Saturday, April 6, 2013

Access: Denied

In order to provide the new Creepy Meats with some room of their own without having to fear the pecking of the other birds, I finally scooted all of the younger hens out of the small kidding pen where they had been roosting and set up the creepy chicks in there.  Creepy Chicks got more fresh bedding, water & food.  Since the weather has been warming up and the birds have feathered out, I was finally able to turn off the heat lamps.

There was just chicken wire on the bottom section, but I had to physically board it up because the younger laying chickens still haven't figured out to roost with the rest of the gang on the other side of the barn and try to push their way through the wire in order to get in the pen.  They've been roosting there for months now and I've tried everything to get them to vacate the premises. I've tried being nice.  I posted eviction notices.  I turned off their light.  I kept the light on the other side on longer figuring they would "get it" and walk over to the main coop.  But almost every stinking one of them still want to roost in the small kidding pen.

I could just close the big barn door to this area, but then they end up under the barn and would become quick late night snacks for the local opossum.  So I've had the pleasure of carrying each and every one of them from one side of the barn to the other.  Every night.  In the dark.  Because if it's even the slightest bit light out, they run away from me.  So I have to ambush them after dusk.  And I get flapped in the face, poop from flailing chicken feet smeared on my sweater and an occasional nasty peck on the top of my hand.

I don't know what it is with this batch of chickens.  I've never had problems with other broods figuring out where they have to go at night.  But this group had got to be the bird-brainiest of the bird brains.


  1. When will I ever stop laughing every time I see "Creepy Meats"? LOL! You are definitely going above and beyond with them, they are bird brained indeed!

  2. They didn't earn their name of "bird brain" for nuthin'! (Even though I'm firmly convinced they are the one homestead critter you can't teach a thing to I'd never want to be without them . . . and their wonderful eggs. And flavorful meat. And great litter compost for the garden.)

  3. We had a hen that insisted on sleeping in the branches of a pine tree that grows in the coop. Surprisingly, she was a bosomy Buff Orpington and I don't know how (with a clipped wing!) she could even get her fat bottom up that tree. I developed a pretty good broom technique for sweeping her off the branch -- she'd flap down and then stalk right into the henhouse on her own. Some nights she was too high up for me to reach with the broom so I left her. I'm no night-time tree climber, but Mr. Raccoon is. Her luck finally ran out last week -- feathers, feathers everywhere. I admired her spunk, (but am relieved she's gone).

  4. It seems once they get used to sleeping somewhere it's almost impossible to re-train them. All nine of my Buff hens AND the rooster are still crowding into the little dog house to sleep at night...just steps from the lovely big henhouse. (sigh)

  5. I have to agree, they don't seem very smart! I had that problem with my one hatchling last year, but I think it was cuz he was scared of the other chickens. It's tough being on the bottom of the pecking order.