Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chicken Day

Yesterday was chicken day.  Tuesday of the previous week I had got a call (finally!) from the hatchery to say that I could pick up my 55 'ready to lay' pullets yesterday morning.

The work started the evening before though.  We got one coop cleaned out, and much of the other one.  Then after dark we carried the forty or so hens from the north coop and added them to the 27 hens in the south coop.  Both bunches of hens came here in the Spring of 2013, about a month apart.  Luna was beside herself with the excitement of it all.  She's not really interested in the chickens when they are out loose in the field, but if you start handling them, she wants to be right in the thick of the action.  Jake and Calli couldn't give a hoot.

Yesterday morning I got out there reasonably early and finished cleaning out the north coop.  We  realized rather too late the evening before that working in a dusty chicken coop was NOT the best thing for Larry's recent cataract surgery.  So a couple of hours later, I had the coop finished, taking all the roost and nest boxes out and hosing everything down, and then leaving it to dry in the sun.

We headed off to the hatchery.  Usually we load the back of the truck with assorted dog crates and chicken cages, which only fit in in a certain order, and are a pain in the arse to pile in and out of the truck.  So this year we tried something different, that we had seen someone else do.  We put hay in the back of the truck and just put all the birds in there loose.  It worked well, but it would have helped the clean up if we had put a tarp down first.  We have the base for the fifth wheel hitch bolted to the bed of the truck, and hay kept getting stuck under it as I tried to hose it out.
As soon as we got home, Luna was on high alert.  I know she doesn't look like it here, but trust me, she was.


She didn't leave that truck the whole time it was parked in the shade while we got the chicken coop back together and set up for the new hens.


It was all very exciting.  We backed the truck as close to the coop as we could, but were still ten feet or so away.  We didn't really have a good plan for getting them into the coop, since they were all loose.  In the end I had to climb into the truck and pick them up one at a time and hand them to Larry who carried them to the coop.


Birds flapping around.....it all got too much for Luna and all of a sudden she came flying over the tailgate.


She never once tried to touch any of those birds


Even when they started flying around (see the one over my left shoulder)


Or even when I put one on her back.  She just kept her eyes on the ones in the corner


Eventually they were all safely ensconced in their home sweet home, and a few hours later a lot of them had ventured outside.  That was nice to see, as sometimes they can take a day or two to start going out.


We'll keep them in this small pen for a week or so, so they have a chance to get things figured out and adjust to their new environment, and then the gate will be opened.


We spent the rest of the day catching or herding previous inhabitants of that coop back to their new home.  There are three persistant ones that are at it again today.

Some of the new girls look fairly close to dropping that first egg, but lots won't be at that point for a few weeks yet.

Hurry up girls, we have customers waiting!

Update - one of them laid an egg today:)


  1. Oh my dawg! Where are their car seats, BOL
    Lily & Edward

  2. That Luna is something else..she just wanted to be close to them..she sure gives them the "eye" Nice looking layers..you will be in eggs in no time:)

  3. Oh Luna, you are fabulous. Kilt loves to "eye" them up, too :0)

  4. I love this story! That first picture of the chickens all looking out of the back of the truck makes me laugh. Aren't chickens funny? Looks like Luna just had to be in there helping. I've got to tell my sister to look at this post. They sell large brown eggs at the farmer'a market too. Their hens are identical to yours. You have such a perfect place for chickens.

  5. Karen, I just LOVE your chickens and how badly Luna wants to herd them! Thanks for sharing, you made my day!


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