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  #1026  
Old 09-29-2013, 06:34 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

Well, shit....

We're in the midst of a strong wind and rain storm and evidently, the girls did not take to the coop last night; most were out in the morning (to my surprise), meaning they'd taken to other locations over night. Sonja and Olaf are showing tattered feathering about the tails and....Cocoa is missing entirely.

This is not good.

*deep sigh*

The new coop is still boxed, on the front porch, and awaiting assembly.
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  #1027  
Old 09-29-2013, 06:50 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

Oh no... :crossed: :crossed:
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  #1028  
Old 09-29-2013, 07:43 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

Confirmed. The raccoon got Cocoa last night. Inside the hencondo. I found her carcass in a yard sweep. This means the hencondo is no longer anywhere near a safe place.
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  #1029  
Old 09-29-2013, 07:59 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

That's so awful. Poor pretty Cocoa. :cry:
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  #1030  
Old 09-29-2013, 11:53 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

I am so sorry godfry. I know you had so many hopes for her.
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  #1031  
Old 09-30-2013, 01:45 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

I'm sorry about Cocoa.

We're also midst chicken/duck coop rebuild, which is hindered by the non-stop storms.
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  #1032  
Old 09-30-2013, 02:39 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

Poor Cocoa. Sorry gng.
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  #1033  
Old 10-04-2013, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

Thanks for the condolences. Cocoa will be missed.

I ended up driving Akmed to Washougal and he has now been successfully rehomed. Right out of the cage, he confronted the flock alpha hen and they had an engaging exchange of hopping and hackle flaring. The tender was quite pleased; she noted that she was glad that he went right to the top and didn't bother the lesser hens. He's only 16 weeks and not yet mature (reputedly around 22-24 weeks), but he is still physically larger than any of the hens. Judging by his papa, he still has a goodly amount of growing to do. She has 18 hens, so he should be plenty entertained when his hormones kick in.
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  #1034  
Old 10-13-2013, 07:23 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

The new coop:


All closed up.


All opened up.


View down in the open rooftop...additional roost added, nesting boxes with straw to the right.


View in the run door, towards the internal access door to the coop itself. The ramp broke off and awaits a possible repair; I've replaced it with a step stool....the girls rarely use ramps, anyway.

They were introduced to it last night (except for Dora, who hid elsewhere and was added this morning). They will spend all Sunday in the coop/run and once again get free range access come Monday (Sundays I work until 8 pm and that's too much darkness time where they could be exposed to Mr. Coon). They are NOT happy about it.
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  #1035  
Old 10-16-2013, 05:27 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

Coop?

Chicken Chalet!

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  #1036  
Old 10-16-2013, 01:13 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

That is indeed a stylish abode
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  #1037  
Old 10-16-2013, 08:10 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

A chook chalet....I like that. I think I'll use it.

"Chalet Ravenswood".

It is "Made in China" and, of course, the ramp broke off. It's also not quite as large, in terms of square footage, as is the Hencondo, but there's lots more headroom and, of course, the enclosed run.
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  #1038  
Old 10-16-2013, 08:18 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

And here's good news....What with Swimmer's farm tenants moving on after having bought their own land, the chooks there are destined to be relocated....but not Junior (too close to the new neighbors). I'd posted up a hopeful listing for a new home for Junior.

No go....*sigh*

But, then....Swimmer tells me that her exiting tenants apologized for handing Junior on to another local out there who admired Junior. He now will have a new home and a new flock for his harem. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! No apology was necessary. I'm just glad the guy has a new bunch of laydees to impress.

Now, I just have to find a home for Olaf, or he's bound for 'mission'.
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  #1039  
Old 10-19-2013, 09:35 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

LOL...Transitions.

The girls have been roosting in the awning rafters since last fall. Swimmer wants them gone, hence the new coop...uh, chalet. So, with the chalet in place and the ramp repaired and all, I spent that first day shuffling chickens through the house to recoop them in the chalet after dark.

Then, number one unson and his nuke family came for a stay and I had an assistant whose presence obviated the trip through the house. That went on for four more nights of afterdark chook shuffling.

Yesterday, I removed the cordon fencing that was required by the chicken inspector and placed wire barriers where the girls were moving up to the awning braces. The removal of the fencing removed the girls' halfway point to the awning braces. At dusk, in a glorious warm autumn evening, I sat in front of the chalet and watched the proceedings.

Chance, my smartest hen, was first to acknowledge that there was a place to go...the chalet henhouse. She was there twice before any other hen and clearly had identified the ramp and the destination....but, she went back to the balcony and ducking and bobbing looking for a way up. She kept going back and forth between the balcony and the chalet.

Ingrid, my boss hen, did her share of ducking and bobbing, but determineing that there was too much impediment, between Chance's second and third trips to the chalet, Ingrid decided and stomped over to, and up, the ramp to the new digs. She was first and set the tone.

Chance then joined her on the next trip to the chalet. No more vacillating.

Sonja and Eleanor continued with the pacing, ducking and bobbing, and Sonja actually made an attempt, only to be rebuffed by a panel of rabbit fencing in her usual access point. While she was down and stunned, I scooped her up and carried her to the chalet and inserted her. Before I could get back to the balcony, I passed Eleanor on her way to the chalet. As I watched, she went in and up the ramp and in.

