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Yes, I'm a Mother Hen!


Crazy4Canning

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So this weekend, the chicken coop was finished. It's not a coop, my husband says, it's a chicken palace. Big enough to house 20 chickens with room to spare. I would have been happy with a simple shed against the garage, but it's HUGE. Big enough to house the chicken feed, bedding, etc. There's even an overhang for my husband's worm bins.

 

You want to know why it was finished last weekend instead of tomorrow or next weekend? My dad said he couldn't stand watching one of the chickens hopping and flapping, bonking her head on the lid of the brooder because she wanted OUT. He was worried that they might hurt themselves...me, I was worried that he was worried. :rolleyes:

 

They made SO MUCH noise when I was moving them, you'd have thought it was the worst torture imaginable. I transported them outside in a 6 gallon bucket with a cloth over it, moving slowly so not to jar them too much.

 

In retrospect, I should probably have slowly tipped the bucket on its side and let them come out on their own, but I took them from the bucket myself and placed them on the floor of their new home.

 

They didn't know what to think, it was all so new, big and, well, NEW and BIG. I waited for them to discover the water and food, and finally my husband called me and said, "Sweetie, we have to go. We're meeting friends for dinner and you probably want to get cleaned up. They'll be FINE. Come on."

 

So, even though I wanted to stay longer, I left them. The temperature was fine. They had fresh food and water. Everything was fine. I go out there the next morning and the piles of wood chips had been flung everywere and the chickies were cheeping and making their usual noise. My husband was right. They were fine.

 

I left an over-turned bucket in the brooder (for sitting) and when I went in today, I noticed some feathers and such on it. I go to brush it off and to my surprise, Golda flutters up and sits there, cocking her head like she's waiting for me. I didn't think she was big enough to do that! So, I bring in some food and gently pick her up.

 

This buff chickie burrows into my arm and nestles into my lap, gently pecking at my fingers, pulling at an apron string. Moments later, she walks across my legs, down onto the wooden roost and flutters to the floor of the coop. Before I had gotten over my amazement, she fluttered up into my lap again and walked across my legs, onto the roost, fluttering down to the floor again! It was a game. She did this a few more times before she chirruped in a satisfied way, finding the new water I put in.

 

Scientists say that a full-grown chicken's brain is about the size of a walnut. So, these few-week old chickies' brains are in all probability the size of about half an almond or so. What was in the Creator's mind to give this particular chicken something beyond instincts for survival? I don't think I can answer. What I do know is that animals of any sort are amazing.

 

Who knew I would have a chicken with a sense of adventure and humor? :D

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Pictures!!! Pretty Please!! The coop? the chicks? I'd just love to see them!

 

Chickens are the best. I was so surprised to discover they have individual personalities! My little Minnie Pearl, who is my personal favorite and pet, runs to me as fast as she can and flutters right up into my arms if I am standing or onto my shoulder if I am sitting. (She's a bantam).

 

BTW, if you really want to have some fun, snitch a few of you dh's worms from his worm bed. One worm for the three chicks and the fun begins. They will stretch the worm, chase each other for the worm, looks like a football game, absolutely hilarious!

 

 

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It's good to know I'm not the only one with a 'favorite' pet.

 

You know, I DID offer a few worms about 10 days ago. I put a 'treat dish' in the brooder and there were 4 worms. They began crawling up over the side to get away from the light. The chickens actually RAN away and huddled in the corner of the brooder. (Then again my husband was standing right there with a louder voice!) They were working themselves up into a tizzy, inspite of me shooing them out into the middle of the brooder. I finally had to put them in the 'bucket' I used for changing the brooder. A few minutes and they were settled down. I removed the worms and sent them back to the compost bin. One chickie actually stepped on a worm (I think it was Shira) and the high-pitched cheep she let out reminded me of a 6 year old girl who was being chased by a worm. :24:

 

I guess I'm going to have to get an old pie tin and gradually train them that 'treats' come on it.

 

BTW, I do hold each 'girl' at least once a day.

 

Last night when I was doing this, Golda hopped onto the water holder and was eyeing whomever I was holding, pecking at the corner of my apron, tugging at it. The other chicks turned their back to her and eventually cheeped to get down. I had to hold her 'in-between' the others. It makes me glad I don't have 20. I'd be doing this all day. :D

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Congrats on your new coop.

I will be building a larger one for myself. I should have listened to everyone when they said to build bigger than you'd ever think you'd need. You can never have enough chickens!

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Happy news - I was down at the city planning office today and in conversation, I was told that I can have AS MANY chickens AS I WANT, as long as the smell isn't offensive. :)

 

I just called and ordered a few more. :)

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