[FONT=arial,helvetica,sans-serif]The First Year[/FONT]
(We made it!)
My "girls" are a little over a year old now and doing well. We did lose our big dominant Buff Orp, Peckahontas, though.
She got into some fungicide coated seed and, being the top hen, she kept it all to herself.
The symptoms didn't show up for about a week and we thought maybe it was sour crop. The helpful
people on BYC forum told us how to treat it, but none of that worked. She finally passed
away on a Thursday and is buried in the backyard near her sister's pasture.
On the bright side, we have four hens left. One Buff Orp and three GLWs. I originally
wanted Buff Orps because I read that they were gentle, docile chickens. Not so with
Chickasaw, the remaining Buff Orp. I call her the sergeant-at-arms because any time I reach in
to touch one of the GLWs she puffs up and comes after me. She is the low chicken on the totem pole
which makes her an unlikely candidate for protector, but there must be something about chicken culture I don't know.
However, when I do pick her up and carry her around the yard, she seems content and clucks quietly at the unfamiliar sights.
Maybe she's just jealous.
The three GLWs are so much alike that I can't tell them apart. One of them is a little friendlier than the others
and will eat scratch feed out of my hand. We had names for them, but heck if I know which one is which.
I was worried about them making it through the winter because we didn't have any way to heat their ark. We had
unusually cold weather here in central Alabama last winter. The girls were all snug in their ark, though and kept each
other warm on the cold nights we had. It didn't seem to bother them at all. It was a challenge keeping their water from
freezing. They totally ignored the snow we had, which usually melts within a day or two.
They are supplying us with eggs every day, which I am delighted to share with friends and family.
Keeping chickens in our suburban backyard is also a sure-fire conversation starter.
People look at me with surprise written all over their faces and say, "Really?"