Saturday, October 30, 2010
The bobble-heads get a boyfriend
For several days and nights I confined Punkster and Dartmouth to the hutch where they paced back and forth, complaining constantly about not being allowed out to play. Meanwhile, Brangelina's missing feathers were getting a chance to grow back in but bare spots were still visible. Maybe the pecking was due to the sight of bare chicken skin? After all, it's not pretty stuff.
Years ago the late spouse and I solved a similar problem by coating the offending area with black, tarry stuff. Not having any, I went for the next best solution. I got out a black Sharpie pen, pounced on Brangelina, and drew on the chicken. I didn't draw pictures; I just dotted the Sharpie wherever bare skin showed. It worked as a disguise but when I let Punkster out of the hutch, she made straight for Brangelina and jumped her. I grabbed Punkster by the neck and popped her back in solitary confinement.
Fearing nobody would want hens whose best laying days were over, I put a notice on my chicken list anyway. Through a complex series of somebody who knows somebody, I found a lady with a lonely rooster. She did not care if the hens laid eggs; she enjoyed looking at them and she knew that a single rooster is always in want of a flock. (Class, get out your copies of Pride and Prejudice and turn to page one.)
Punkster and Dartmouth are settling in to new quarters with a small rooster and a big yard and people to admire them. The two hens could decide to gang up on the rooster, who is apparently a very mild-mannered type; but I believe he will rise to the occasion and assert himself.
I'm down to three hens who have forgotten there ever were two others in the flock. Peace reigns, though it still looks moth-eaten.