Sunday, July 1, 2012

a little chickie love story

It turns out that my little injured chick is in fact a girl, and the fighting rooster is indeed a boy (a teenage boy with a very teenage-boy sounding crow, if you can imagine that!). They were residing in separate brooders in the garage while recovering from their injuries, but over the weekend we decided they looked wonderfully healed and wanted them to "be free" again. Chickens are social beings, and keeping them isolated long-term, unless there are extenuating circumstances, would be cruel in my opinion. Besides, that boy was starting to get mean! But I don't blame him - from free-roaming to caged would do the same to me. I am a poor companion for them each, in comparison to a flock of their peers.

Awhile back (before the rooster fighting incident), I tried to reintroduce the pullet back to the meat bird flock, but it didn't go well. She went around picking fights with everyone (yes, my sweet little chickie, picking fights!), and I just had a feeling it wasn't going to end well. I imagine that reintroducing the young cockerel would result in similar upheaval.

So, what does one do with a boy chicken and a girl chicken who are (presumably) lonesome? Introduce them, of course! We took them down to the second pasture where the goats live, and released them at the same time on this neutral territory. They saw each other from a distance. They gazed, then cautiously approached. There were the obligatory small pecks on the head. And then I'm certain they fell madly in love. For the next hour, they walked together finding tasty morsels. They scratched at the hay in the barn. They basked side-by-side in the sun. When one ran away from Lizzy The Curious Goat, the other quickly followed. Ah, yes. A match made in heaven.

The goats are always happy for a little excitement, and they seem to enjoy the extra company, too. They especially enjoy stealing all the chickens' grain. Goats are gracious hosts when it comes to sharing their diggs (henceforth to be called the love shack), but not so much when it comes to food!

Here's to happy endings.


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