It’s time for a chicken check in! Melissa brought me a fancy hen in a cardboard box one day. The new hen wasn’t even out of the box yet when Melvin started to puff up and strut his stuff to impress the new lady.
Maddie suggested that I name the new hen, Party, after her partridge feather markings. It turned out that Party also enjoyed staying up late and I chased her around the yard each night. Long after the others had gone to bed, I had to convince her that it was roosting time while in my pyjamas. I figured the name suited her on that front as well since she obviously liked to Party.
Party also has punk rocker hair. Drayson, one of my bosses at the office, told me that he’s seen me with exactly the same hair-do. (People do look like their pets.)
The first morning it was clear that Party had staked her claim on the farm and she didn’t want Eleanoire anywhere nearby. She also had a heated discussion with Melvin about who was going to wear the feathered pants on the farm. Party won fair and square. Melvin was awe struck by an empowered lady and followed her around like a lovestruck puppy. Then like nasty children in the school yard, Melvin started picking on little Eleanoire, even though he had been her best pal before Party arrived.
The pictures below show Party in her best, assertive horse trainer pose, standing tall, chest out, wings firm and Melvin had to give way!
The more impressed that Melvin became with his new lady friend, the less impressed Eleanoire was with the entire arrangement.
Eleanoire started nesting in the barn full time. She refused to come off of her nest and turned, what the chicken farmers refer to as, broody. It seems she decided that if she couldn’t hang out with Melvin and the new girl, then she would just sit on her eggs and hatch out some new friends.
The barn is not secure from racoons. The racoons rip the lid off my cat food container and help themselves regularly to a tasty meal in the very stall that Eleanoire had selected to raise her family. When I attempted to pick her up and move her to safer quarters, she pecked at my hands in protest.
I blocked off her little nesting spot at Nicole’s suggestion (you might have noticed it takes a village to raise my chickens). This worked and she started to hang out with Melvin and Party more often. She was always on the outskirts though and I felt sorry for the little debutant. Her bustle and her dignity were ruffled.
I assumed that as with horses they just needed some time to learn to get along. However, in a couple of weeks, Party was still chasing Eleanoire every chance available and one day they had a skirmish that resulted in blood shed. That was it for me. I couldn’t handle the chicken drama and asked Melissa if she could take Party back. Melissa quickly came and took her home. Peace was restored! Melvin and Eleanoire quickly worked out their differences. They were inseparable again.
I vowed to just leave it to the two of them. But I suck at vows. One day I will tell you how it came to be that I was packing a fluffy chick home in a cardboard box.
Have you ever tried to combine critters that just wouldn’t get along? What did you do to work things out?
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