Moving Day.
The chicks get sent to the big house.

I remember years ago Martha Stewart had an episode where she was cooking something with eggs.  It was her original show where she was standoffish and quite scary (the way I like her) not the newer Martha show where she was forced to act kind of human.

As she was running down the list of ingredients she got to the eggs and said, “Just go out to your coop and gather some fresh eggs from your chickens.”.  I laughed and laughed.

Fresh eggs from your chickens.  From your coop.  Right Martha.  You idiot.

And then about 2 decades later, this happened to me.

 

 

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I’m an idiot too.

 

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This is my second flock of chicks, the Black Copper Marans,  which I now have to somehow integrate with my original,  older flock.

To integrate my flock a little bit faster and get them out of my shed, I decided to group everyone together but have them separated so my older hens can’t attack my smaller chicks.  Hens are vicious and could easily tear these smaller chicks apart.  Literally.  They will peck, scratch and gouge them until they’re dead.

 

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But I can’t have them living in the shed anymore and the faster I get everyone used to each other the better. So last week I moved the chicks into the big girl coop.  They no longer needed to be under the heat light because they have their adult feathers now to insulate them, plus it’s warm(ish) out.

 

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Cuddles, Walnut and Cheez Whiz had no idea what was coming.  By the way, I totally photoshopped out Cuddles poopy bum so you didn’t have to look at it.  My chickens have poopy bums like everyone elses.

 

 

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The first step in integration was to lock the bigger hens into the coop.  That way I could release the smaller chicks into the outdoor run without anyone being able to attack anyone else.

 

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The little ones took a look at the big hens and promptly ignored them and went about trying to eat straw.

 

 

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The older flock were interested in these weird black things but didn’t seem upset by them.  They may not even recognize them as chickens since they’re a completely different size and a completely different colour.  They’ve only seen each other you see, and they’re large and brownish/red.

 

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Earlier I had put up a piece of hardware cloth to cut the size of the indoor run in half.  That way the big hens would still have access to and from their roost in the “upstairs” as well as the nesting box that’s up there.  And the chicks would have their own safe room, in the back half of the lower run.

 

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There’s access and doors to the chicks portion so they get lots of light.  I have a screen that fits in the space perfectly so they have natural light and an see outside all day.  Plus I lock the big hens up once a day so I can let the little chicks out for a run.

 

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While the big hens were still locked up I corralled the smaller Black Copper Marans into their new quarters.  The big hens looked on.

 

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Once the little ones were secure in their portion of the coop, I let the big hens out again.  They ran/flew out in a flurry of feathers and ground to a halt in front of the chicks new coop.

 

 

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The chicks managed to remain terrified at the back of their coop for a full 30 seconds.

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Once the half minute of terror was over, they ran to the front of the cage to introduce themselves.

 

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Nobody screamed, nobody squawked.  Everyone was well mannered and pleasant.

 

 

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I’ll keep everyone like this for the next couple of weeks until the smaller chicks are big enough to defend themselves if they have to. Once I can tell everyone is getting along (as well as can be expected) I’ll take down the hardware cloth that separates them. It went fine with the Berlin wall, so I imagine this should go fairly smoothly. Although it probably won’t.

Then it’ll be onto the next integration. Goats.

Just kidding.

Speaking of which, did you ever see the episode where Martha went out and got Goat’s milk from her goat for making cheese? Just ran out and milked her goat. LOL. Milked her goat for fresh goat’s milk.

Idiot.

Oh crap.

77 Comments

  1. Ev Wilcox says:

    Did I miss a post? Are they all girls? Boys? Other? Inquiring minds want to know! Anyway, hope the actual “meet and greet” goes well. Thanks for the photo essay. Your pics are very crisp and color accurate! But a goat? Pushing the envelope!

  2. Ruth says:

    7th photo… counting from the bottom up… I’m sure that hen is peeing. Am I right? If not, what is it that translates as liquid in the photo?

    One pygmy goat coming right up… the plot thickens. ;-D

  3. Tigersmom says:

    I’m in a house with a lot of things that poop (a man, a boy, 2 dogs, 2 frogs) so I very much appreciate your photo shopping the poop off chicken bums as my exposure to poop already exceeds any safe limit.

  4. Nicole2 says:

    You know Karen, I went from reading maybe 20 blogs to reading just one. Yours. And this post proves I made a good choice. You are a funny, entertaining writer. Don’t ever change. Unlike Martha. xx

  5. Fran P. says:

    Black is the new orange. Great photos.

  6. Gina says:

    So one does wonder….what could the next project possibly be?

  7. Kim says:

    Love it! Curious how long you had to wait to get halfass decent pics of chicks. They move SO FAST. Pics are always blurry for me ;)

  8. Dagmar says:

    I never realized that hens had a double layer of feathers-and let me clarify. In your poopy-free photos, all your girls seem to be wearing petty coats then their feathers, AND then another petticoat and another set of feathers. I don’t quite know how else to explain it, but that’s really what it looks like. I don’t believe I ever noticed that on any other chicken before.

    Bertelsen Screen- same/same ….Lavada I’m still laughing

  9. Su says:

    Cute chicks! Once they all make nice they will look uber cool together!
    Love Martha – intimidates the hell out of me with her superior attitude… but I read her magazine and usually find one item/recipe/craft I think I can do and not be an utter failure at…. bet she doesn’t gather eggs now tho – has a lackey for that….

  10. Dede says:

    I wonder what other lunitic washed her cats every month when Martha was in the Big House.

