When One Coop Door Closes…

The roosters say goodbye.

A lot has happened in our world of chickens this past week. The boys moved to a country home a week ago tomorrow, where our positively saintly friends have agreed to adopt one and board the other until we can find an appropriate home.

Kelly’s brother Steven visited us last weekend, and helped us put the finishing touches on the coop. We introduced the girls to their new outdoor home on Monday afternoon, and they have been spending their days outside. We’ve continued to bring them in at night to allow them to transition slowly, though I’m not entirely convinced this has been necessary.

On Thursday, we thought we’d give them a taste of nighttime in the coop. The only trouble is that they are terrified of their coop/nest box area. They run around frantically inside the box looking for an escape each time we put them in.  We stuffed them in, murmuring to them and making what we hoped were reassuring noises as we closed the double doors.

Steven and Kelly share some sibling bonding time in the coop as they suspend the water dispenser.

It was a gusty night with ferocious, ripping wind. Inside the warm house, we couldn’t help but imagine them in the unfamiliar, drafty darkness. At 9:30, we relented and went out into the wind with headlamps to retrieve them. The girls had snuggled up together in one of the nest boxes, and appeared to have been sleeping soundly. They didn’t seem particularly distressed, but we carted them in and put them to bed in their cardboard box.

The teenage hens are friendly, and engaged enough in their environment, but I think they miss the roosters. They move around the chicken run in a twosome, stretching out their necks to take in the surroundings and scratching in the straw for food. They come up to greet us through the avian wire when they hear us making our rounds in the garden.

Petunia, enjoying her new roost for the first time.

Pudy (Kelly’s utterly lovable, if bird-hungry, black cat) eyes them from a distance, crouching and predatory. I carried her over to say hello close-up the other afternoon, and the chickens came right over, tilting their heads and blinking at her while she meowed at them.

I have to say that, having finally completed the coop-building project, it gives me immense pleasure to walk through the garden and discover a couple of beautifully speckled young hens living in the structure we toiled over. We have chickens, and they actually live in our backyard!

Luma, investigating near the ramp to the dreaded coop.

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