Sunday, September 29, 2013

Freedom...or Survival of the Luckiest

One of our hens went broody a few months ago.  I let her sit on a clutch of eggs, but she only ended up hatching out one live chick.  She and her lone chick were housed in one of the smaller pens in the barn for several weeks, but they had to vacate pending other "renters" (I'll explain next post).

Instead of just kicking the hen & her still-smallish chick out to the proverbial curb, I set them up in our chicken tractor.  Which was actually a vast improvement as they would now have fresh grass, sunshine and bugs to eat instead of being cooped up in the, well, coop.

Of course, it turns out that her little chick is a rooster.  And we already have five roosters here. Which I still have to buy chicken scratch for and I don't really want any more useless beaks to feed.  So yesterday I decided that it was time to let the hen and her little cockerel out of the chicken tractor into the wide open spaces of Krazo Acres.

From prisoners.....
to making a break for it...... FREEDOM!  Notice that we put a shock collar on Charlie.
We don't want him thinking it was Free Chicken Nugget Day on the farm.
I'm wasn't sure if she'd remember to go back into the coop at night, or if she'd stay with her chick outside if he couldn't manage / didn't want to follow her in there.  Call me heartless, but I didn't go looking for him much when dusk came around.  I figured if he made it, he made it.  If not, oh well.

But lo & behold, when I went outside this morning, he was in the front yard.....and not just a pile of bones and feathers.  He had gone back to the chicken tractor and hung out there.  He wasn't able to get inside of the tractor, so was still vulnerable to nocturnal chicken-munching critters, but he made it though the night.  I opened the big chicken coop and momma hen made her way back to him.  He's going to eventually have to learn to get up in the coop or he probably won't make it to his first cock-a-doodle-do.

I'm glad the mother hen found her way back to the coop and I hope that she starts laying eggs again because I'm only getting two or three eggs a day now from the whole lot of them.

And the general lack of eggs is one of the reasons I kicked them out of the pen anyhow.  I had to make room for the new recruits.


  1. More than one possibly two roosters are a waste. I have one good one and the others got removed from the gene pool long ago. I gave a lot of them away as they are to tough to eat unless killed young and I seem to wait too long.

  2. Maybe the hens are on strike. If I knew rooster #6 was potentially waiting for me and the girls, I'd probably fight back too and since the only way to get to you is egg production, well . . .

  3. We had the same thing happen with a few babes here - they find their way back to the traactor at night (and I didn't go looking too hard for them when they were left out that first night either). I like that Mr. Dog has a shock collar on. I'm "shocked" you think he would have thought it was a free for all in the chicken nugget aisle. ;)

  4. Of course it would be a rooster! and it will survive. When something broke into our chicken pen last and killed and hauled off half our flock, they selected the newest and our favorite Sex-Links! Typical!!!

  5. Sunnybrook, I actually tried to catch a rooster that wandered onto the porch yesterday to make some soup....but missed him by a tail feather. The others have to go, I just keep putting on it.

    Kathy, you know, there may be something to that, the roosters do seem to run them ragged once in while.

    Amy, Charlie didn't need to be shocked, but he did get yelled at a time or two so he didn't "play" with the nugget.

    gld, WHY do the stupid roosters always live longer than the hens? Sorry to hear about your flock, did you at least ID the suspect?