This is a chicken update since I know you are all on pins and needles about the girls and their escapades.
The morning after we welcomed our five new 'beauties' I went to the coop to let them all outside only to discover this scenario: the big Barred Rock rooster was standing in the doorway between the coop and the outdoor run. All of my hens were inside the house, perched up on top of the feed box and all the new hens were outside in the run, cowering in the far corner. I have no idea what had gone down in there but no one was talking and the rooster had a fierce look on his face. Sadly the food was inside and the water was outside so everyone was losing at that point, including the rooster, who could get to neither. I opened the door and out they all ran with the ladies giving Mr. Bossy Pants searing sideways glances as they shot past him.
That was two days ago.
Yesterday, while they were out running around I began to notice that something was off. The entire group usually wanders more or less together. The little white one with the black fan tail always lags behind but I think she's just an air head and can't stay focused long enough to keep up. No, yesterday they had apparently split up into small groups for some reason. Getting to know each other activities perhaps? No, not at all.
Mr. Bossy Pants was in charge of the new girls and followed/herded them around all day long, muttering at them. The other rooster who, by the way, I had thought was a hen until yesterday when I saw him doing the dirty with one of the hens, was in charge of another group.
The third group was just the two black hens and the gray bantam I call Dovie. Apparently those three didn't need watching and I can believe it as they are the most laid back of all the hens. I have never seen them in a squabble or fighting for food or drink; they wait their turn with the water and the roosters without complaint and go around with a smile on their little pointy faces, their feathers all in place and their feet clean. You know the type; the ones that the complainers are always giving the squinty eyed scowl to. Right, I knew you knew what I meant, we've all seen that type.
I can't wait to see what today brings. I keep expecting to go out there some morning and find the whole bunch featherless from some overnight knock-down-drag-out. I got two eggs yesterday although one of them had been ruthlessly pecked and broken (how tacky!). Why can't we all just get along???
Stay with '9', we'll keep you advised.