  11. Remember when Martha almost killed Cookie Monster? Best episode ever.

  12. Maggie V says:

    When the time comes I know where you can buy a great goat ba ba ba. Do goats go ba ba or just sheep? Wonder what the neighbours would think? Now that would be interesting blog material.

    • CBuffy says:

      Sadly, goats do NOT go baaa baaa baaa in a soft and sweet manner. They go “AAAAAYYYYEEEEE” which can be heard for miles. (My “neighbor’s” name is Jane and I SWEAR her goats are yelling JAAAAAANNNE all freakin’ day / night long…) You can NOT sneak goats into a neighborhood. Or the country. See above. And they have nasty poop. Little turd balls like rabbits, but tons and tons of it at a time, and it’s sticky. Poop is just poop and will eventually come off your boots. Not goat poop. Forget gorilla glue… goat glue would have been more effective… (grin) (But dang those little pygmy ones are adorable! NO, Cbuffy, NO!! Step away from the goats!)

  13. Tracy says:

    “Kidding”…ha ha ha!

  14. Louise says:

    What great photos, and what a great deal of work they must have been! It seems you squeezed yourself into different corners of the coop, plus developed a twin to help you take photos from both sides of the “meeting of the tribes.” Excellent photo story – you are so incredibly talented!

  15. dana studer says:

    There are so many old episodes where MS does that. Just gather some herbs from your herb garden, go get some fresh eggs from your coop, go to a farm and point to the turkey you want to devour for Thanksgiving. Well, I do have an herb garden. I am cool like that. :)
    The strangest thing I ever saw on her show was where she was talking about her room she built that was draftless. It had no air movement so that it would not blow around her silver and gold leaf papers when covering things in it. Yep. Seriously.
    Ive been waiting for this post. Looks like it may go okay.
    Thanks for photoshopping out the poopy bum/vagina/vent. Makes me recall your post about how its an all in one hole-the business end of the chicken. How the chicken was looking back at you taking pics of it was one of the funniest posts ever. LOL!

  16. Grammy says:

    My middle sister has a goat. I’m tired of hearing what the little terror has destroyed this week. A friend of mine years ago got a couple of adorable little goats and the constant weeping and wailing about how destructive they were was tedious and we are no longer friends. Well, okay, it wasn’t the goats that ended our friendship, but the tales of their antics made me miss her less when it was over.

    I like you, Karen. If you get a goat, just pretend that it is perfect. Lie to us. Tell us how perfectly behaved your goat is. Instead of crying openly and showing us what’s been done to your beautiful front and back yards — including fencing and all hardscape, find pix of other lovely yards online and say they’re yours. We’ll pretend to believe you. I don’t know how you’ll explain it when the magazines want to do a photo shoot and all you’ve got is shredded stubble for vegetation, but you’re a clever girl. You’ll think of something.

    • TC says:

      I’m visiting my Grammy this week. She is funny, but not nearly as funny as you, Anti-Goat Grammy! But I agree with you. Don’t do it Karen. Please. I’ve never had goats, but I come from an island with goats everywhere. They will chew/eat/destroy EVERYTHING! Don’t do it!

      • Grammy says:

        I’m glad you’ve got a funny grammy to visit, TC! My grandson doesn’t think I’m funny, but that’s because his grandfather keeps him in stitches with fart jokes. It’s okay — he thinks I’m magic.

    • barbee says:

      Go Grammy!

  17. Jane says:

    I’m still laughing at the fact that you photoshopped their poopy bums. You are too funny! Another great post, as usual!

  18. Nicole says:

    Karen, I know a goat breeder very close to where you leave and could hook you up. Something tells me that while by-law enforcement hasn’t cracked down on your chickens your goat wouldn’t be so lucky. And it would surely mean a violent death for your beautiful front yard vegetable garden.

  19. Kat says:

    OK now where were you when you took the photos of the new chicks inside their new little coop? Where you all bunched up inside there with them? Did you drill a secret peep hole for your camera? Great article by the way. Love you chickens.

    • Karen says:

      I was on the other side of the coop. (where the stairs and door to the roost is). I just shot through the hardware cloth. ~ karen!

  20. Deb says:

    I would love to have a pigmy goat. (I’d like to have a horse, too, but I’m not an idiot, nor in a house that would allow such, although when I was a kid I tried to convince my dad that I could easily keep a horse in my bedroom, not quite understanding horses, which was a standard bedroom in a standard tract home built in suburbia in the 50s). Have you fulfilled a prophecy here? Can’t wait to “meet” your future goat. Goat’s cheese….yum, crumbled on hot pinto beans, on huevos rancheros, on a salad, on homemade veggie soup.

  21. Amber says:

    According to the German side of my family (not the Jewish side, yes I have both) the big problem with the Berlin Wall was that all these Eastern prostitutes with lower, um, standards swept through and decimated the economy of the West. What WILL your black Marans do to the local economy?? Do you think it’ll be good for democracy?

    P.S. Nicely thought out Wall o’ Tears

  22. Cyn says:

    I subscribed today just because of your chicks, so I was thrilled at the update. I have no chicks but I do have a new rescue dog with a personality disorder…

  23. Amber says:

    Goats?
    Really, GOATS???
    Oh gods…

  24. Lavada says:

    Germany had the Berlin Wall. . .Karen has the Bertelsen Screen — Same/Same

  25. Susan says:

    Ok, I admit it. I said, “Oh no, not another chicken post.” I apologize. I laughed and laughed at the pictures and your commentary. I am trying to imagine the conversations among and between the big and little girls.
    p.s. I’m going back and read the ones I didn’t read.

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