Wednesday, January 09, 2008

And Then There Were Nine

One of the young hens has died. I found her in the rain-soaked chicken run yesterday when I went to fill the water and feed hopper and collect the eggs. Poor thing.

I'm pleased that my hens live a pretty good chicken life before they cross over to the other side.

I don't know how she died but it doesn't look as though she was killed by anything. None of the chickens looked ill or were acting oddly. Sometimes they just die. She fell off her perch.

The thing is, I can't just go and replace her with a new chicken. The new chicken would get pecked to death by the established flock. They just don't DO outsiders. Introductions need to be made over a period of time and in groups. Single chickens have no chance at all. I managed to integrate the six new hens with my four old ones in September because I was adding in a larger group of hens to the established flock of four. In addition, I kept them separated but visible to each other for an entire week before I put them all together. Even then there was some bullying and I had to pull two of the older hens out and put them in the side pen for a few days. It took some patience but they all get along now - sort of like parallel flocks. You always see the older hens together and the young red hens together.

Today in Scotland the key word was WIND. The winds were very high here today. The M74 had five trucks tipped over from high winds, blocking traffic. The radio reported that 10,000 homes were without power because the lines were being blown over or trees fell on the power lines. Thankfully the more dramatic results of high winds haven't hit us. It was a real "hand on to your hat" sort of day.

The winds have eased off as the sun set, so let's hope there is no more of THAT!

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