Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Tuesday Dose of Cute: You've Heard the Term Black Sheep of the Family?

Black chicken of the flock 1 - FarmgirlFare.com

More photos below. . .

Black chicken of the flock 2 - FarmgirlFare.com





We have a black chicken of the sheep flock.

This little hen was at the bottom of her flock's pecking order, so when we started free ranging that group, she literally flew the coop.

She sleeps in a safe and secret spot each night and avoids the farmyard during the day when her former coopmates are out. And if the splinter flock of 13 pet wethers and non-mamas is grazing up by The Shack, she flaps over and hangs out with them—and they never chase or peck.

Want to see more feathers and wool? There are lots more chick pics here, and the sheep photos are here. The 2011 lambing season photos are here.

© FarmgirlFare.com, where sometimes you just have to find your own family.

17 comments:

  1. Hi Susan. I know you've said you've had problems with coyotes in the past, so I've been wondering how the free range chickens are doing in that regard? Are Marta and Daisy enough to keep them away now?

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  2. EngineerChic8/17/2011 12:53 AM

    I'm so glad she found her "people" :) I know it's natural to have a pecking order for chickens, but I always felt bad for the lower-ranking members. It made me wish I could arm them with little weapons of their own to carry (just defensive weapons though, maybe armor would have worked).

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  3. Your sheep (and now chook) keep making me wonder I made the right decision with cattle. I adore them but I'm feeling a need for a couple of sheep more and more.

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  4. Poor little gal... being at the bottom of the pecking order is no fun! No wonder she hangs with the woolies.

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  5. We have a young hen in a similar situation except she hangs out with our geese. :)

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  6. I'm glad she found a group to hang out with! :)

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  7. That is so funny....a black sheep chicken! She blends right in like she belongs.

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  8. Smart hen to hang around with the woolies instead of the bird brains. She's pretty, too.

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  9. We have a cat that hangs out in the chicken run. I think its so the other cats will leave her alone.

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  10. Splendid story, I loved it. Survival. Make your own sunshine. She found her place.

    I love sheep, they are always smiling.

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  11. I know Nature has decreed a pecking order, but like EngineerChic, it's so hard not to feel bad for the hen at the bottom.

    I love that she has found her own "peeps". :^)

    Sue

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  12. Love that unusual little hen and her individuality!

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  13. The hen is so cute, trying to find herself I guess. She must like the sheep better. The photo's are so cute, and the sheep don't seem to mind her one bit. Just darling!

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  14. I used to keep a flock of Shetland sheep and a few chickens. The hens used to pal around with the ewes quite a bit and were always grateful for the crumbs of U-Ration they scavenged. We are just getting established on a new palce here in Canada, with three goats and some silkie chickens. Sheep are on the wish list!

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  15. This little hen at the bottom of the pecking order reminds me of not getting picked for dodgeball in grade school. She's a very pretty girl and I'm happy to know that she found a group that appreciates her!

    Barb

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  16. Hi Everybody,
    This is a ridiculously late thank you for all the nice comments. They made me both laugh and smile. :)

    Melissa K,

    Sorry about the delayed reply to your questions. So far *knock on wood* we haven't had any trouble with predators going after the chickens. Except for this black one, they mostly stay right in the farmyard and in the yard around The Shack - and, when I'm not looking, they sneak into the garden.

    And except for this black hen and another lone cluck who also sleeps on her own, everybody else is locked up in the coop each night.

    Daisy and Marta, our big livestock guardian dogs, have been doing an AWESOME job keeping the coyotes away. In the three years since we got Daisy (when Marta was just 8 months old), we haven't lost a single sheep to coyotes - and before that they'd killed 13 sheep in about 6 months. We are so thankful to have them. :)

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