The Aunties

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The newbies are settling in quite nicely. I found three – THREE – eggs in their nesting box today. They sure are tiny compared to the Orpingtons across the paddock! They are also very curious and eager to explore what lays beyond ‘The Roost’.

They seem to have a goatie pal … Could it be? For real? Maybe MayMay will get used to them and decide not to chase them they way she loves to scatter the Orps. She sure does love to use their barn ‘landing’ as her personal sun porch. šŸ˜‰

Everyone hung out together yesterday afternoon. It was the best place to be – out of the wind – and in the sunshine. I finally had a day to devote to a good paddock clean up. Each week another layer of winter ice disappears and leaves – surprise! – piles of manure behind.

Mary Poopins and her sisters, Oprah and Agatha, were keen to check out what fell out of the ice.

Paddy and Lindy have a bad case of scaly mites … still … again? Now that the weather is warming up I decided to add soaking to their ‘spa treatments’.

The warm water lulls them to sleep. I support their bodies and they both relax and seem to doze while we wait out the fifteen minute timer. Once their feet and legs have softened up I use a gentle toothbrush to clean off their scales. Then I spray them with Doktor Doom’s insecticide and follow that with a good coating of vaseline.

Paddy is surprisingly cooperative. Even after I take him out of the bath he will sit on the counter – content to wait to see what I’m up to next. I’ve become awfully fond of this guy. He has a great personality. Lately though … he has started to attack my legs when I bring the flock in at night. I’m not sure if it is because he wants to establish that HE gets the first treat? Currently little pieces of banana …? I don’t want that to become a pattern! So I scoop him up and hold his head down while I walk around the coop getting things ready. It is out of character for him … I will have to try to figure out what triggers that behaviour!

I decided to give these girls their first experience with the ‘great outdoors’ this evening. That’s a good time of day to let them do some exploring. Then they can return after a short time to their roost. It was comical watching them figure out what was beyond the pop door!

I loved watching them discover their run. The first landing ended with a high leap back into the air. The wet leaves were a surprise! The trees must seem awfully tall. And they could clearly hear the Robins and the Grackles and Red-Winged Blackbirds calling.

I have been thinking of them as the ‘Tweedles – Second Generation’. But … that seemed very ‘last year’. As I watched them decide who was going to go first … and as I’m getting better at telling them apart … I think I’ve figured out what nickname they’ll go by. They are going to be ‘The Aunties’.

Mary, Margaret and Mona were the first three out. They are the darkest russet colour. They are friendly, and talkative, and adventuresome.

They were followed by Aunt Betty, Aunt Marie and Judy. Aunt Betty is a pale cream colour – except for her mane which is deep brown. Aunt Marie and Judy each have beautiful white fringe on their manes. After a short spot of wandering in their run they all jumped back inside to avoid a rain shower. Looks like a nice day for them to be out tomorrow.

Agatha is not all that certain she likes the idea of the Aunties taking over that corner of the paddock. I think there will be some visiting along the fence line tomorrow. I’ve used a fencing panel to keep the two groups at a proper ‘social distance’! Ha! Even the chickens are social distancing!!

Well – that’s the Cluck Report from these parts. Looking forward to a sunny couple of days coming up again. Although … ugh … the weather report is forecasting snow for later in the week. Noooooo!

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