I Agreed to “A Few” More Hens

I Agreed to “A Few” More Hens

I agreed to “a few” more hens.

Not nine more.

“I’m sure we’ll lose some of them,” my husband said.

Since the year before we did lose six of them for no reason.

They just died.

But not this year.

We decided no one could constantly handle and hold the babies in the first few weeks at home with us. We wanted to make sure they weren’t stressed and stayed healthy. This is likely what kept them alive.

  • No germs passing from kids at school to kids and chickens.
  • No having to remind everyone they’re fragile.
  • No telling everyone to take the chickens out of their pockets.

So they lived.

All nine of them.

Then, four more came home.

And they also lived.

We have become a word problem:

In March, the Braschler family had six free-ranging chickens. One mysteriously disappeared and two weeks later we found a pile of her feathers. A week after that, one was taken by a hawk. Mr. B. bought nine more chickens and none died. Mrs. B needed to grab more Timothy hay, so Mr. B. bought four more chickens while waiting in the feed store because, “We don’t have any gray ones.”

How many chickens do they have now?

9 chickens + 4 more = 13 chickens

13 new chickens + 4 old chickens = 17 chickens.

That’s a lot of fowl

We now have 13 almost full grown chickens running rampant in the garage.

It’s loud in there.

It stinks in there.

It smells like we have 13 chickens in there.

Because we do.

And I don’t know how I feel about them. I don’t trust them. I don’t think they’ll be as friendly as the first batch. I say this because anytime I go into the garage I hear a lot of feathers flying and thumping like they just got caught doing something they’re not supposed to be doing.

And they are.

They’re now getting out of their wooden coop to explore. I haven’t seen it but I’ve seen the poo everywhere. So, I know. Plus they look right through me when I do make eye contact with any of them. They also peck my hands when I try to feed them and, as someone who has not been a fan of birds since, ever, I am not thrilled. At night, when I turn off the light they all scream and squawk like Michael Myers is suddenly in the far corner of the garage. I hope this stops when they move outside because

  1. It’ll attract everything that’s already coming around looking for a free chicken dinner.
  2. The coop is behind my bedroom, I don’t want to listen this all night.

This is why we don’t have a rooster.

Yet.

Anyway, we are waiting for the coop expansion to move them outside.

You can’t reasonably fit 17 chickens in the tiny coop we have, so we need to add another section. Then, we will begin the process of chicken merging. Apparently, this isn’t just a matter of tossing them in a coop and letting them figure it out. The new ones have to be separated, but visible. This is so the adult chickens can size up their new coopmates and decide how things will play out.

No I’ve never done this.

No I don’t know what to expect.

No, I don’t know when this will take place.

While we wait for the official family chicken purchaser to finish the electrical project in the pole barn and start on the coop renovations, we have 13 chickens in the garage.

It’s loud in there.

It stinks in there.

It smells like we have 13 chickens in there.

Because we do.

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