It’s gotten pretty warm lately, I think it’s safe to say winter has mostly finished. I even took the rain tarp off of the coop! We will be getting another storm, but the girls will be fine. They actually love to play in muddy areas, as apparent by the photo of Selma above. Since it’s warmed up, I decided to go ahead and start free ranging the girls. We haven’t done it until now because I wanted to wait for Baby to finish growing up, then for everyone to start laying, then winter hit… dozens of reasons that don’t matter anymore.
I’ll be clipping their wings this week, so far they’ve been so excited to have new territory that they haven’t had any wish to take flight. They also stick together and just follow me or Riley around, but I know that wont last forever as the novelty as wears off. We’ll only let them free range an hour in the morning and an hour in the afternoon, more if my schedule allows it. We have a lot of neighborhood cats who cut through our yard, and I just don’t want the girls to get in trouble.
Patty is still going through her molt, but she’s been packing down the protein and growing in more feathers… slowly but surely. I gave them another bowl of yogurt today, and she was the one who gobbled the most yogurt up.
Baby is still trying to regrow the feathers from where we had the pecking order issues. She gets a drizzle of pine tar every week, my mother in law and I have a system down for getting the task done. She holds Baby, and I drizzle on the stinky goo. Seriously — if you have chickens but don’t have pine tar on hand, get it now! I don’t know what we would have done without it. I know Blue-Kote wouldn’t have helped or protected her!
(ETA: The pine tar is to help Baby heal and keep the others from pecking at her as the new feathers come in. The taste and smell of the tar keeps the others from continuing the action if they do pluck a feather and draw blood. It has to be reapplied as it wears off.)
Riley is definitely proving herself to be a good chicken dog. She just sunbathes while the girls do their thing.
Riley tries to sneak some yogurt, and even helped lick some of the yogurt mess off of Baby! The girls are comfortable around her, they’ll approach her and stare at her, then go on to the next patch of grass.
Hopefully our wing clipping goes smoothly — especially since we’ll only be clipping one wing for each girl, and Patty will be spared until she’s done with her molt. The girls are definitely well-behaved and come when called! I had a hard time eating my breakfast out there with them this morning, they were right at my feet the entire time!
Thanks for stopping by on the barn hop! I hope to hop around to all of your posts this week!