Life goes on with the birds here at Razzberry Corner.
Both hens Charlotte and Betty are raising 4 chicks each. Charlotte is an excellent mama hen; if any hen or rooster comes anywhere near her she attacks them. Both mamas and their babies have totally been integrated into the flock already. It's not that tough to integrate new chicks with a mama hen.
In case you haven't been around a mama hen, they continually cluck for their chicks. If food is being served, they cluck even more. The chicks know their mama's clucks. Previously, I was curious if the babies would know which mama was theirs since we have two mamas - they do. They only listen to their own mama. It's funny, but the mama hens don't attack each other, just everyone else.
|Charlotte and three of her chicks|
The hen Bella got really excited when Charlotte and Betty's chicks hatched. Bella loved being a mama, she recently raised eight guinea keets. As soon as she saw and heard Charlotte's and Betty's new chicks in the coop, Bella immediately went broody again. Poor Bella. No more chicks or keets, sorry, girl.
Bella's been sitting for weeks now on nothing, just sitting in the nest box. We've separated her during the day and put her in her own coop with a rooster named Fred to discourage her broodiness. It seems to be working. She gets up and walks around when it's just her and Fred. Fred is a darling, he is the most gentle rooster we have. But as soon as we but Bella back with the flock she immediately starts making that broody mama hen cluck and eventually tries to make a dash for the nest boxes to go sit again.
But before Bella can go sit in the coop, her guinea keets hear her clucks, and they all dash to her side. They remember their mama's clucks. So whenever Bella is outside, she's surrounded by eight guineas who think their mama's calling them. Sometimes she runs around the coop clucking in a broody hen frenzy (if you've had a broody hen you know what this frenzy is!), and all the keets run after her!
|Bella and her keets|
Today was an exciting day - we got our chicken saddles in the mail! Some of our hens have been getting torn up by the roosters. They are getting bald spots on their backs and necks, and I've been administering antibiotic ointment on them at nighttime. And so we ordered saddles, also called chicken aprons. This is not a good picture of the saddle. I'm going to have to get more pictures of them.
|Chloe in her new outfit|
The hens didn't really mind me putting the saddles on them. They have straps that go under the wings to hold them on, they are made from denim so they are strong and washable. I read about other people's chickens hating the saddles when they first got them. Not mine. I thought it was odd that they didn't mind them. I guess I have really relaxed, easy-going chickens. Or maybe they are just fashion-conscious, and like the latest look in saddles.
Here is a picture of Danni, who got a broken toe when she was young. The toe has healed long ago, and now it's just bent, but it's fine. She was one of the hens who didn't need a saddle, so she doesn't have a new outfit. Sorry, Danni, no new look for you!
|Danni didn't get an outfit|
On a good note, Raspberry's bumblefoot has totally healed. We no longer have to wrap her feet and treat them every night. We check her feet every now and then to make sure it doesn't come back.
On a closing note, here's yet another picture of my roo Leggy. He always poses for my camera.