New Chickens in the Hood

I was feeling sorry for Carol, living out in the chicken run all alone. I decided she needed company. The farm store had two Americana pullets left for sale, and they came home with me.

My preference is to raise pullets in the house where they become tame and docile. I have a big plastic box with a screen top I like to put in the corner of the kitchen so they get plenty of handling and attention. Unfortunately, I had acquired a cat who also lived in the house and considered the chicks a play toy. Shelly, the cat, was strong and determined to get the top off the chicken box. For the safety of the chicks, I moved them into the spare bedroom and closed the door. The spare room is just that- a spare room- one you don’t go into often, so the chicks weren’t getting nearly as much attention as I wanted to give them.

I had a friend who had a special cage you put in the chicken run with the older hens so they can become acquainted with one another. It was a simple square box made from two-by-twos and chicken wire. To feed and water the chicks required lifting one side of the box. This proved interesting, as the chicks, Rosie and Charlotte were quite wild. They were freaked out by my movements and when I lifted the box to put in fresh feed, Rosie dashed out. The side “walls” of the run were chain link and Rosie was tiny enough to dash right through and out of the run altogether. Crap!

I went around to the driveway and located her in the ivy growing along the fence line and managed to scare her back into the run and smack in the face of Carol who was not happy having a young whippersnapper running around. I high tailed it back inside the run as fast as I could and as luck would have it, Rosie was more than willing to go back into the confinement of the box, safe with her friend Charlotte. She scrambled back in as soon as I lifted the corner.

It’s times like these that you rue not having kept them in the kitchen for proper taming. With “the box”, there is no way to let the chicks out to eat from your hand or sit in your lap. You have to accept that they will be harder to handle later.

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