That left Dora and Olaf. They had both been driven away by the older hens and hadn't gotten much chance at attempts to get to the braces. Dora shys from locations near the biddies because she gets a raft of abuse. With the elders away, Dora was preparing an assault on the balcony. Instead, I cornered her and grabbed her. Then she went in to the run portion of the chalet (to allow her to choose run or coop).

As I expected, with Dora confined to the run...and working her way up the ramp...Olaf decided he wanted to join her in the run. I just had to wait until he was close and open the wire door and he went right in. Dora didn't even try an escape.

Olaf decided he wanted to join the laydees in the coop portion, rather than stay out in the high bar in the run, where I'd been keeping him over the prior week.

Tonight, we'll see how well the transition sunk in to the bird brains.
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  #1040  
Old 10-20-2013, 07:24 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

The two I hand inserted the evening before (Sonja and Dora) were the same two I had to hand insert last night. Today they spend cooped up. All day in the coop; no free ranging.
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  #1041  
Old 10-20-2013, 07:50 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

That is such a handsome coop for their little society.
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  #1042  
Old 10-21-2013, 12:00 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

So. I got to work today and my computer was dysfunctional. I was so afraid of what might happen that I bailed out entirely, having no tools to do my work. (Darn!)

Anyway, I got home and immediately went to release the girls. It wasn't quite what I had expected. Sonja and Ingrid malingered around the open door until Olaf lost his patience and shoved past them to get out. That, of course, encouraged Dora to bolt from her place above on the run-bar. The rest of the biddies took their sweet time exiting, so I guess the coop environment isn't all that confining for them.
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  #1043  
Old 10-21-2013, 06:17 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

Found this handsome rooster and his beautiful 95 year old owner and had to share it:

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  #1044  
Old 10-21-2013, 06:27 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

He once named the brass section of an orchestra the Foghorn Leghorns.

He was the one who changed Kentucky Fried Chicken's name to KFC in an effort to modernize the brand.

He is the Most Interesting Rooster in the World.
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  #1045  
Old 10-22-2013, 01:07 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

Our favorite girl is sick, probably with sour crop. She is living inside while she being treated. I'm pretty worried and she looks pathetic. I hope she gets better, but pretty much any symptomatic illness is serious for a chicken, so we'll see.
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  #1046  
Old 10-23-2013, 12:32 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

Aw, crepes, Chuck. I hope it is transient and your favorite girl is back in the swing of things soon.

I was feeling crap today myself, so I stayed home. Of course, this gave me the opportunity to hang out with my girls and see how the new digs were being accepted.

I found both Sonja and Chance eggs in the nesting spots, so they seem to understand the objective. That augurs well for the rest of the crowd when they kick in next spring.

The problem is, somebody is crapping in the nests. It was minimal, but it was there when I cleaned out the coop space. Not cool. Hopefully this, too, will pass as everybody gets with the new program...and Olaf exits.

So...my first coop cleaning and I've now got plans for retrofitting. Being as I was intending on putting too many hens in, I added the bar in the overhead of the larger run area. It was otherwise wasted space. The interior of the coop itself had lots of head room that wasn't being used, so I added in another, higher up, roost bar to accommodate a couple more chickens. (I'd say the chalet is comfortable space for four regular hens or a half dozen bantams. I have five regular hens and a cockerel.) There is a slide out tray for the floor...but I can now see that it is a good idea poorly executed. It's like inserting a cookie sheet under the birds, but the problem is it won't allow much (if any) build up before removing the sheet just wipes the accumulated material (chickenshit) back into the coop. Not a large enough exit portal. It needed to have a two to three inch recess and accommodating front panel so the whole thing could be pulled and dumped and easily replaced.

So...anticipating this after seeing the 'tray', I scavanged my largest roost box from the old hencondo. Voila! Almost half of the common space floor is now easily lifted through the coop roof, around the installed crossing roost bar. So, the new coop project is to build two new roost boxes to cover the entire floor and creates two easily removable and dumpable boxes. The slide tray stays as the floor and can still be removed to clean the stuff that slips by the roost boxes.

*smug*

Next summer, I'll build the coop base from scavanged concrete walk slabs. That will improve my already fair anti-digging program and, I think, help ease cleaning of the 'run' area.

So far, it is only Dora, my omega pullet, who does not like going to the coop at night. I had to walk her from the balcony, through the house, to insert her into the chalet last night. I'm not surprised at all. Soon, she will lose her buddy, Olaf, and be on her own with the biddies.
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  #1047  
Old 10-23-2013, 02:09 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

Sadly our girl died today. Her other dad took her for a necropsy, and it turned out she did not have sour crop at all. Her crop was not emptying because she had a large tumor (or several large tumors) in her GI tract that caused a major blockage. That also probably explains her misshapen eggs. We'll get the pathology back soon. We are surprised at how quickly she declined - she was happy and bouncy three days ago - but glad that she didn't linger in pain. If nothing else, she died fat and glamorous.
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  #1048  
Old 10-23-2013, 02:13 AM
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Default Re: Flock!

:unsad:
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  #1049  
Old 10-23-2013, 03:08 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

:sadnana:
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  #1050  
Old 10-23-2013, 10:15 PM
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Default Re: Flock!

Sorry to hear that, Chuck.
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