A little introduction for those of you who don't know the back story. I've raised game birds my whole life, recently got myself an EE hen and was addicted to the egg layer breeds. This year in March I aquired a few Aussies at my feed store, along with two Pekins in April, a Cayuga, and a black Indian Runner duck in May. Somewhere in there I got a few more ducks and a few more guineas, but thanks to the neighbors rottie I'm down to the ones listed. Not long after them some gamexee chicks started hatching because Piggy decided she wanted to lay underneath my broody hen, Hen 9. I let 16 of Piggy's chicks hatch, 15 remain and range between 4 and 6 weeks. One Friday not long ago I got a phone call from a concerned neighbor, long story short I brought home 40 new chickens. That brought my total count of chickens/ducks/guineas up to 98! Not including the game chicks that I haven't counted yet because I keep forgetting to go out after dark and scan the tree lines. [Yes, my game birds run loose. Except for the mature roo's which go on tie cords or pens aka tractors] Fwew. So here we go, main introduction on my flock has been started and lets get this gossip rolling. Bang, Bang, Bawk?! Today there was a lot of cackling and hackling in the hen house. Several birds had been introduced slowly over the past few days, and were settling into their now cramped coop. The hens have yet to start laying again, mostly bantams, but that is just fine with their new mother. " The strange chicken lady who insists on bringing us treats and holding us, she MUST be insane. We're chickens, not pets. But that's okay, the Aussies took to us well and we learned to get over the scary ducks. " The bantams are learning new tricks. These include dusting bathing, roosting, and eating out of the chicken ladies hand. The D'Uccels are taming quick, they enjoy the extra attention and rather enjoyed their feather-cut to get the clumped poop off of their soon to be gorgeous feathers. The Silkies are still strange, most of the chickens that were already in the coop have nothing to do with them. That was of course until all the strange noises and explosions yesterday. It seems new flocks have formed and friendships have begun to blossum. One little silkie cross pullet has made quite a character of herself, and earned the name Stinky. Her favorite past time is giving the chicken lady the stink eye before settling in on 'moms' lap for some snuggle time It's as if she's saying "I'll be a grown hen soon, don't expect the cute to factor in much longer. Soon I'll be queen of this roost, and you wont be able to baby me any-snore." The babies are learning from the slightly larger, yet still teenaged, Aussies how to free range in the evenings. Their biggest excitement is when it comes time to be 'herded' back into their coop. If you've never herded 35+ young chicks, you don't know what your missing. Swing on by and I'll show you how easy it is. The adult birds were allowed out for a few supervised minutes, but only a select few. They did not take well to being out of a pen after being cramped in small cages their whole lives, so they tucked tails and ran like... well... chickens! While everyone was dabbling and babbling about the recent excitements, the chicken lady spent her time in the coop. She added fresh shavings and hay, FUN! Old hay means bugs, and bugs mean the chicken lady can't hardly walk around with all the chickies under her feet scooping up all the crickets. She barely got the new roosts up so no one had to sleep on the ground, it was quite the fiasco. Everyone fought and fumbled for the new roosts, they are so much better than the old ones it's unreal. The fighting over space said enough to the chicken lady. 60 small chicks are settled into their coop tonight, their tiny three sided 8x8 roosting coop that has no room for the people to walk through because the chicken lady added so many cool new places to sleep! Plans have been drawn up to add onto the coop, so once the little chicks grow up they wont be cramped inside their tiny grow out home. Well, that's it for the first post. Enjoy, pictures will come shortly.