consolidate trips

Since we were heading to the hatchery for the meat birds, why not pick up some additional layers? In our first layer hatchery run, they didn’t give us one of the breeds I had wanted and since then I saw another breed I must have. The Barnevelder and the Buff Orpington:

Well looking back, this probably wasn’t such a good idea. First, I didn’t realize the older chickens would be so stuck up. They don’t want anyone to join their little flock. And secondly, I didn’t realize that these new girls wouldn’t try to be part of the flock. It has been chaos.

As chicks, everything went well. They great up and became handsome looking birds. I have two of the Orpingtons and one of the Barnevelder, so it’s a little trio of michief.

When it was time to put them outside with the rest of the flock, immediately the older girls were up in their faces. I am new at this farm stuff, I didn’t realize chickens cared so much. So a few YouTube videos later I decided that we needed to isolate them within the flock, the girls can see each other, but they cannot attack. So FarmBoy set this up for us. During the day they were in a little pen within the big chicken run, and at night they would come back into the house. Then someone said I should put them in the coop at night. Apparently after dark, a chicken kind of just shuts down and the theory is when the girls wake in the morning and see the strangers, they will just assume they had been there all along.

Nope, that didn’t work either. The trio sleeps in the coop at night, but once they get out in the morning, the bedlam begins. I am not really sure what goes on, I think it is chasing just to be chasing and if the trio stopped and held their ground, the mean girls would go away. But no, it is just a circus.

When we set up the laying chicken coop we used an electric fence, not so much to hold the girls in, but rather to keep the bad things out. Coyotes, racoons, dogs, etc. Even though they are locked in the coop at night and safe, I was worried about the days when nobody is watching. For those of you not familiar, an electric fence is like a big net woven out of wire. And anything that touches those wires gets it. But the wire needs to touch skin. Feathers insulate. Fur insulates (that is why the goat busted through the electric fence the first night). So the fence didn’t hold the chickens in. The mean girls didn’t have a desire to leave their holy ground. But the trio of misfits soon learned the grass IS greener on the other side. So they have regularly have been escaping. Over and over again. FarmBoy goes out, gets them back in the fence, and out they come again. So I can look out the window, and see birds that don’t belong where they are.

These girls don’t belong on the deck.

Needless to say, I am getting a permanent fence installed right now. Fence wire doesn’t give, these girls won’t be getting out anymore. And before you worry, last night I watched one of the Orpingtons chase one of the mean girls back to her coop. It was too hot and she had taken enough of her crap. So I know they will be OK.

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