after slowly letting the girls get to know each other, today we let them have their first actual conjugal visit.

well, ok- today we let them out of the coop at the same time for a little beak to beak interaction and it went ok so far.

irony of ironies, my son’s chicken, copper, has been trying to “alpha” the new girls. she has been strutting around the coop posturing and chicken noising and kind of pretending to show the new girls who’s boss. this is hilarious because a) my son (her “owner”) is the most calm and easy-going of all my kids, and probably the least likely to pull this type of stunt in people world; and b) my son specifically chose this chicken to be his because she was so calm and laid back and just sort of sat quietly in the back of the coop minding her own business.

hmmmmmmmmm. you know what they say about the quiet ones…

so, yesterday i had good intentions to go out and fence off part of the front yard so the new kids on the block (admit it, you like the reference) could go outside to play. but it was too cold and too rainy for my old and tired bones, so the new girls had to stay in the coop and mope and i had to watch them through the window (no use missing a perfectly good opportunity to beat yourself up, right?).

anyhow, today we had a nice detroit-style snow (read: started out a gentle freezing rain, which for some reason didn’t bother me. then developed into a beautiful big fluffy snowflake-filled universe which made me miss home. no worries, though- the gunshots in the background made me feel like i was right back there, so i was good to go!). i put up a rag-tag true ghetto looking sanford and son fence that could contain the new chickens for a few days until they learn that this strange new world is actually home, at which point, we will ‘tear down that wall!’ and let them truly free-range.

we’re still kind of divided into the bass-chux and the big-chux (names pending official votes…)- and when they were first out i noticed that our girls huddled together and the new flock flocked together- sort of like a junior high lunchroom. but, overprotective mommy that i am, i hovered nearby.

that turned out to be a good thing, because my services were soon required.

it was really cute- the first new hen to approach the bass twins was a rhode island red newbie and i was wondering if she realized they were the same breed and felt a connection. then the younger of the black and white hens came over and i wondered if she knew she was low one the pecking order so it was ok for her to make new friends. and then she got all up and flappy. and my girls were like WTF????? and ran away.

and i was like, “hold the phone- this is NOT supposed to be happening. can’t we all just get along?!?!”

ok. actually that’s not what i was thinking at all.

but they all scattered and reconvened by secret chicken agreement in the bushes where the rhode island reds tried to gang up on my girls. can you believe that? so i clumped over in my big farmer boots-

-i’ll just pause here to tell you this in case i haven’t before- when i went out to buy muck boots i decided that it would be a waste of money to buy multiple pairs, so i bought one pair that would be big enough to fit the whole family. that means that they fit *h and my 14 year old son, but are a bit roomy for the rest of us. oh well, c’est la guerre. this is how it is to be a farmer, n’est-ce pas? and since they are tall black rubber with steel toes, they have quite a satisfying “clump!” to them when you walk… but back to the story at hand…-

and i proceeded to show the new chickens who was the Real Queen Chicken.

and that would be me.

and apparently i held the golden ticket, because once that mater was settled, all the chickens decided to get along.

my chickens squoze through a space in the fence (which i left big enough for them but too small for the bigger new hens- look at that advance planning! (she says smugly as she fails to plan for 8,000 other contingencies…) and the big chux investigated their new surroundings.

i threw out some organic laying mash that the previous owner sent with the big chux, and they did little happy dances, like “oooooooh- we’ve been waiting for this!!!!!!!”

and -when bass chux snuck back in to check out what the party was all about the big chux shared! hurray!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

today i took pictures of them on my phone so i can potentially show them to people (if i can figure out how to retrieve them).

now we’re just waiting for our first eggs…

we’ll keep you posted…