Chicken Check-In

New readers of the kittybunnychicken might wonder about the “chicken” in the title.  On my home page you’ll see a little yellow chick, posing with Buster and Rowdy.  This is Scarlett, my little orphan Rhode Island Red I raised to coop age.

Scarlett meets Sammy.

I gave her to my good friend Debbie who has a beautiful chicken farm (paradise for chickens) in the country.  Debbie couldn’t integrate Scarlett into her large group of nearly 50 chickens right away because Scarlett had been raised alone, and she would have been a target for abuse from the other members of the flock.

She had never seen another chicken until I gave her to Debbie when she was 6 weeks old.

She knew about people, bunnies and kitties though!

So, she raised Scarlett in a coop by herself until she managed to socialize her with an orphan chicken of her own, Carlos.   It took a while, but Scarlett and Carlos became pals and lived in harmony for many months in the coop Jim had built for my former flock of chickens.

Rosie, Daisy & Violet’s former chicken cottage.

Well, the time had come for Scarlett and Carlos to join the gang up the hill so Debbie loaded our former coop on the truck and took it to the large fenced and “hawk cloth-covered” area where her gang roamed freely and in complete safety.  The coop would be a “buffer” for Carlos and Scarlett to retreat to if Debbie’s chickens decided to be mean and unfriendly to the newcomers.  This is what Debbie said about the moment they put the coop on the grass:

Don’t tell me chickens aren’t smart and don’t remember!!!!!!   When the coop was being
unloaded off the truck guess what three little fine feathered friends came
running as hard as they could with great big smiles on their faces????
You guessed it–Rosie Daisy and Violet!  They remembered it, and when we set it
down they ALL got inside and just looked it over and danced around with glee.
Rosie even took herself promptly up to the top floor.  I looked in the
peek hole and she had nestled down in a nest box.

And if this little story isn’t enough to make you smile, she uncovered another little surprise inside the coop.  As Rosie sat in the nest box, she got a weird look on her face.  Debbie decided to check the nest for anything out of the ordinary and guess what she found?  Ten little brown eggs.  Debbie had no idea Scarlett had even begun to lay, and for the past two weeks she had been secretly laying her eggs in the box.  What a sneaky little bird! 🙂

Debbie and her husband Walter are leaving town for a little vacation next week and I am going to be one of her chicken caretakers.  I’ll drive out to the farm July 29th, 31st and August 2nd, to care for her chickens, hummingbirds and her dog Buffy.  I’m also authorized to pick anything from her garden and take home all the eggs I can carry.  If anyone would like to come with me on any or all of these days, you are most welcome to partake of the bounty as well.  Start saving your egg cartons and set a side a basket for harvesting veggies.  I’d love to make some field trips out of my visits for any kids and/or their parents who would like to experience some farm life and chicken love.  I’ll have plenty of grapes on hand for the ladies to perform their famous “grape jumping” trick.

Daisy gets some air!

They still do it, and they are the only chickens in the whole farmyard who do.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this little chicken check-in.  I’m often asked how the girls are doing at their new home.  They couldn’t have a better caretaker than my friend Debbie and I’m so grateful that she provided a home for them when they were exiled from my back yard.

Debbie and young Scarlett

Get in touch if you’d like to ride along for the chicken field trips at the end of the month.  The more the merrier. 🙂

Sweet Rabbit With a Side of Chicken

My parents live on a farm in Mississippi and they have about 30 Rhode Island Reds.  Daddy recently tried to hatch a clutch of fertile eggs in an incubator.  He wasn’t sure if the eggs were actually fertile so he took a gamble.  Only one little chick hatched.  Dad has two beautiful roosters, but neither would own up to the deed.

WHO'S YER DADDY!

It’s improbable that a lone chick will survive since they need the warm bodies of other chicks to thrive and grow.  Mom & Dad brought the baby inside and put a heating pad, food & starter feed in a cardboard box.  Mom put one of her fleece lined slippers in the box for a warm nest.  The little trooper survived the first day, and then the next, and the next, until it looked like she was going to make it.  She thought my dad was her mommy and she was very content to sit on his shoulder for hours during the day.  If he walked around the kitchen, she followed him, cheeping at full volume for him to pick her up.

I bought him this shirt last Christmas.

My parents knew that I was sad after having to give up my three back yard chickens, so they offered me the chick to take home and raise up to coop age.  I jumped at the chance.  She made the 280 mile trip to our house peeping, pooping and sleeping the whole way.  When we got home, we fixed up Bitsy’s cage for her new home.  Bitsy didn’t need a cage anymore since she was using her litter box and behaving nicely with her big brother.  We decided she was a girl (we actually have no idea) and named her Scarlett, since she is a Rhode Island RED!  My neighbors came over to see Bitsy and they got a bonus!  I wanted Scarlett to feel another soft animal body for the first time, and they don’t come any softer than Bitsy. We put the little babies together in my friend Lauren’s arms.

Bitsy was very still and Scarlett settled down into the soft fur of her new friend.

In less than 30 seconds Scarlett was sound asleep.

Sweet little Bitsy sat still the whole time letting Scarlett get her first cuddle with another of God’s creatures.  These two little creatures were orphans no more.