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We Have Hens

September 22, 2016

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.

Delivered to the front porch, then gnawed on by puppies before I came up from the lower pasture & got off the tractor.

Delivered to the front porch, then gnawed on by puppies before I came up from the lower pasture & got off the tractor.

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.

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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.

4 nesting boxes

4 nesting boxes

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.

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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!

Myron in the tall sorghum searching for hens.

Myron in the tall sorghum searching for hens.

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.

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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.

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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.

8 hens

our hens

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…

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One Comment
  1. Rebecca permalink
    September 22, 2016 7:41 am

    Oh no! I can’t wait to hear what happened to the hens!

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