We added two buffs and two Easter eggers to the mix, and were looking forward to lovely colored eggs and home hatched chickens.
As anyone who's lived with little chickens knows, however, the bloom quickly fades off of that rose. The day comes all too soon when you simply can't abide another moment of the messy, annoying youngsters brooding indoors with you. At this point out. they. go. Ready. or. Not! Our chicks, or rather, we, reached this milestone on July fourth 2016, despite not really having an exit plan fleshed out. I wasn't confident throwing them all together in the chicken coop immediately was wise, so I took a probably dumber approach, and housed the younger group in the run section of the the coop. We then had a total of nine hens and two roosters, which instead of adding to our big rooster's harem as we'd planned, divided it into an even smaller group.
Still, things seemed to work out, for the most part. Eventually, we put the youngers in the actual coop, and that too seemed OK at first. The first signs that it wasn't ok was when a couple of the ladies began roosting in the near by tree, and then the goat barn, instead of their coop. After a week or so of getting them disciplined enough to turn into the coop, they started vanishing. :(. No signs of fowl play, as they'd say, nor of any intra rooster animosity. . . they just disappeared. All told, three of the Rhode Island Reds, the Black Easter egger, and red rooster ended up gone.
|Emptier Chicken Yard|
I expected to find them at the coop door one morning, or at least find bodies, somewhere, but nary a single clue surfaced. One gal had even been decked out in a bright yellow saddle, and scraps of that haven't turned up, either. So. . . not the first loss, we did lose a little chicken to accident the first year. However, these losses seem some how preventable- I should of housed them more securely, had a better plan for integration been wiser and kinder and forseen the looming problem in time to avert it.
None of those things were options, though, so instead we decided to use the last bit of outdoor work time adding to and beefing up animal housing.