Saying Goodbye – Part 1.

About 8 weeks ago I shared this post.  It was full of excitement and hope.  Sadly, over the last 8 weeks, these feelings have turned into ones of hate, distrust and dismay.Chickens and mum

These new chickens have been nothing but a right pain in my arse and our garden.

Waking up to the sound of chickens is one thing, but waking up to this sound out the front of our bedroom window is another.  Each day, Mother Chook (or Bitch-Face, as I affectionately named her) would fly over the fenced in coop area, her little ones would break out through the chicken wire and they would go on wonderful adventures around our yard.  They’d joyfully scratch to their hearts content, scratching up any new seedlings that we had put in, and finally killing my remaining sun flower.chickens and mumma chook

On top of this, Bitch-Face decided she didn’t need to live at our house any more.  So we’d go for days at a time not seeing her.  She’d jump over their fence and then… poof… she was gone.  I kept my fingers crossed that this was the end of her; a mean and horrible wish I know, but it was going to make our life so much easier.

Sadly, 2 days later she reappeared.  We were in the process of training all the chicks to eat and sleep in the inside coop area, so we had them locked up for a few days.  This meant that there was no food out for her when she got there.integrating chickens

We quickly made the rash decision to return her to the friends that we had gotten her from.  So I grabbed the rake and J got himself an old towel.  We chased her up and down the chicken coop, until we got her into a corner that she couldn’t fly out of (I really wish we had videoed it).  J got her in the towel and started to put her in the box we’d prepared earlier.  Then… she got out!

By this point, I was beginning to dream about what we could do with her, stews, roasts, chicken nuggets. We couldn’t do any more planting because we knew that she was still around to dig everything up. It was frustrating and annoying.

Yesterday, J came running through the back door, she was back. I knew that this was probably going to be too good to be true, so I refrained from calling my friend back until we definitely had her in our grasp.

So we played the chasing game once more, she cornered herself this time and made it easy for us.  J reached down and grabbed her firmly, not letting her go until we had somewhere secure to put her.  Quickly, I put some holes into the top of a polystyrene box, which has been patiently waiting to be turned into a worm farm, we put her inside and in the blink of an eye the lid was on.  A brick on top of that kept her contained until I had made the phone call.  Then into the car and off we all went.

There was a happy ending for everyone.  Once we let her out in our friends yard, she promptly jumped over their fence to go back to her original home.  That’s right, she was a rouge chicken from the very beginning.  Initially our friend’s neighbours chook, and then had taken up residence in their back yard and then come to us.

The battle at our house continues however, now we need to figure out a plan of action for 8 chicks who are also flying over the coop fence, 3 of which are roosters.

16 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye – Part 1.

  1. It certainly sounds like the chickens are keeping you on your toes. Never a dull moment. Can you put a roof on the chicken coup? Or just some fencing wire to keep them in? It sounds like one particular chicken is very hard work xx

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    1. They have a small covered coop area, and then when we let them out, they have half the backyard, so we are sadly unable to cover that whole space. She was very hard work!

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  2. We have chooks which we got as day olds in Feb. They have a smallish fenced in area (with roof) and then I fence off bits of the garden with removable fencing for them to forage in. Those areas aren’t roofed. When the chickens were young they did fly out reasonably regularly but now that they are bigger they don’t anymore. I suspect their body weight has become too great for their wings, or else they just became too lazy. Perhaps this will happen with yours.

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    1. I was hoping that this would also happen to our baby chickens, but with the mother flying out all the time, I wondered if that was the fate for the chicks also. Our old three are Isa Browns, and I think their weight keeps them on the ground.

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  3. When I was growing up on the farm, we used to clip the hens’ wings so they couldn’t fly too high.
    That mother hen does sound like a real personality though. Fancy leaving for a few days and then wandering back in as if she owned the place. LOL.

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  4. Damn! Fatten the roosters up for cooking for sure. As to training, start them young and keep up with the routine EVERY day. If I can train guinea fowl to go to roost you can definitely get your chooks in to a rhythm. Make sure you also only feed them in their enclosed area, no sneaky treats on the outside. The little ones will grow out of a bad routine if you keep on their case. Patience is required it may take up to a few weeks to get the right habbits you are after. Good luck!

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  5. You mentioned you clicked her wing…Only one wing I hope…some people think you click both..only one which makes them unbalanced and hard to fly. Also the white leghorn chooks are the worst breed to keep in a small backyard. they are flighty and destructive. Better to get a few black orpingtons…they are great for kids as they don’t mind being handled…tend not to fly very much and have a sweet nature. Also the easiest way to catch a chook is to get a long piece of fencing wire (about 1 mtr or so long) and make a small shepherds crook in the end of it. That is the opening is wide about 4inches and then it becomes narrower where the bend is. Narrow enough that the chooks foot cant slip through. You can hook the chooks foot even when they are running and you don’t have to keep chasing them. Hope that makes sense. Also don’t feed chooks acid foods like tomatoes, pineapple etc as it will make their eggs go soft, so will dam water if the dam is made of clay. I have lived all my life in the country..raised chooks, cows, geese, you name it I have reared it lol. Live in the city now miss the country so loved hearing your exploits..it is hard work but good fun if you can see the funny side and keep smiling.

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    1. Thanks for all your tips Deboran. We’ve had our girls since they were 3 days old, so they’re very friendly. Yes, we only clicked one wing.

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