Today still started off slow, as I mentioned in the post I finished writing this morning LOL, but boy did it escalate.
We fed the flock like we normally do, splitting off in two in order to feed the 'wild flock' where they're used to being fed and 'our flock' over by their coop. Everyone was present, minus the last chick Empty Nester (longish story, I will eventually tell it) had. It disappeared some time in the night, so we don't know whether it succumbed to the elements, was taken by a swamp hen, or was a victim to some other tragedy. I'm quite upset, as I had a vested interest in EM's success, as well as the two babies she had started out with, but something I've had to accept is that these things will happen unless I lock everybody away into the far-too-tiny spaces available on this property for the flock.
The swamp hens have been menaces. They spend their time patrolling around the coop the Cheep Cheeps are in, and a few weeks back they tried and nearly successfully grabbed Crumble while I was letting him and Kookie free roam. Earlier this year we witnessed one steal a peachick (peafowl baby) right from under its mother's nose, and there wasn't anything we could do to save the chick. They just move too fast and the water way at the back of the property is overgrown and hard to navigate to.
Roostyboi, a formerly wild rooster we took in after he had a head and eye injury a couple months ago, seemed to want to dust bathe, so I thought I would give him some supervised 'free roaming' time in some good, dusty dirt and sand. He loved it, but he ended up moving too close to some of the wild roosters and they did not like his presence and made it very well known. I had tried to circumvent this issue by keeping him far away from the other chickens, but the sillybutt decided to march his way up to them and then proceeded to act shocked when they got angry with him. I ended up having to put him in the coop to let him calm down before moving him back to his daytime enclosure.
Around lunch time, I did my normal flock check and went to check on a few wild broody hens that I've been keeping an eye on. Unfortunately, one of the white hens was just... dead, a few feet away from her nest. I checked her over to see if I could find an obvious cause for her demise, but nothing seemed untowards about her. For all we know, she had a bad run in with a venomous snake, of which we know there are many on the property. Her nest was on the ground in the sheds, so anything could have gotten to her. I've tried moving a wild hen and her nest before, but if they don't trust me enough all they'll do is abandon the nest or find a new one to brood over. This one didn't quite trust me, so I couldn't move her to a safer location without compromising the chicks.
The rest of the day was relatively quiet. I managed to get some laundry done and felt well enough to take a much needed shower. I even got in some snuggles with Kookie and Crumble, and marveled at Crumble's adorable squeaky honks.
Putting everybody to bed was uneventful. If anything, it was really easy. The Cheep Cheeps have gotten used to being handled enough to transport them from their nighttime coop to their daytime coop, and the Babies and Roostyboi went into their coop easily as always. Kookie and Crumble always go to bed easily, so that wasn't too much of a surprise. I found a new potentially broody hen in the sheds, though she could just be laying an egg rather late in the day. I'll keep an eye on where she was to confirm one way or the other.
While I was wrangling the Cheep Cheeps, I saw the turtle in the first picture of this post. He seemed to not want to move, and he was hiding in his shell, probably from the wild chickens, so I decided to give him some space while I put the Cheep Cheeps away and see where to go from there. Fortunately, he seemed to decide he was good to scurry off back home and disappear into the brush.
Dora, one of our hens we call the Babies, is trying to go broody again. I successfully broke her of her broodiness last month, as we really don't need any more chickens if we can help it, but she's gone ahead and determinedly sat on the few eggs her and the other Babies have laid today. I was too tired to deal with her today, and I know she's been fed and watered, so tomorrow I'll remove the eggs and see if that's enough to break her broodiness before going to more extreme measures, such as Broody Jail LOL.
I took some time to work on my UO blog and consolidate some pictures and videos I have for that eventual post or possibly series of posts to get this corner of the internet caught up on what's going on in my life.
I think that covers just about everything for the day. I did have a bit of the leftover stroganoff, but I haven't been hungry enough to eat more than that. Tomorrow is another day. I can stuff my face then.