With such sweet girls as this little one, born in March, and already almost as big as a grown hen... drama? What drama?
On second thought... anything involving a bunch of girls usually means .... drama, lol!
Girls are never mean to each other... right?
Well, as I'm learning, just as in real life, girls bring drama... and in the chicken world... a bunch of girls equates to a bunch of drama too! Our poor little Buttercup has ushered in a BUNCH of drama into the chicken coop in recent days. In fact, I've spent the better part of the last several days visiting the chicken coop on an hourly basis just to make sure she is still alive.
Buttercup is a baby banty chick that hatched out a week ago Sunday. She is soooo small and so sweet. Her happiest place was cuddled in my hand, or up against my neck. She wanted to be cuddled and under something so badly. She was hatched by our little white banty hens who are quite mean-natured. After she was born, I took her from under the white banty who hatched her, and put her under the red light with the other two chicks, Salt & Pepper.
On Tuesday I went out to the coop, and realized that all was not well. Buttercup's eye was swollen shut, and she looked like she had been pecked almost to death by the other two chicks. She was so much smaller than they, and so...the drama began.
I tried to separate them by putting a piece of chicken wire into their heated area so that they could still see each other but have an area of separation. However, things just got worse. Buttercup literally cried and ...cried and ....cried as she stood by the chicken wire looking over at the other two. She wouldn't eat or drink. She wanted to be with them so badly. But, they had just pecked her eye out! I couldn't let her be with them. Yet she was so lonely. She quieted as I picked her up and cuddled her. I felt so bad to see her damaged eye, and her sadness.
Then, I had a thought.
We had another banty Orpington, Bella, who had gone broody and was sitting on some eggs in another part of the coop. I took Buttercup over to visit Bella. Buttercup immediately ran under Bella's feathers and stopped crying. I picked Bella up and Buttercup started crying again. She quieted when I put Bella back down over her.
Meanwhile, we have been getting a LOT of rain. It has steadily downpoured here for the last 3-4 days, nonstop. The chickens didn't seem to mind the rain and mud at all.
Mud was everywhere, and while I didn't enjoy slushing around in the mud, they didn't seem to mind.
Salt & Pepper having some playtime outside the coop. They've learned to come and jump on my hand when I call them because they know they might get an excursion outside their coop.
More chicken drama... girls picking on girls! See my poor Anna... we are not sure if she is plucking her own feathers out or if someone else is doing it. At first several weeks ago when we noticed it, we thought she was molting. However, it seems to be ongoing. She did have some feathers growing in, and we thought she was over the molt, but we noticed yesterday that the new feathers have been plucked. A mystery... that I am continuing to play investigator on... is it bullying, meanness, or is she plucking her own feathers? There are all kinds of theories on the web about what could cause feather plucking, and nothing really definitive.... and it all involves playing detective to see who is doing what... sigh...
Poor bedragled wet Momma Mia.... yet it seems the chickens actually like being out in the rain because of all the bugs coming to the surface.
The house painting is paused... we have had a large rain system stalled over us, and it has just poured for several days. This is how it looks so far. Feeling pleased about the painting is an understatement! I am so excited about the rustic look of the home, and even though it is not the colors I thought I was getting, I have come to really LOVE the new look! I just can't wait to have it completed... but patience is a virtue here... and with the rainy forecast for the next several weeks, it could be a while before we can get it finished.
To see puddles here in Idaho means a LOT of rain! As soon as it stops raining, the puddles dry up within an hour or two. I haven't heard how much rain we've gotten, but I know it has to be a lot. Everything will be green and happy once the rain ends, and the sunshine comes back out!
Stay tuned for more drama in the coop! As I finish writing this post... more drama took place today, but I'll save that story for another day. :)