Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Next Top Model

Man, I've missed you!  We have a lot to catch up on, and finally, I have shaken the cold that plagued me.  I have also been tackling a few big projects.  I won't jump ahead on you.  Let's just start where we left off.

The girls!

This is almost all of them.  I counted 22 in this shot, and there are 24 of them roaming around.  This is the way that I like to see the girls.  Foraging out in a field and minding their manners.  As you can see, they are all grown up now.  No babies.  No hooligans.

The Golf ball babies are very different in color than my other birds.

These are some healthy, happy girls!

There are a couple of blonde's from that batch.

And, you can't do anything around here without Lola being involved!

This is my absolute favorite way to see Lola!  Unfortunately, we rarely experience this together.  This bird wears me out daily!  She is relentless about the cat food.  I move it to different places in the barn.  She finds it!  I feed the cat less.  He always saves some for her!  I close all the doors to the horse barn.  She flies in a window!  It is such a daily routine, that when I find her in the big barn, she runs for about 30 seconds, then stops and waits for me to pick her up.  I usually yell at her, maybe throttle her a little, then throw her out the window.

Secretly, I think she enjoys this part.

I was very lucky to capture these shots of the girls when I did.  Within a couple of days of this photo shoot, something got after my girls.  It had to have happened after dark, and they were in their coop on their roosts.  I must have come along after things had settled down to close up the barn because I didn't have a clue until the next morning.

It was one of the lucky days that started with rain and I opened the coop to throw them a little feed.  I had errands to do, and I planned to leave them inside until the rain passed.  When I went in, the first thing I noticed was a large amount of white feathers - every where!  Immediately I took a head count of white hens, then tried to get a head count on all of them.  They were excited to eat and were running around.  This makes it very difficult to count them.  Every time I came up four birds short.  To say that I was starting to panic would be an understatement.

Finally, after counting them over and over, I realized they were all there.  My relief was only short lived when one of my Dominique hobbled by me.  She apparently took the brunt of the attack and has a nasty wound on one thigh.  She is also missing a considerable amount of feathers.  I picked her up and relocated her to the horse barn where she still stays.  I have been administering first aid to the best of my ability, and she is still with us.  I am impressed with her will to live, but I do wonder if I am doing her any favors.  If she continues to improve, she will probably have a significant limp.  This will change the dynamics if she gets reintroduced into the flock.  A flock of girls will always pick on the weakest one.

After further inspection, I have a few other hens that are missing their long tail feathers.  Whatever it was, it gave up and left.  I have no explanation for all the white feathers.  Those birds all look fine. 

We are now in trapping mode. 

I hate trapping mode. 

Kitty, on the other hand, loves it because he has been sleeping indoors at night.  This is only so I am not wasting bait catching him. 

Whatever it is, I have a 20 gauge waiting on him.

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