On Wednesday we had a birth and a death. A healthy chick emerged and seems determined to catch up to its four-day old siblings. That excitement was dampened by the loss of an Ancona—our favorite breed, and the one that lays the prettiest eggs. Cherisse had made a trip to Allie’s Tack and Feed, so she was gone and the dogs were in the house. When she returned, Oliver picked up a scent and—as with the Dominique a month earlier—led Cherisse to the discovery of a pile of Ancona feathers. Now we have six laying hens, a rooster, a mother hen and four baby chicks of undetermined sex.
This same day Cherisse checked the hives to see how the queens were doing in their new homes. Signs of their acceptance by the colonies were evident in the abundance of newly laid eggs and capped brood. The bees, which become aimless without a queen, have renewed purpose. It appears the hives will survive…little thanks to us.