First off, I want to say thanks to everyone for the kind words during this rough week. We miss Kyra terribly, but I feel a little bit better every day. Every time I walk into the yard I expect her to come up and nose my hand or leg in greeting and follow me around the yard as I do my chores. But, then I remember she isn't there. To make things worse, Waylon has been sad and mopey. He seems to be mourning Kyra. I know this sounds anthropomorphic. I am on the fence about whether dogs feel loss like humans. But there is no doubt they feel the change and when a pack is disrupted it takes a while for things to resettle. Waylon seems to be mourning the loss of Kyra's guidance and protection.
Waylon has never been the only dog...he is afraid of the chickens...and now he is afraid to go in the back yard by himself. We think having Kyra around gave him the confidence he needed to be a normal dog. Lately he is reverting to his puppy self, when he was afraid of EVERYTHING! But lots of hugs and kisses and extra attention seems to be helping. I look forward to seeing a smile like this one again soon...
On the "farm" front...we have re-homed some of our chickens to make room for the new babies. I have been fretting over how to introduce the babies to the folk without too much turmoil. Alas...nature always figures out what to do!
We have had a broody hen for about 6 weeks. Last week, we made a small pen inside the big chicken pen for the babies to venture out of their brooder house. From the moment the babies went outside, our broody hen spent her days clucking and pacing near the baby pen. That's when I had an "aha" moment.
Broody mama (what I have been calling her) thinks she hatched out those eggs she has been sitting on for weeks! So I put her in the pen with the babies and boy does she take her mamma role seriously. She went straight to counting her babies, rounding them up, and clucking directions at them! After a few days, the babies seem to go to her for direction and guidance. It is quite amazing to watch how she has adopted these babies. She sure is proud of herself.
Today I let the babies out in the main pen with Broody Mamma and her sisters. There were some pecks from the big gals and the babies learned quickly to stay out of their way. But any cries of distress from the babies as a result of being picked on by the big gals, were met quickly with the evil eye from Broody Mamma.
We expect to introduce them to the main pen in another week or so, when we know the big gals will be civil! Did I mention how much I love those chickens?