Help! 4 lovely ladies just moved in, coop and all - Page 7 - The Horse Forum

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post #61 of 105 Old 02-09-2013, 07:38 PM
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It's probably more that they are all getting more comfortable with the move. Any stress will mess with their laying patterns. The days are also getting longer which helps in egg production. Egg production started 24 hours ago too. Whatever happened today doesn't really have anything to do with today's egg.
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post #62 of 105 Old 02-09-2013, 11:37 PM
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Mine started laying in a serious way about a month ago having taken the usual winter's break. For some reason, mine decide to have a molt in the late fall/early winter which also affects egg production. It's my understanding that eggs are laid on something other than a 24 hour cycle (I'm not remembering which but it's something like 23 hours or 25 hours) so at some point the hens eventually sync up and you get the maximum eggs possible in one go.
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post #63 of 105 Old 02-13-2013, 12:47 PM Thread Starter
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Ice skating escape artists!!

I got home from getting coffee this morning and had a moment of panic- the chicken pen was completely empty. There were fresh eggs, the fence was intact, but no chickens. I remembered that last time they escaped, they camped out under my neighbor's wood pile about 20 yards away. Sure enough, as soon as I called to them, I heard them talking back (aside- it's funny how super responsive they are to my voice).

In a minute, their 4 little heads peeked around the corner of the wood pile, but there was a problem. There was that 20 yards of deep snow, covered by a skim of ice, to navigate. I don't know how they got to the wood pile, because there were no tracks, but they were hysterical ice skating across it to come back. Here are my skating escape artists:
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post #64 of 105 Old 02-13-2013, 01:28 PM
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ROFL, they are soooooo careful! And then, looking at you like, "Ok mom, where's the Scratch? Surely we deserve some chicken candy for coming home?"

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post #65 of 105 Old 02-13-2013, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
ROFL, they are soooooo careful! And then, looking at you like, "Ok mom, where's the Scratch? Surely we deserve some chicken candy for coming home?"
hehe, they did get some :)
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post #66 of 105 Old 02-13-2013, 01:56 PM
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Originally Posted by egrogan View Post
hehe, they did get some :)
LOL! I knew it! I'm a sucker too. They all come runnin' up and I have to go get them their "chicken candy" and scatter some for them.

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post #67 of 105 Old 02-23-2013, 12:44 PM Thread Starter
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RIP Irma :(

Sad day today- we lost our first lady. I let the chickens out to free range in the morning, as we are supposed to get wet, heavy snow this afternoon and into tomorrow. Figured I'd give them some time to stretch their legs while my husband and I went to the grocery store.

We got home, and it was slightly odd that the chix weren't waiting in the driveway, near the garage, where they usually hang out. I went around to the coop, and counted up three. Missing one of the barred rocks- the head lady in charge. Two were huddled up together on the roosting bar, and the other was hiding in the corner.

Knowing it wasn't right that one would be off on her own, I went out behind the garage where I had last seen them digging around the patch of new grass. Sure enough, as I rounded the corner, I saw a huge brown hawk fly straight up out of a swirling storm of black and white feathers. My girl Irma was down, half pulled apart on the hillside. Such a sad sight. My husband helped me move her back down into the woods, as there were a lot of crows around waiting their turn. I did manage to grab a few of her beautiful feathers before they got too wet in the snow.

I'm just kicking myself for leaving them out, although frankly, I let them free range for a few hours every day. I was definitely being a little naive that I didn't have to worry about predators until it got warmer and the four-legged critters came back out. I truly didn't think a hawk could take a chicken that big, and from following the blood trail through the snow from the top of the hill down towards the bottom where she stopped, it's clear that she was dragged along, so it must have been a struggle for the hawk.

I know this is part of having animals- any animals- but man, it does hurt. RIP little Irma- you were a good leader to your girls and a great addition to our family, even though our time together was short.
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post #68 of 105 Old 02-23-2013, 12:55 PM
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That's sad. Sorry for your loss.

I had 7 free ranging ducks down by my ponds, and I am down to 2 due to predators. It happens.

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post #69 of 105 Old 02-23-2013, 12:56 PM
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That's so sad...the girls had just settled in and were learning their territory and were probably feeling pretty good about the way things were shaping up for them - and then that.

The hawk was probably starving to try for a chicken. I believe they usually prefer smaller things like squirrels, gophers, mice and little birds. I'm afraid you'll have to be on the lookout for him returning to the scene of the crime for awhile.

When the time feels right for you, you'll need to bring in a new hen or two to round out your flock.

I am sorry that happened.
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post #70 of 105 Old 02-23-2013, 05:43 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks to you both, definitely a sad day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chevaux View Post
The hawk was probably starving to try for a chicken. I believe they usually prefer smaller things like squirrels, gophers, mice and little birds. I'm afraid you'll have to be on the lookout for him returning to the scene of the crime for awhile.
I agree with this, I really didn't think a hawk could get one of them. It's been a long, snowy winter here and there just aren't a lot of smaller animals out these days, so I'm sure it was hungry. If there's any consolation, I guess it's that something that was hungry at least got a meal out of it- rather than my neighbor's dog just doing it for sport.

I'm definitely going to be gunshy to let them roam much outside of their pen in the coming days, so we're going to concentrate on just giving them a little more room in the pen area outside the coop so they can move around. This spring, we've got plans for a nice setup, which will have some overhead cover as well.

Chevaux, we do plan to add a few birds this spring when we get our larger set-up ready, but it's just so hard to do anything outside right now with the ground frozen solid and snow everywhere.
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