Monday, January 24, 2011

Loco Diablo el Pollo

Well folks, I'm learning gobs of things from my chickens. My most recent epiphany is that I'm done with winter chicks. We had yet another night where we got down to the low 20's and we made the decision to be better safe than sorry. So we put the chicks and their mom (Hopper the Hen) into the garage yet again. That's a big headache, but ok, I can live with it.

Today we moved the chickens back into their quarters. In the process, I took Hopper from the chicks so we could move them with confidence that she wouldn't fall all over them. As luck would have it, I made it to the aviary before Carrie did by a minute or two.

We all know that idle hands are the work of the devil, right? (Thinking to myself....) I wonder how the mother is going to get along with the flock when the time comes? Let's find out.

BIG mistake! Huge. Let me tell you, she was all over the rest of the flock like syrup on a pancake, like white on rice, like a cheap suit on a tightwad. I mean, it was six against Hopper and Hopper had them on the run. I could hear the thoughts echoing one right after another through my head. "Oh crap!" "This must be what a cock fight is like!" "Not so big now, are you Swoope?"

I ran for her. She ran from me. She terrorized everyone in her path. I failed miserably. She was, afterall, faster, smaller, and able to duck into places I couldn't. This wasn't working. I needed a plan. I'll open the door to her normal quarters maybe she'll go in on her own. Riiiight. Nope. Swoope, Reagan, Taylor, and Madison took shelter in Hopper's home! There goes my mind again... "Oh crap!" "Not good!" "Nobody will be laying eggs for a month!" "How am I going to get her in there and them out here?!!!"

The Aviary at Night -
The new coop still needs a roof and paint job...

Just then Hopper locked talons with Charlotte. Their wings went flapping and feathers went flying! Charlotte had her hands full, BUT, they were stationary! Without a moment to spare I grabbed a ten foot 2x2 left over from a project I was doing that morning. I pinned Hopper, much to Charlotte's relief, and finally got my hands on Hopper, much to her dismay. The situation must have been really bad because I thrive on high stress situations and Carrie knew immediately that something was wrong when she showed up with the chicks. The look on her face must have mirrored mine. After some prodding and reassuring we got Swoope and the presidents (Reagan, Taylor, and Madison) out of Hopper's coop and the proper residents back in. I'm done moving chickens this year. No if, ands, or fluffy chicken butts. Sorry no pics of the action this time. I just didn't think to get the camera in the middle of this one. -Jason

P.s. Anyone have advice to offer on integrating Hopper into the flock?

2 comments:

  1. I have absolutely no advice and in fact would like to know how to do this too. I've read that it's difficult to introduce new chickens into an established flock so I don't envy your adventure. Something to research for sure!

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  2. Pigs Don't KnowJanuary 29, 2011 at 5:23 PM

    Leigh,

    We decided to make some more changes to the flock that won't involve integrating them. Look for another post coming soon that will reveal all! -Jason

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