acted like, "Hey we are alike!"  Things were going well.

Big Red & Little Red, instantly bonded.

Then Barbara, my unassuming barred rock female, ran up to her, fluffed her feathers at her and pecked at Big Reds wattle.  Barbara stood her ground and stared eye-to-eye with Big Red (even though Big Red is triple her size).  They stood there a good 10-15 seconds locked in a stare.  Then Big Red blinked...well, not actually blinked, but she was the first to make a submissive move.  And just like that, the pecking order was rearranged.  I would have thought that Big Red would be the #1 chicken because of her size alone, but that was not the case. 

For the next couple of days Barry continued to strut around her like he's the boss.  Barbara will occasionally run up to Big Red, then Big Red would back away from what ever she was doing.  But all in all, they are all getting along fine.  I am thrilled to have Big Red as a member of our flock.  I wish she hadn't come into our lives in the midst of such a mess of events with me being sick and running all over Phoenix late on a Sunday night with outside temperatures of 100+, with the hubby and I starving and resorting to eating fast food in a desperate situation.   However, if I had not been sick that night, I would not have been in the valley at the very moment and she might have been placed with someone else.  So she is the silver lining to my very dark cloud that day.

The Happy Flock foraging for food.

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
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Did this post stir something inside of you? If so, Please leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!