bring on the chickens

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Oh, were we ever a sight yesterday afternoon. With very minimal time to spare, we decided to help the chickens make their big move. J somehow, somehow maneuvered his Silverado into the backyard and behind the coop. I ran next door to borrow a dog crate and then followed all five birds around the yard, shaking a parmesan cheese can full of scratch and calling to them like they’re dogs. To be fair, several came running like good little dinos, but the others had no intention of being captured. It was probably pretty funny to watch. With the big girls corralled, I headed in to the bathtub to scoop the “babies” into a cardboard box. When I reached in to catch them, one of the cockerels bit me on the wrist…and held on! He didn’t break the skin, but I was yelling some unpleasant things while trying to shake him off. Little punk.

Finally, all the critters were contained, and J had dug up enough of the base to tip the coop into the bed of the truck. Now, this thing stands taller than I do, with a fully shingled roof and barnboard siding. It’s heavy. More than once I wondered what would happen if it tipped the wrong way and landed on me. I don’t think I was much help, to be frank, but “we” managed to get it into the truck, get the truck out of the backyard, and lash everything down.

With the four-ways on, we crept our way to the new house. At one point I speculated to J that the people behind us might be taking bets on what exactly we were moving, though we eventually agreed that given the area, they probably accurately identified it as a chicken coop without much discussion.

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The girls spent their first night on the homestead last night. I didn’t let them out this morning, wanting them to know exactly where their home is since we don’t have a run set up yet, but J decided to free them after lunch. They certainly looked grateful. It will be nice to have them around again. I’ve missed seeing them in the yard, and I certainly won’t mind the bug control!

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Our little ones are only seven weeks old, so they overnighted in a big bin in the shed. I drilled some holes in the lid for air, and once we have the interior coop reinforced, the big girls will move inside, and the young-in’s will occupy Fort Knox until we can integrate them. Most sources suggest waiting til the chicks are 16 weeks old or so, giving the little ones a chance to grow to a comparable size next to their new sisters. We want them to survive any pecking order scuffles…literally. They’re growing fast, however, and we might not need to wait that long. I’ll snap some photos of them tonight…

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