If you’ve been following our story about the new coop, you’ll be proud of me.
Thanks to all the good advice I got from readers, I figured out how to get the birds in there. I locked up the old coop before sunset, threw a whole bunch of hen scratch into the new one and then took advantage of their confusion at bed time. Confusion made them easy to pick up and put in the new coop, and hen scratch made it easy to keep them there.
You can tell I don’t come from a family of chicken-keepers, can’t you? It’s clear I grew up in the suburbs.
That’s the Good Chicken News. Or, since Marshmallow is the “Bad Chicken”, maybe it’s the Bad Chicken News.
In other news, Roxanne Chicken remains in the garage. I tried to put her in with the others, but we had some trouble.
Roxanne has been staying in the garage for a few days, since the nighttime temperatures were around zero. I found her shivering a couple times and figured she was too cold for the coming high desert winter night.
Her shivering may have had something to do with feather loss. I knew Marshmallow had been pulling out her feathers at night, but didn’t realize how many until Roxanne shook herself out. She lost all her tail feathers and has bald spots around her wings! She looks ragged, like the Reds do when they molt.
The weather was a bit warmer yesterday and I put her back outside. She spent the whole day in the coop, hiding from the other chickens. When night fell I put the rest of the flock in the new coop, in reverse pecking order. Roxanne was alright when I put Blonde Chicken in with her, but Specklehead’s arrival spurred her to come flying out, squawking and knocking over the water bowl.
I put her back in. She ran downstairs, into the run below. I talked to her about the importance of having a flock, but when Specklehead came downstairs, Roxanne started throwing herself against the mesh wall and squawking in terror.
Sure enough, Specklehead attacked her.
I couldn’t leave her there, terrified and upset. I know it’s part of chicken social behavior, but it’s my household. I’m the Head Chicken and I like peace.
I opened the door and she hopped up into my arms. We went back in the house, had a soothing bowl of warm water and went to sleep.
“Don’t fret,” I told her. ”Just sleep, grow some feathers and rest. We’ll figure out what to do tomorrow.”
Tomorrow is another day.
© 2013 Hungry Chicken Homestead
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