I let the chickens run around the yard on weekends or after work. The young ones act oddly as the sun starts going down, often hanging out by my office window and flying at it at top speed. I usually chase them into their coop.
Yesterday I had left the downstairs door open, and I noticed it was getting dark without the usual squawking. Hey, what’s that clucking I hear from the living room?
Business 2.0 was settling in for the night on a chair:
Startup was trying to use the Xbox 360 Kinect sensor as a roosting bar:
While absurdly cute, I’d rather not clean up all the poop in the morning, so I sent them back out to their coop.
Sadly the cape Betsy whipped up in the last post didn’t quite work out, Business Chicken 2.0 is an escape artist. We ordered more substantial ones from Crazy K Farms.
They’re actually “chicken saddles” intended to protect your hen’s backsides from scratching when the rooster is giving her sexy times. The young ones are much smaller so they actually come the entire way down her back and protect her from pecking perfectly. I got some of their Birdy Booties just in case of bumblefoot too, they’re hilarious looking.
It’s been a couple days and it hasn’t fallen off yet! Not pictured: her flapping like mad for the first 30 minutes trying to get it off.
Unfortunately I didn’t think about setting up the second coop in advance, so they had to hang out in the dog carrier for a while.
Hours and hours of setup time later, they’re in the second coop to acclimate to their new surroundings and give the other chickens a chance to get used to them.
Sadly it appears that Business Chicken 2.0 is being pecked around her tail feathers by the yet to be unnamed one. Conveniently Betsy is a master of sewing in addition to a friend to all chicken, so she whipped up a little cape to protect her backside until it heals.
While Business Chicken is on…..vacation, possibly permanently, life goes on. One of the Backup chickens has scaly looking legs, which is probably mites. We decided to clean both of them and dip their legs in oil to suffocate the mites.
For maximum hilarity, the cleaning bucket is popcorn and the oil itself is corn oil. They were curious about the setup.
I captured one and demonstrated proper chicken rotation, based on Rotate Your Owl.
We dunked their little legs in soap water, scrubbed with a toothbrush, and then dunked in corn oil. Hopefully this works.
Oh no, Business Chicken has flown the coop! Jason let them out a few days ago to run around the yard like they love to do and Business disappeared within a half hour.
The neighborhood is now plastered with posters on every light pole, and the neighbors on the lookout.
This afternoon I checked on the chickens as usual and didn’t see Executive Presence (nee Bossy) anywhere. I figured she was laying an egg, so I opened the nest box door; the worried look they give you is fairly hilarious.
Not in there either, though. Uh oh. She’s hunched down in the main area of the coop and not moving. I pull the roof off and she’s definitely not well, she doesn’t put up a fight at all. Betsy and I sprung into action and rushed her to the chicken vet, but she expired right after we got her inside. Unlike Shy Chicken, who had egg binding, the vet suspects reproductive issues that commonly strike chickens as they age; she was coming up on her 6th birthday.
In happier days, making a dust bath.
She had a magnificently large personality in addition to the sweet black feathers with purple highlights and red underfeathers.