Friday, June 21, 2013

Chickens on the Run Fowl Doings

So, on the last installment, we caught these little wild roosters, and put them in a giant dog kennel while we were moving chickens around into their new homes. While the dog kennel had plenty of room for them to live in for the short term, they couldn't live there forever, so we decided to move them into the Little's garden run with Ozzie and Archimedes...but first we had to get them out of the kennel, and clip their wings so they can't fly off...
 
Of course, they both got away while we were trying to get them out of the kennel...Thankfully, I have a Giant who doesn't move fast by inclination, but can when he needs to! I couldn't believe he caught them, those roosters are quick and they can fly! He ended up snatching both of them out of the air as they were trying to fly over the fence...another benefit of being a Giant. As I looked at this photo, it reminded me of another photo I'd seen...
 
Yep, that's the one! If you look closely, I think Bigfoot has a little bantam rooster in his paw too! Ermagurd, I'm cracking myself up, probably from spending too much time with all these crazy chickens!
 

Anyway, back to the story! So, Giant catches both the little roosters...

we clip their wings so they can't fly away...



then I put them in a different kennel so everyone can see each other for 24 hours before I release them into the run. I'm making all of this up as I go along, but I figure maybe if they can see each other and get used to each other for a while, things will go smoothly when I release them into the run...we shall see...

In other chicken news, the wild bantam hen and her 3 chicks I caught a couple of weeks ago are doing great in their new environment, although Mom is still a little freaked out and makes the chicks go into the kennel whenever I get too close to the run.  The chicks are growing like crazy and are of course, adorable!

Which brings us to the final wild bantam...Just as we'd suspected, this hen, who I call Broody Two because she looks like her Mom, showed up last Saturday morning with 6 little chix! I had to catch her for the same reasons I had to catch the other hen...so all the babies wouldn't be eaten by predators! We had to try to catch her right then, because if she leaves there's a very strong possibility she won't come back with all or any of her chicks...

I'd been feeding her by the garden gate, so I was able to get her into the garden fairly easily...

I managed to get her inside the gate and close it...she hunkered down by a bucket and a bee hive-deep, and I thought that maybe it would be easy to catch her...boy, was I wrong! Giant tried to grab her and she went ballistic, and baby chicks were running everywhere! Mom flew off down to the barn and we let her go for the moment in order to get all the babies. We finally gathered up all 6 of them and put them in the kennel,

then it was time to find Mom...we could hear her screeching for her chicks, and tracked her down to the barn. Giant got the chicken and net and made a couple of swipes at her, but she is so fast and such a good flyer that it was basically like trying to catch a meadowlark in a net...just not gonna happen! So then the plan was to bring the kennel of chicks into the barn where Mom would hear them and we could decoy her into the kennel...

good plan, except Mom couldn't hear the chicks over all the barn noises from the other chickens, goats, etc. Giant had tried to catch her in the net a couple more times and Mom is getting more and more freaked out by the minute-you can barely see her perched on the top of the corral here. Then I decided to take a chick out of the kennel and use it for bait-I'd get as close to Mom as possible so she could hear the chick peeping and lead her back towards the kennel. That worked for a few minutes, until the chick would get warm in my hand, fall asleep and stop peeping, then I'd have to go switch it out for another bait chick lol! Finally we got Mom lured to the kennel and I got all the chicks to the back of the kennel where they wouldn't all just run out and, so I could open the door and decoy Mom in with the bait chick. So, I'm kneeling on the side of the kennel, trying to hide while holding the bait chick in front of the open kennel door...and then I wait. It took about 15 minutes of total stillness...

but FINALLY, after almost 2 hours of chasing her around the prairie, through the garden, the barn and the corrals, we got Mom into the kennel with her chicks!!! Oh, and did I mention that I was in my bathrobe and slippers the entire time? Yeah, I'm cool like that! I'm really earning my title of 'Crazy Chicken Lady' LOL!

We haven't had time to make the chicken enclosures how we'd really like them-chickens just keep showing up and we have to come up with somewhere to put them all, so we're adding on ad hoc-in other words, it aint pretty, but it holds chickens lol! So all chickens are safe and in a proper environment-.for the moment! We'll have to make some more moves soon, I'm kind of tired just thinking about it...but oh well, I guess chasing chickens is one way of staying in shape lol! happytrails!

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