Well, like everything in the summer, my chickens are growing. The littles that were so tiny and taking refuge in their 'cage' in the coop are now blended in (integrated?) with the larger 6 birds. They were spending more time out of the enclosure than in. I knew it was time to remove the enclosure when the big girls liked sitting on it and the little girls ran out. It won't be long before the Buff Orp Naomi is going to quickly get bigger than the Spotted Sussex Havalah.
All the girls like their chicken run - a 8 foot long by 3 foot high box without a bottom that has wheels on one end so I can take it to various parts of the yard. The lid lifts up and I do have to take each chicken in and out. Right now, with so much construction, I don't have an open 'run'. Eventually, the back yard will be their run, but not until we get a fence put in.
The girls are getting along well - as long at the littles keep their distance and don't go for the same tasty bug or flower, everyone seems to get along well. Every now and again there is a peck, but such is the life of a chicken. I'm so relieved their doing well. A few weeks ago it was looking much different. What a difference some time and growth make!
We've had many field trips out to the run. They seem to like it best on overcast/lightly sunny days with a nice breeze. They love eating the grasses, catching flies and eating every tasty bug they come across. Today and yesterday's 90+ degrees was too hot for them. They wanted 'out' after a few hours rather than at the end of the day.
It's amazing how you learn your animals. The 'little' ones still tire quicker than the big ones, and those two like to do everything together. Yesterday, they were sitting near the front of the run napping. I opened the lid and took the small buff Naomi out and put her in the coop. She sighed and settled into my arms, delighted that she could be in the coop. However, once in there by herself her chirp turned into a teradactyl-like SQUAWK as she realized her friend Havalah was no where around. I go to fetch Havalah and she flees to the back of the run. I lean over to coax her out and she's just out of finger's reach. So, the other chickens were amused, standing around realizing that I didn't reach for them, but for the little one. The barred rock Sarah took matters into her own hands and butted little Havalah in the tailfeathers, causing her to fly up directly into my hands. If you ask me, I think she planned it that way.
Today, after the morning out in the run, the littles were first to go in. Havalah didn't put up a fuss whatsoever, just hopped right into my hands. My dad was holding the lid open, coaxing the other birds toward me. Before he knew it, the barred rock Sarah had flown up and out of the box run and was strutting her way toward the coop as if to say, "Well. I'm not letting you manhandle me. I'm doing this for myself, thank you. Oh, what's that, a tasty bug???" and off she ran. Dad quicky caught her and she let out a 'bagawk bagawk'. When he handed her off, I look at her and say, "Well, Lady Sarah. What were you thinking taking off like that? It's not safe." I lie not, that chicken turned her head, looked me with each eye and went, "bawwk, bawwk, bawwk, bawwk" sounding just like people laugh. To make matters worse, she also pooped on me - while we were walking the few steps back to the coop. As I put her in the coop, she ran to the roost and flapped into the window, watching, cackling the whole time I was putting the other girls into the coop.
Well. I do believe I've been laughed at and told off by a chicken.