Saturday, July 25, 2009

Holding Our Breath

A couple of weeks ago we added a large addition to our existing chicken run in order to help with the integration of our 2 young pullets and our 2 laying hens. The feathers flew momentarily a couple of times at first - a bit of squawking and chasing and nipping every now and then - but within only a day or so they got it sorted out and our two little flocks were spending their days together quite peacefully. At about dusk each night the hens would climb the ladder up to the henhouse and the pullets would pace the fence, waiting for us to come and put them in their own small coop to sleep.

The pullets should start laying soon and we will go on vacation even sooner. We really want to have all of our chickens together in the same henhouse and run - peacefully - before we go (because they can let themselves in and out of the henhouse, all our chicken sitter will have to do while we are gone is stop over to change the water and check the food once a day - and collect the eggs from the hens.)

So now is the time to get the girls into the henhouse with the ladies. And tonight seemed as good a night as any to give it a shot.

We put the pullets up into the house just before dusk (they were sorta freaked out, not knowing what to do up there), and we waited just the few short minutes until dusk, and watched the hens head up the ladder into the henhouse.

Then we watched them climb immediately back down again, chattering away ("What are THEY doing up there???").

Then they went right back up. Lucy (queen of the coop and alpha hen stood there and BAWKED for a few minutes, then she settled in next to Ruby in their regular sleeping spot in the henhouse. Then, we stood on the deck and waited for a good fight to break out. And we waited. And waited. Finally after about 15 minutes, DearHusband and YoungerSon went down to the yard and took a peek in the henhouse. Both the hens were asleep, and the pullets were quiet, but nervously looking around.

That was about an hour ago. And it's still quiet down there. Not a cheep out of anyone...yet.

If no one has been pecked to death, or attacked, or booted out of the henhouse by morning (all of which can happen and often does), I think we may have cleared this hurdle rather painlessly.


-C said...

Sunday morning: Everyone seems fine this morning. Whew!

s-p said...

Hi -C, My wife spent a week at St. John's monastery and is interested in getting chickens now. I may have her contact you. We have a side yard with plenty of space for a coop.
Thanks for the updates.

-C said...

She is welcome to drop me a note (chaposz_at_gmail_dot_com) - I can put her on to some good info about getting started.

A guy with your talents for construction should be able to put together a palace for the ladies!

Mimi said...


s-p said...

Thanks -C. We just had a new addition, so the Chickens might be on hold for a little while.