We Have Hens
It has been an exciting last couple of weeks. Myron (pronounced May-run) called saying his pullets (young hens) had just started laying, so they were ready to find their farm.
We were not yet ready for hens. The puppies have just climbed out of the kennel for the last time & were running free on the farm. That means absolutely nothing is safe. Particularly cantaloupes & carrots, both being dug up or stolen on a daily basis. We haven’t built our chicken coop because I want a chicken “tractor” – a chicken coop that is moveable so hens can eat fresh grass everyday & their poop gets spread around to nourish the ground.
DH suggested we buy a chicken coop kit so we could figure out what we want, we would be moving forward & we can build the permanent structure later when the weather finally cools. We have been running 5 – 10 degrees above normal the past few weeks. Onto Tractor Supply’s website, Lowes.com, Wayfair.com I go looking at a large selection of coops, reading the descriptions & reviews, finally settling on a coop on wheels with a screened chicken run from Wayfair.com.
It was supposed to be delivered in 2 weeks but arrived after 1 week. Glad about that. It took me 6 hours to put together – DH was out of town. I realized it was very small, basically just a bedroom with a tiny patio-ish. There are 4 roosting bars across the main floor of the coop, 4 nesting boxes, 2 removable trays to clean out the poop, a door on either end. The run has 2 screen doors with latches, 2 screened windows with latches.
We fetched the hens from Myron & his sweet wife, Christine. Of course it was pouring down rain so we got to sit & visit for a couple of hours with these salt-of-the-Earth folks. Myron sells hens to help pay for their grand-daughter’s college. Christine collects quilts – some are just gorgeous!
The rain stopped & off we were to the chicken yard by the old barn in the back of the property. Oh my goodness, I thought these young hens were going to be small. Wrong! They are huge, full-size hens! Running in the tall sorghum growing as a hiding place from predators, Myron’s chickens free-range. Using a large net on a long pole, Myron calmly walks through the yard until the hens are next to the fence & he drops his net on them one by one. We collect them in a large, wire dog kennel then DH & Myron load them into the back of our pick-up. DH didn’t expect them to be so heavy.
Rain beginning again, no sun to charge the solar-powered electric fence, this may be a problem. Puppies are very excited with all the movement inside the run & the fence is not sturdy. The girls settle in & we make the dogs walk us back to the house. So far, so good.
Sunday morning we have eggs! Yippety-skippety! Eggs from our own hens! Excited! Problem – puppies charge the fence & break right through. Good news – hens run to the chicken coop & run immediately & take shelter as I run immediately screaming, “BAD DOG!” I didn’t know if the hens were more afraid of Dixon or me.
Monday morning – I leave well before daylight to meet with our trainer; DH has an early flight to Ohio so he must skip. DH opens the coop, both doors; opens the run, both doors; turns on the solar-powered electric fence charger then takes off for the airport. Uh oh! I have a chiropractic appointment after my workout so after errands I return home around noon. The fence has been knocked down! No puppies to be seen & NO HENS!
Maybe I should continue this tomorrow…