Much Squawking

I did it.

About an hour after I published my last post, I ventured outside. I spread the pine shavings in the new coop with my father, and got everything set up. Then I took a deep breath and walked into the run, where my chickens were cowering, away from the snow.

I bent down, tentatively calling “here chook chook chook chicken. EEEEEEEEEdiiiiiiiith.”. He emerged from the coop, fluffing out his feathers. I nervously edged towards him, and knelt in the snow, slowly wrapping my arms around him. He kind of jerked upwards, clucking, and I gently lifted him up. He stayed completely still, softly clucking, and I (completely astonished) carried him over to his new coop. He was such a sweetheart! Here I was, picturing squawking and biting and scratching. Lesson learned- Edith is the best!

I dropped him off in the shavings, and he stood their clucking. I shut the door and returned to the hens. I did the same thing, calling Cora forward. When I placed her in the shavings, they flew to the second level and clucked some more. Easy as pie.

Then came the hard part. For the next forty minutes I sat there, trying to get close enough to Mabel to grab her. I succeeded in snatching her, but she screamed and got a wing over my hand, flapping against the wall. Completely frightened off, I took a break and let it grow darker while I made some hot cocoa inside. Thirty minutes later, it was completely dark and still snowing. I finally regained my confidence and went back out again, sneaking up to the coop. Mary and Mabel faced the back of the coop, their tails pointing towards me. I quickly grabbed her, pressing her wings to her back. She screamed again, did the same thing as before, except I still was holding on.

Against all my philosophies and research, I grabbed her legs, and pulled her out of the coop while she hung upside down. She immediately calmed down, stopped struggling. Shaking, and talking softly, I brought her through the cold to her new, warmer coop. I lay her down on the floor, and she stayed there, stunned. The poor thing got up and crawled in the corner. I’m desperately hoping she is okay, that I didn’t harm her. I just figured it was better for her to be scared and in a safe, warm placed rather than content in a dangerous and freezing one. I hope I figured right.

Mary gave me no trouble, as I suspected, and all four are in the new coop. I just hope they’ll be okay.

The Plan

Today, I will try and move my chickens into their new coop (which has officially been finished!!!!!)

Here is the plan…

As I write this A LOT of snow is pouring down from the sky. We’re supposed to get about nine inches. My chickens are not amused by this endless fluffy, wet substance. They’re sitting in their A-Frame, gazing out at the plummeting snowflakes. Edith hasn’t left the safety of the coop, but Mary and Cora came to see me after I returned from school. They left little bird tracks in the snow 🙂

This snow, I think, is working to my advantage. My chickens are going to be less likely to run away with all of this precipitation. Hopefully.

  • As it gets darker out (at like 4:00 pm ish) I will go outside and coax Mr. Edith out of the coop. I’m going to have to try and pick him up- this is quite daunting, because he is HUGE and usually quite grumpy. And, I haven’t picked him up since I could hold him with one hand. If he cooperates, I can continue with my plan. If not, I’ll have to rethink everything.
  • If I can grab him, I’ll carry him over to the new coop first (if I leave him where he is now, he’ll freak out when I take away his ladies). Then I’ll try and catch Cora, and bring her over to the new coop as well.
  • Now comes the hardest part. I’m going to see if I can grab Mabel, the Escapee. She is still super skittish, so I’m not sure if its going to work out. If not, I’ll wait thirty minutes for her to go to sleep, and then grab her.
  • Finally, I’ll bring Mary over. She won’t cause any problems… I don’t think.

So that’s the plan. I’ll let you know if it works or not. My fingers are crossed though. They really need insulation in this weather, and a covered run to get out of the snow.

Coop collage Cora pic Frosted glass Mary pic New coop picture

I’ll Speak In Pictures

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Hello everyone!

I’m sorry for my recent absence. Very few things have happened around here. I did take a few pictures yesterday, so I’ll share those with you.

Mabel is coming out of her shell a bit. While she won’t allow me to pet her feathers, she will gladly accept scratch at my feet, or a handful of grass through the fence. She is getting bigger, and her muffs and beard are more pronounced!

I really hope she’ll let me grow closer with her, she seems like a really sweet bird.

There has been a steady stream of beautiful brown eggs- they get more and more perfect with every day. I used one of them when I baked scones the other day. What a difference it made in the color of the batter! They also make DELICIOUS egg sandwiches. My father made an omelet, and cooked some prosciutto, and I ate it in a toasted asiago bagel. Absolutely delicious.

Oh, and before I forget, my father has finally finished the coop! He is building the run as we speak. Now I just have to figure out how to get my giant, grumpy rooster and his skittish hens from the A-Frame to their new home. A daunting challenge, for sure.

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Another!

Another egg! This one is perfect in every single way. Smooth shell, no blemishes. I’m so happy! As I write this, my father is in the kitchen, cooking bacon and frying the egg from today.

I can’t wait to eat it.

I’ve consulted BYC, asking who they thought laid these eggs, and they said my Rhode Island Red, Cora, probably did. I wonder what Mary’s will look like! Or better yet, Mabel, who is supposed to lay blue-green eggs. They also said it was fertilized. Looks like Mr. Edith is doing his job 😉

Now before you gasp, and ask how in the world anyone could eat an egg that with a baby chick inside it, you’re wrong. Write now this “possible baby chick” is a speck smaller than a freckle. There is nothing alive about it. In order for a baby chick to be created, the fertilized egg must be incubated for about 21 days. Therefore, I’m not a terrible person. 🙂

Egg Photo shoot
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Happy Halloween!

Today, after getting ready for a dreary day at school, I trudged outside in the freezing cold air (at 7:00 AM) to let out my chickens. I lowered the ramp, and out rolled Edith. And a little brown egg.

That’s right. Today, I got my first egg!!!! Unfortunately she didn’t lay it in the nest box, so when it fell, it sort of cracked. Meaning I couldn’t eat it 😦 . But I was so happy! I gasped, and ignored Edith’s aggressive noises as he tried to attack me (he’s always grumpy in the mornings). Words can’t describe how happy I was. I immediately snapped a picture, and then ran into the house. I cracked it open inside a bowl to have a look at the yolk.

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When I got home from school later today, I looked in the nest box, and a smashed yolk was mixed in with the shavings. There was no trace of any egg shells or anything. Sometimes when young hens lay their first few eggs, they are a little poor in quality. Shell less eggs are, unfortunately, common among inexperienced hens. It did make a terrible mess though. I added oyster shells into a separate feeder so that they can have enough calcium to make egg shells. Oh well, I’m just grateful to have eggs! It makes me excited for tomorrow and the next day. And I have either Mary, or Cora to thank! Now I just have to find out which one….

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A latte and croissant

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What I found when I came home from school :/

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