Friday, October 7, 2011

Little Update

Well, it's been a wild week indeed.

Coming home from vacation to three hens not getting along was tough.  Giving Pumpkin away was even tougher.  But I didn't realize how traumatized Ginger was.  She wasn't eating.  She wouldn't eat out of my hand and wouldn't go for treats.  There were no droppings under her roosting spot in the hen house.  None.  When this happened two days in a row, I couldn't take it.

I took Ginger to the vet who thoroughly examined her, did a blood panel and even checked her dropping for parasites.  He could fine nothing wrong with her.  He said to give her what ever she'll eat to get her to eat and hope that it passes.

So I picked up a bunch of meal worms and ordered a bunch more online.  She ate a few one day.  And then ate a whole tub of 100 the next day.  Although she scarfed through those pretty quickly and I have to question if I really got 100 in that tub.

Last night I picked up a 100 live crickets and separated her from Coco and sat there and hand fed her each and every last cricket.  If you'd never held a live cricket, you have no idea how much those things stink.  And I have a poor sense of smell.  Anyway, she still seemed hungry so I gave her another 50 giant meal worms and checked on her after she'd gone to bed.  She was snuggled up next to Coco and all seemed right.

This morning, I was alarmed because there were no droppings under where she slept.  I thought how can that be?!?  I stuffed her before bedtime.  But then I noticed 4 HUGE broody droppings over by the gate and I'm guessing that those had to be hers.

This morning she readily ate out of my hand and side by side w/ Coco.  Which is a challenge.  Because Coco is like a giant Hoover machine.  She won't peck at Ginger for her food but she'll take it right out of her beak.  I had mixed up a bunch of meal worms in some powdered feed and was giving Ginger the worms and Coco just the feed.  Well, Coco is very smart and was suspicious she was getting a raw deal.  She stood up tall and peeked into my treat bowl and saw the wriggling worms and just went gonzo.  So I just let the two of them at it.  Coco got most of it, but Ginger got enough to get something in her tummy to get her going.

I feel as though we're past the worst of this and Ginger is coming around.  Coco doesn't seem to miss Pumpkin which is good.  I know those two were buddies.  And Coco and Ginger seem to be bonding well and my hope is they become best friends so that I can add two additional birds in the spring without much issue.

I'm still trying to decide what breeds to add.  I really want docile hens and I keep reading how much they like to be with a buddy who looks like them.  So I'm heavily leaning towards another Buff Orpington like Ginger and a Black Astralorp.  The BA would look like Coco but have the docile nature of an BO.

Would love to hear comments from those with Astralorps and Orpingtons and hear what you have to say about their personalities, are they docile, do you have pecking issues, do you have one of each and do they get along well, etc.

On a side note, I did get an email from Pumpkin's new owner who said she's settling in nicely.  She's clearly at the bottom of the pecking order and doesn't get super close to the other two hens.  But that is all to be expected as they figure each other out.  Hopefully, the newness wears off soon and she starts to lay her beautiful green eggs.  I know they will love her like I did once they find one of those emerald little gems in a nest box.


  1. Love those BOs. If I could have only one breed, it would be Buff Orpingtons. Our Daisy could be a therapy chicken. Sweet, gently, a real love! Good luck in adding to your flock!

  2. I am partial to the buff orpingtons too, but I think it has to do with the chicken too. We have a barred rock that I was worried about and she is practically a lap chicken. Good luck!

  3. @ Lee, Thank you. I'll definitely get another BO. But I'm still torn between one BO and one Astralorp? Or two BO's. I guess I have all winter to decide.

  4. Cake Chick, I've heard from so many that their BR's are so docile, but I've also heard from some that they have a bossy one. It's so tough to decide.

  5. Oh Flock Mistress, I can understand but it sound like everything is going to work out. I would do two Buff Orpingtons. Australorps can be a little bossy. Or, have you thought about 2 Silkie Bantams. They will be happy to be a the bottom of the pecking order, together as best friends :) Hugs to you! ~Melissa

  6. @ Tilly, Thanks for that. I'm not a big fan of Silkies. I really like big, fat hens. And I'm so torn because I love a mixed flock. But I think I should just get two more Orpingtons next spring. I might buy four chicks and raise them and then choose the two who I love the most and give or sell the other two. The reality is, the eggs all taste the same regardless of color so get the hens who you feel the most connection with.