Yesterday, we followed a Craigslist posting and picked up four white hens that are close to the age of the rest of our babies. They are tall, sleek White Leghorns, the kind of chicken that produces your normal, ordinary, white grocery store eggs. The owner said her flock was too big and had just started laying. Sure enough, today we got our first little white egg.
In the meantime, I am observing the intricate dance among the chickens to determine the new social order. The little rooster, Harry, is growing fast but still too small to throw any real weight around. Arya is the sole adult, and although she was always the smallest of the mature hens, she now finds herself being the big cheese.
The four white hens stick together, as birds tend to do, and are very nervously, cautiously avoiding the others. I notice that the other babies tend to reach out to peck the new kids on the block when they come close, but Arya is becoming quite the enforcer. She puts herself in between the Leghorns and the path to food, the coop, and anything else they might want to approach. They seem quite afraid of her.
The whites have spent more time in the coop than the other babies, and last night I peeked in to see them wishing to sit on the roosting bar, but keeping as far as possible from Arya who was taking the prime real estate. I’d think she would want to huddle for warmth, but maybe not until she has firmly established herself as the queen.
We have the fox trap baited with a piece of fried chicken, but so far no action. I am a little concerned with what we’ll do with him if we come across him trapped in the cage. One problem at a time…