Both the kids and the chickens love this. But even though I can tolerate chickens in my flower beds and a little chicken poo in the yard, I cannot tolerate chicken poo on my back porch, chickens wandering into our neighbors' yards or chickens pecking through the bird netting and eating my blueberries. The neighbors haven't complained, but I certainly don't ever want it to get to the point that they need to say something. And, eating my blueberries without my permission? Not allowed.
The pullets are still smaller than the full grown hens, so the chicken fence needed some reinforcing and doubling up so the older hens wouldn't be able to chase them through and back into the main yard again.
In order to teach the younger chicks where their new home is, they (with the older hens) are shut up in the hen house for a few days. This teaches them where to find their food and water and where to roost at night. It also, well, kind of forces them to learn to get along, discover the new pecking order. It's normal, it's natural, it's necessary. But it's never fun to watch.
the snobby, older hens hogging the food and water
sorry for the blurriness- one pullet was determined to get past me
It often takes them a little while to find their way down the chicken run into the big chicken yard even once the hen house is opened up again, but they always figure it out eventually.
the chicken run from house to yard
coming out of the run into the chicken yard
While closing up the hen house for the acquaintance-forcing of the young and old chickens, we discovered Merv, our trusty rooster dead. He had an old-looking wound we were unaware of, but other than that no tell-tale signs of how he died. He was a beautiful rooster and so very calm and friendly. He will be missed.
Merv will be missed.
We're not sure what differences we'll see in our flock with him gone. It will obviously mean no chicks will be hatched out, but we haven't had the best success with that anyway. Sam is convinced that one of our pullet is actually a cockerel, so we'll see. We've been so spoiled with Merv that we won't be tolerant of any new rooster that is mean to the kids or chases me around the garden.
Been there, done that.
So, the kids have been visiting the pullets in the hen house- giving them their own feed and water when the older hens chase them away from theirs. The other day I found Sadie and Miriam in the roost room, climbing on the roost as if it was a jungle gym. Needless to say, a bath ensued.
At other times, you can find Miriam out in the chicken yard, hand feeding them unripe pears from the tree just over her head, a little flock surrounding her as if she was their mama.
Did I ever tell you the names these pullets have? Sarah, Tony, King of the Wind, Spotty Horse, Scrapple, and Princess Gigi. Just to name a few.
These kids sure love their chickens- despite all the ups and downs that come with them. Pin It