|Cleaning up underneath the suet holder!|
The seven are Black Sex Links and Ameraucanas, all young hens just purchased last June as day old chicks. As chicks they were raised in Farmer Man's shop, then they were moved into the green house. When they were old enough to be out-and-about but still too young to be integrated into the existing flock (older hens may have attacked them) they were allowed to range in our backyard and around the barn. They must remember that and each morning they head for the barn and spend a happy day, maybe laying an egg and scratching through the goats' bedding for 'treats'. Their propensity for travelling has led to the daily egg hunt, because they are not completely consistent in where they lay their eggs. They're right there, front and centre, when we feed the goats their grain ration, hopping right into the bowl to steal some corn. They seem to get along fine with both the goats and the barn cats; we actually like the idea of them keeping the barn a little cleaner, 'recycling' the goats' droppings, so to speak.
Two of them are a little more adventurous then the others and have wandered around the back yard and to the front of the house on nicer days. During their strolls they've discovered the bird feeders, which are only out in the winter. Every day now two of the hens make the trip to the front of the house and 'clean up' under the bird feeders. They'll spend about an hour out front, having a great little feast. They are now the two chubbiest birds in the flock! It appears, though, they're not sharing because they're not bringing any new friends with them! That's a couple of smart birds!