Wednesday, August 13, 2008

So here is where I am at.

OK, so the chickens can not longer be outside because the hawks would pick them off, one by one. So now they are in the coop in the garage all the time. I do have a broad spectrum light over them so that does help.

But I had the small ones on the bottom and the big ones on the top and with them being cooped up 24/7, this was not going to work. They all needed more room to run. So my big plan to integrate them began and ended unsuccessfully yesterday. The littlest ones happen to be the roos and they have been plucked pretty clean around the wings and neck. One was soaking wet, cold, red from the plucking, and overall, in pretty bad shape. I warmed him with my rice bag and only a couple hours later, he was running with the other chicks. He is doing well today, thank goodness.
Overall assessment, bad. So the little chicks are in a Rubbermaid container again.

Just a bit of advice. If you get chickens, make sure that you buy them all the same age so you don't ever have this integrating problem. And if later you want more chicks, stick them under a broody hen who will adopt them as her own and will do all the protecting for you.

I have been looking over all my options for my hawk problem and these are it.
1. keep them cooped up all the time. (just doesn't seem humane to me)
2. Build a movable run. Something with wire on the sides and top to keep them safe during the day until they go back into the coop at night.
3. Geese. I guess geese keep away hawks. I have read this in two different locations but still, it makes me wonder if it will really work.

Unfortunately geese are better behaved towards family if raised with them from a goslings and all goslings are sold out for the year. Pretty much. Yea, I know, they can be LOUD. But I have researched and found that Buff Geese are the friendliest, quietest, and sweetest of the types of geese. Oh and goose poop, at least unlike big dogs, it is a good fertilizer. They also do lay eggs like chickens that can be eaten and they are great weed eaters. For some reason they love the weeds and not the other plants. That of course has me baffled, but everything I have read, states it.

I feel like the lady that ate a horse, to catch the cow, to catch the goat, to catch the dog, to catch the cat, to catch the bird, to catch the spider, That wriggled and jiggled and tickled inside me, to catch the fly, I don't know why I swallowed the fly. Perhaps I'll die!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have to keep my chickens penned too- they were free until yesterday when they ate the watermelons in the garden! We have an old dog kennel cage attached to the coop (with a panel on the top too) so they can get fresh air and some exercise. Before being banished to chicken jail, the rooster seemed to be all the protection we needed. Good luck!