Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Henyard Chronicles

Early this spring the rooster situation had gotten out of hand. I was being overrun with little chickens who were not promoting good relationship with my neighbors. I embarked upon a chicken roundup, catching the roosters and taking them up to one of our mountain horse pastures to make a living scratching the piles of manure and hopefully consuming the fly larvae.

Late in March, Bella, who had been missing for a while, showed up with 12 new chicks. Bantam hens are ridiculously good mothers, brooding enormous amounts of eggs. I can't say I was particularly thrilled with the addition to my flock at least half of whom would be roosters, but I was hopeful that this would be the last batch. Click images to enlarge.

About a week later, tragedy. Twelve little chicks peeping and no sign of Bella. My dear soft hearted husband helped me catch them and they were installed in a small water trough in my bath tub with a light for warmth. They would not have survived the night otherwise.

A few days later I found what was left of Bella who must have tried to defend a chick which had unwisely ventured too close to a Big Dog. Meanwhile I had a bathroom full of chickens.

Himself is very good about helping in an emergency. Not so good about scheduling time for my projects which require assistance. It is a man thing.

After a week or so the chickies were growing and of course the end product grows in equal volume. I don't care how many times you change the newspaper each day, they stink. They needed to move outside into a movable roofed pen. I did the nice reasonable wifey thing.
"Um, could you try to come home before dark to help me with the chick pen? I would really like to have my bathroom back." Smile. Things progressed to a whine, then cold shoulder. By this time they REALLY stunk and I was getting desperate. More days and then weeks passed. the chick palace


The ultimatum, "If you do not get home at a reasonable hour today and help me with the chicken pen, I will move them into your bathroom tomorrow morning." That very afternoon, eight and one half wood studs were converted into the Chicken Palace. Covered with chicken wire and a sheet of plywood on top it was lugged out onto what we like to call 'the lawn'. The very next morning the chicks moved into their new abode, and I started scrubbing.

Y'all come back!

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