I have been calling our two new barred Plymouth Rock pullets The Little Chickens or The Adventurous One and The Other One. Not very inspiring, I know. So, I have decided upon proper names! We thought they should be a part of The Fellowship of the Egg with Sam and Frodo. Sam and Frodo have not been doing very well with their mission and need reinforcements. The Husband wanted to call the newbies Merry and Pippin, but we’ve had a Pippin before. We had a dog once, also known as Satan’s Little Helper. She used and tarnished the name of Pippin. We try to forget about her because she was so, so bad. I may never be allowed a dog again. I digress. Also, the new chickens are a different generation to Frodo and Sam so I thought that they should have a point of difference. Say hello (again) to Legolas and Gimli.
Legolas is The Adventurous One, bold and always on the go, with a longer neck, redder face and more pointy tail, while Gimli is a little more stocky and laid back. I’m not entirely convinced that Legolas is a girl because her tail is quite different and her face is very red. But then I’m sure she would have a bigger comb and wattles by now if she was a boy. Legolas has escaped from their pen a number of times, which, fortunately just seems to scare Sam and Frodo. I think the pullets are still a bit small to join the others. Sharing a house and food vessels is a different ball game to the odd pen escape. Plus they’re on different grower (teenager) feed anyway.
The newbies are doing well after some initial concern. When I got them at least one of them had bloody poops, the two most likely causes of which could be non-concerning shedding of intestinal lining or the dreaded coccidiosis. Coccidiosis is a parasite, well a few strains of parasites, that all chickens are said to be exposed to, but an onslaught can be fatal in chicks or young chickens if their bodies can’t cope with it. And it’s infectious. Since I’m not experienced enough to be sure, I treated the pullets’ water with Coxiprol. They didn’t really have other symptoms of coccidiosis; they were eating, drinking and moving around, but Gimli was a bit less active than Legolas. I’ve read that sometimes they don’t show other symptoms and can die quite suddenly. I wasn’t going to take any chances. Needless to say, the bloody poops seem to have abated and they both look happy and active.
Legolas is surprisingly bold already and has eaten out of my hand. I’m trying to get them used to being handled by picking them up regularly when I shut them in their house at night. That’s when they’re the most calm and easy to grab. I didn’t handle the others enough when they were young and they can be hard to catch except when they’re broody! They may look big but they can both do a really fast spaz run. Meanwhile, we have run out of eggs. Nooo! Both Frodo and Sam have recently come off being broody and now at least one of them is moulting. I will just have to suck it up and buy some free range eggs…