Enough about art, I know you just want to hear about the chickens.
Lots going on in the ol' hencoop lately! The flock is back up to 6 birds as of last wednesday. Here's a photo of the new residents, who are 4-month old adolescent chicks. Left to right, they are Edna (Barred Rock), Florence (Rhode Island Red), and the mysterious as-yet-unnamed Black Rock. I've been debating whether that one is a rooster because of the colorful feathers and larger size...but apparently Black Rocks are sex-linked and the males are a totally different color. So she must just be on her way to being a giant hen. They should start laying in January. It's fun having cute little younger birds, I've been picking them up a lot so they get used to being handled and will hopefully grow up to be friendly hens who hang out with me in the garden like the original flock. I have opened the coop door for them for the first time today, so we'll see if they go out.
As for the older birds, lots has been going on there too. The huge Australorpes (Ida Mae and Pauline) started venturing out and following Clara around, and they started laying again. Last week, however, before the new chicks arrived, one of the neighbor's dogs got loose and chased the girls around....one of the neighbor children handed poor traumatized Pauline to me after getting her away from the dog (she was fine, just scared), Clara came back by dark, and Ida Mae spent a night outside the coop.
Clara (the lone survivor of the original flock) is making up for her time as the low chick on the totem pole. She's definitely turning into the alpha hen. She's putting on some weight, pecking the new girls, and showing the Australorpes how things are done around here.