What a difference some chicks make

Living in the western community of Jupiter Farms, I am not hindered by Homeowner Association rules that say what kind, how many and what size animals I can have.  We also have lots of resident wildlife some of which want to share my food.  Here's a Jupiter Farms squirrel I met in the backyard Squirrel.  One other squirrel that hangs around with a bite out of his/her ear we have named Nip.

And I like animals....so I have a few.  Most of the standard domestic ones came from Safe Harbor Animal Shelter which is Jupiter's No-Kill facility.  If you don't know about them, click the link above.  You can also see a video at My You Tube Channel.

Anyway, we also have backyard chickens, a feature that is not overlooked by the local predators.  So like everyone with chickens the battle goes on to protect them.  I have been losing.

For a variety of reasons, my flock has dwindled from 13 down to 4 and we thought it was time to pump up the volume.  So, yesterday we contacted another Jupiter Farms resident I found on craigslist and we went over and selected 5 new ones.

We wanted birds that were slightly older, almost ready to lay, since the older ones will pick on the young ones if they are too small.  You've heard no doubt of pecking order.

We selected 2 black birds who must be from the same nest since they are identical and stick very close together.  We selected 2 barred rocks for the patterns on their feathers.  And one slightly larger Rhode Island Red since we already have one.  We brought them home in a large, dog carrier and introduced them to our current residents.

We you bring new birds home, you immediately get a Home Team vs. Visitors mentality.  Often they will not meld for weeks.  Once when I brought home 7 birds, they stayed separated for about 2 months.  That was in the good old days when they roamed the yard freely.  Since the attacks started the free range activity has been practically eliminated.

We named the two small, black ones Zip & Zap, the 2 barred rocks Ginger and Mary Anne and the RIR, Copper.  They have already filled in the gaps created when we lost the last ones.

The best therapy when a pet dies is to get another...and quickly.