With heavy rain forecast for the night, a couple of days ago, I decided to get Susie and the three chicks into the main henhouse; they had been out in the little wooden coop for months, even from those egg-incubating days.
But when I went to the wooden coop, I realised that the “chicks” were by themselves. Susie was not with them. Her role as mama was done. This change would have been pretty recent, as I am sure, I saw her with the chicks in the coop until very recently.
Anyway I got the silkies out quite easily and placed them on the perch. I had read somewhere that silkies are not good at going up to roost and often have to be picked up and placed on the perch everyday, and I remember thinking that this could turn out to be a nuisance.
And then when I tried to get Soup out of the coop, they (I still am not sure of the gender) gave me a sharp peck, and so I left them be. The weather was not too bad and so for a couple of evenings, I forgot about checking up on the night arrangement. But today, when I went to have a look, I found them all—all seven of them—including Soup—in the henhouse settled for the night. It felt good to see them all do well.
It is not just that they had so easily learned to roost, but my relief was also because I remember how Susie’s previous experience of motherhood had ended for that set of three brown-shaver chicks—one of which was Helen—who had hatched and grown under her expert care.
It had been during that first week after Susie had relinquished her mamahood, much like this week with White, Blue, and Soup. Tragedy struck, and some predator had killed two of the chicks and only Helen had survived. Obviously, when the mama hen stops caring for the chicks, the little ones are at their most vulnerable.
So I am glad that all my birds are together as one flock in the henhouse.