In the meantime, we had Maggie's piano recital. She looked and played lovely. The night before the recital, she asked me, "Do you have a tiara?" Do I have a tiara!?! Naturally.
And there is news on the Peeper front as well. Even though the new birds were not fully feathered, the weather outside was just as warm as they needed. We transitioned them to spending the days outside with the big birds and the night in their brooder. When we first released them, close supervision was a must. The last thing I needed was a chicken massacre. Very quickly, we realized that while the older birds didn't want to be near the junior set, they also we're going to kill them. Victory in our time!
The white birds are quite cute but the reddish ones are fairly unattractive.
But still, they were sleeping separately and we were soon going to Boston for my high school reunion. Asking a friend to let the peeps in and out of the coop, reasonable favor. Requesting they close up the older ones and then track down and catch eight little birds might strain even my closest of friendships. I was stressing about this a bit.
Fate intervened. It was so pretty out and we had fully flowered the deck, you know I was itching to have people over.
Well a whole set of little girls spent the evening chasing those baby peeps around, catching them, releasing them and starting the whole process over. By the end of the night, they were all laying exhausted in a chicken pile. So tired in fact, that they didn't protest when we put them in the coop rather than the brooder.
Who do you think you're adding in here?
All went well, everyone was alive the next day and we achieved full Peeper integration! After a few days, most of them are making their way in unassisted and I don't need to stress about leaving them. Whew!
Well, mostly not stress. We also had a hawk attack. Do you remember when the sixth original bird went missing? It seems the mystery is solved. I was down supervising the early stages of new chick introduction when I heard what can best be described as a kerfuffle. The birds will sometimes fight, making it a natural assumption that it was just a turf dispute. But when I yelled out to knock it off, a hawk flew away, leaving four birds to scatter and one to limp home, bleeding.
My original theory was right. The birds had all banded together to fight off a predator. The noise was the chickens battling the hawk. I was so proud of them! But not much time to be dwell on that, we were afraid one Peep might not make it. She was slow and limped for a few days, but we had cut off the attack in time.
Birds of prey are protected, making eliminating the problem not an option. After some quick online research, I purchased a few of these lovely fellows.
Additionally, reflective things are said to deter hawks. Hence the crazy homespun disco look of my backyard. Luckily, literally no one can see it unless they go down there!
We're not sure if it will work, but we're keeping our fingers crossed.
With only two weeks of school left, we have end of year testing, choir concerts, fifth grade graduation, and a trip to Boston coming up. Should be a whirlwind.