Thursday, May 22, 2014

More Poop from the Coop

by Pa Rock
Chicken Rancher

It was one month ago today that I brought my fuzzy little chicks home from the feed store in a box that could not have held more than two pairs of shoes.   Today I moved those lovelies, each now feathered and about the size of a city pigeon, to their adult coop and pen.   And they are having quite the time of it – out walking through the tall grass and weeds while scratching for bugs and worms. 

It was not an easy chore, moving the easily panicked fowl from the baby pen to the one for big birds, even though the enclosures are located next to one another.   I managed to catch most by hand, one at a time, for the short transport, but the final three were way too quick for this old chicken-catcher.  I released the fastest birds into the yard and was then able to herd two into the new pen.  But the final girl would just not cooperate.  She managed to get into the open garage and hide behind things.  Finally, after several angry threats that all involved stew pots, she calmly walked out and made her way to the new quarters.

My initial order was for twenty-seven baby chicks and four turkeys.  When I brought them home I counted twenty-nine chicks and the four turkeys.  Today I kept a careful count as I carried them to their new home – one at a time.  The total is thirty chicks and four turkeys.  Not only were their no casualties during the poultry’s first month at the farm, they appear to have shown an increase of one. 

The turkeys are beginning to look as though they may be three toms and one hen.  I was actually hoping for at least a couple of hens because I hear turkey eggs are delicious.   My oldest son provided me with a bit of hill wisdom the other day.  He said that male turkeys always poop in the shape of a “J.”   I thought that fact smelled a bit like turkey poop, but today as I was emptying the little pen, I found several droppings in the form of perfect “J’s.”  Live and learn.

The old pen is about five by ten feet.  The new one is nearer to twenty by fifty feet.  It includes an adult maple tree at one end and a covered area at the other – along with a coop for sleeping and egg-laying.    The feeders and waterers have all been cleaned and moved, fresh straw is down in the coop and across a couple of bare areas, and the nest boxes are full of clean wood shavings. 

By the time the eggs start arriving, I’ll be too tired to eat!

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