Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A Love Story Laced With Practicality

Moving the chickens went a lot smoother than we thought it would. 

After doing some research online, we decided moving our chickens would be better than starting over.  Can you believe some people actually move their chickens 1500 miles?!?  Wow!  And i thought i was being a total city slicker moving my chickens 15 miles away.  Truth being, too, that i think Cookie Monster would have disowned us if we gave away our chickens. :)

This structure on the property is assumed to originally function as an old pump house, back in the well pumping-water hauling days.  The owners over the past few years used it for alpaca rearing. 

Our first afternoon here, Moose fitted the house with a roost and some fresh pine bedding.

An old plastic milk crate is standing in for a nesting box for now. 
The area in the left of the picture seems to be used for a hay loft/feed trough.  Eventually we will clean these spaces and retrofit them as nesting boxes and more roosting space.

Also on the "Someday" list is to build a new door or a little ladder outside that little window behind Moose's head, that the chickens can use to come and go into the pastures to limit their access to our "backyard."  It's a little frustrating stepping off the back steps and tiptoeing around chicken bombs. :)

After all the rigging was done, it was time for a midnight chicken run.  Moving chickens at night is the most humane way to do it.  They are drowsy and won't frighten as much.  We arrived around 9 p.m. and set to work with a head lamp and 3 medium sized cardboard moving boxes.  We lined the boxes with a layer of straw and fit two chickens in there with ease, spacewise.  If you are attempting to move your chickens, this is the part where you have to be super careful!  Even though they are sleeping, they startle and start working each other up.  Keep calm, talk softly around them.  Most importantly, when you pick them up, grab their entire body so their wings won't be outstretched and flapping when you are trying to put them in the box.  You could really damage their wings if you aren't careful.  Also, you should expect egg production to drop with they acclimate.  We've been lucky, as the conditions we moved them to makes them much happier than how they were living.  After a couple days, we were getting 2 - 3 eggs per day consistantly.

We lightly closed the top flaps--no tape needed--and drove cautiously home.  One chicken kept beating its beak against the side of the box.  Moose and i figured she was trying to send an S.O.S. to the other girls, planning a mutiny or something. :)  After arriving to the new home around 10:30 p.m., and setting up the food, we let the girls out to have a little drink and they climbed back up on the roost for the night. 

The next morning they were chomping at the bit to get out and explore

and do all their other chicken-y things. 

Is there a better site than a few chickens enjoying themselves out in yard?

We weren't the only ones enjoying the sight.

Mom and Dad's cat affectionately referred to as The Smiley Faced Killer
You think the story would end there, but there is a slight and rather comical twist.
A whole two days after moving in, Cookie and i returned home from an errand to an unwelcomed sight.

Rooster?!?  We didn't have a rooster before.  What in the world?

He sampled a little of our food, a couple of the girls threw out the "welcome mat" for him (if you get my drift), and he was strutin' around the yard like a king that had just conquered and pillaged his best enemy.  After spotting those enormous spurs on him, i wasn't about to head out to help him hop back over the fence.

I know, I'm such a girl.

As long as he was able to go back to his home by himself, i figured there was nothing i could do to stop his comings and goings.  I didn't really want to figure out whether he was an aggressive beast or not. 

About a week after we moved in, a neighbour from across the street and down the way came calling with her adorable little 8 month old girl.  When i answered the door, she lead with, "I am hoping you aren't going to shoot my rooster and put him in your stew pot."  She went on to let us know he is slightly aggressive, but that she was happy to answer a call if he was ever bothering us. 

You'll never guess this ferocious beast's name.
It's Peep.  :)

He's been visiting a little more each day--twice a day, but now is a little reluctant to jump the fence for some reason. The sight of him trotting across the street is quite hilarious.  I promise i will try to capture a video.

I guess we know the real answer to the age old question now, eh?
Why did the rooster cross the street?
To hang out with the cute chicks on the other side.

1 comment:

  1. YEA!!! You have finally got it all. And your health...that is huge!



Thanks for taking the time to read my silly lil musings. Hope you have a wonderful day!