It’s been a busy couple of weeks and time got away from me.
I am sad to say, like the story, Annabel Lee died.
Since Edgar Allan Poe integrated with the flock so well I went back to the feed store and picked up Lenore and Nevermore to keep Annabel Lee company. However, Annabel Lee started not acting right and she passed away the next day.
I waited a few days to make sure Lenore and Nevermore were not also sick, and when they proved to be healthy, I began the task of integrating the two into the flock. For the first several days I snuck them in just before dusk when the babies and mama hen were settling in. At first they were totally confused, but the chill convinced them these strangers weren’t so bad so they snuggled in for the night to stay warm. Like Edgar and Annabel Lee, they didn’t know to leave the coop in the morning. So, like the others, I brought them inside for the day and when I got home from work I put them in a makeshift chicken run so they could nibble grass, eat some dinner, and dust bathe before being moved to the coop.
I would love to say handling them more made them tame, but it really didn’t. Last Saturday while I was home to monitor, I just left them with the flock and they eventually ventured out of the coop for some breakfast. However, they didn’t know how to get back in the coop in the evening and they ran around in circles peeping loudly. I had to catch them and put them in the coop. For the next several days I found myself chasing them around the run so I could get my hands on them to put them inside with the others. About the middle of this week, they finally learned how to get in on their own so I’m no longer tasked with chasing around two hysterical chicks.
All of the little chicks are getting so big and are mostly feathered. The mama hen decided two days ago she was done being a mother and wanted her independence back. The babies took it rather hard the first night, but seem to be ok now.
Out of the fifteen chicks, I’ve been able to identify four definite roosters. I thought Edger Allan Poe was a little boy, but now I’m not so sure. I may very well have a hen called Edgar. It’s fascinating to watch how quickly they develop and change. The oldest ones are almost seven weeks old and are running around sparring with each other and developing their pecking order. I can’t wait until they find their voice and start crowing. It’s the sweetest, and also the funniest sound.