Despite my best efforts to convince the ever tolerant husband that tiny chickens can be house pets, the serama are now happily relocated to the garage. We picked up a large parakeet cage which will serve as a temporary home, and they seem totally unphased by all the changes. During the transition from house to outbuilding, I risked letting them have a little fresh air.
If it's possible, they looked even tinier stood on the patio. After a few moments of sussing out their general surroundings, they sprinted over to the bird feeder (knocked down by the recent gales) and scoffed the home made fat ball. The flock seemed to notice the newbies all at once, and eight fluffy chickens did their best beady eyed statue impersonations. Mabel clucked quietly at this new development. I watched this initial interaction carefully. Betsy and Vera seemed oblivious to the bigger girls. I doubt they'll get away with that for long. No move was made towards the miniscule ladies, but I suspect that was more out of shock than kindness. The look on Maude's cocked head suggested she thought she might be hallucinating. Perhaps seeing tiny chickens is the poultry equivalent of seeing pink elephants. That apple cider vinegar is good stuff.
I briefly allowed them some freedom today while cleaning their cage (They are exceptionally messy eaters). As they dashed about the patio, pecking in the cracks, the flock slowly ambled their way. Unsurprisingly, it was Gladys leading the reconnaissance mission. In my experience, it is always the current bottom hen who is most forthright with new flock members. I suppose she has the most to lose. Their slow mooch didn't fool me for a second. This is the chicken equivalent of creeping up on your enemy. A nonchalent peck at the ground as you gradually close in might just fool your prey that you're not going to eat them. I allowed them to get to the edge of the patio for a better look, but picked up the serama and returned them to their quarters before the chase could begin. Again, Betsy and Vera seemed totally at ease with the situation. The pekins were less serene.
Purdy has been back in lay for a while now, but over the last week I have noticed an increase in egg production. Today I finally caught the secret layer in the act. It seems that Hilda has come of age. I had a sneaking suspicion it might be her, as she keeps being squashed by a narky Mabel. Mabel might not be in lay yet, but she won't let the younger hen forget who's boss. I expect the other hens to follow Purdy and Hilda's lead very soon. Oh, and speaking of eggs...Betsy is in lay and has been running with a cockerel. If she lays for me over the next week, I might put her eggs in the little incubator.
Just as an experiment, you understand.