BeeGee – After the BeeGees, and also because she is black and gold. She was named by The Other Half at the petrol station in Batemans Bay, while I went to the bathroom. This is a terrible photo, I will get a better one. However BeeGee is the least approachable of our new girls and she is speedy. Most of the photos turn out as a blur. I might have to try the bigger camera.
Foo – after the Foo Fighters. Foo is facing the camera.
Finn – After Neil & Tim Finn AKA The Finn Brothers. Finn is looking away from the camera. Finn has a floppy comb at the back. That is not dirt on their chest, that is their colouring.
Foo and Finn are the most approachable of our new girls and not at all afraid of humans. One of them spent quite a bit of time under my chair while some of the first flock jostling was going on, just happily scratching and chilling out. When I go out there, they walk right up to me and peer at me curiously, do I have a treat for them? I do not think these girls have any ambitions to be Queen of the Flock. They are happy being part of the flock and do not wish to lead.
Diana – After Diana Ross initially, but after observing her she is more like Princess Diana. Determined and persistent. She saw there was green grass on the other side of the fence, and spent at least 2 hours trying to work out how she could get to it.
Diana has a green band on her foot which helps us to tell her apart from Queen. She has been very busy working on her grass project which has kept her distracted from the flock positioning. In the photo above she has progressed from walking the fence line to standing on things, trying to see if there are any gaps in the mesh. There may have been, but seeing her determination, The Other Half got out the staple gun.
Queen – After the band Queen, and also she is the largest of the new girls and extremely perfect looking. She’s had a couple of run ins with the older girls and it seems she has been the winner of those runins. I think she wants to be Queen and has the same level of determination to get that job as her sister Diana has to get to the grass. These two girls are incredibly graceful, how they walk around is a thing of great beauty. Almost like ballet dancer chickens.
Lizzy (our Black Pekin), Kitty (our Grey Pekin) and Dark Comb who is keeping an eye on Queen.
They were living in pens of 5 girls and one rooster – three of these girls are from different pens. Foo and Finn were in together and were already good friends. They are all a year old and were raised by a human so they are friendly and easy to handle once you have picked them up, they will calmly sit and accept their fate, which is good for medicine and health checks.
Out in their new pen they have so much more space – and height – than they did previously. They were not at all sure about the arrangement of the coop and run. It took them a while to get the confidence to explore it and figure out where the roosts were, and the nesting boxes, and a couple of them originally tried to sleep on the roof before they found their way to the roost.
They received blueberry treats and kale yesterday. Kale they understand. Blueberries they have never seen before and they are clueless, and slightly scared of them. It will not take them long to understand that these are a treat. In the meantime the older girls run around picking up all the blueberries before the other girls get a chance.
On Tuesday, after I got home from my walk I spent some time watching the girls just to see what was happening in the yard. Queen found herself a huge spider – I think I saw it while I was raking things up on Saturday – and all the other girls both new and old chased her around the yard trying to steal it from her.
They have settled in nicely and they are dustbathing up a storm out there as I type. I’m not allowed to have favorites as you all know, but Foo and Finn did not have to work very hard to steal my heart. Plus I love if you call them together you get “FooFinn”.
At night there is still a little uncertainty about how to get into their sleeping area, but I expect by the end of the week they’ll remember exactly where to go. It is still a bit hard to tell who is where in the flock positioning. The girls have so much room out there, they do not need to encounter each other if they don’t want to.
It seems like there are three groups forming – Foo and Finn are usually not very far from each other, Diana, BeeGee and Queen hang out together a fair bit, and the older girls are sticking to their group however Dark Comb is often letting the newer girls know they are below her with a peck or two.