Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

The place to discuss chicken coops and runs.

Moderators: Marigold, victorias poultry

Margaid
Full Member
Posts: 1488
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by Margaid »

Collected my Welsummer cockerel and replacement hen when I went to the Fed today (Iwas going to say hello Tim but you were very busy). They were in a large cardboard box that was rather tatty and not taped up very well. OH had gone off in the Focus CMax which would have been the best vehicle to use,so the option was to put the box in the boot or on the back seat. I was assured that they would be OK in the boot as long as I opened the boot for a few minutes before leaving to enure they had a change of air. Then I remembered that we have this thing called a "ski hatch" designed to let skiis extend into the interior of the car, so I opened it up to give the birds more air.

I was supposed to collect a bucket of the grain mix feed that my friend was to leave by their gate, as when I went to "do a mix" yesterday, the final part of their drive was blocked off with metal hurdles and there were several sheep messing about in front of them. It would have been a two man job to shift the hurdles, keep the sheep the right side of them, get the car through and put the hurdles back in place reversing the process on the way back out. So this afternoon, having negotiated the flood in the lane I came across a broken down car with a note on the dashboard saying it would be recovered in the morning. Obviously they had gone through the flood too fast. Unfortunately the car was blocking more than half the road so my offside wheels would have to go through the mud. I made it through only to find there was no bucket at the gate and the sheep and hurdles were still in place, and there was no reply to my telephone calls. Not wanting to risk the mud and flood AGAIN I came home the long way round.

Finally got home about 3.30, still with no feed, and opened the boot - both birds were fine, sat quietly in the box. I came in to get changed before going to put fresh bedding in the henhouse - it was still light so I thought I'd take the box into the electric enclosure and put it next to the hen house in preparation for transferring the birds when it was a bit darker. Out of the door to be met by the sight of the Welsummer hen wandering about in the area we laughingly call the garden. Fortunately the cockerel was still in the box, so I closed the boot to keep him safe.

OK, I have no corn to tempt her with so I fetched a plastic bucket of wild bird food, shaking it and calling daft things like "Chook, chook chooky" all to no avail. I went and opened up the electric enclosure but this was some 50 yards from where she was. Back and forth on the inside of the post and rail fence we went, with me rattling the bucket and throwing the odd handful of bird seed on the ground near her which she totally ignored. Then I decided to put the box with the cockerel in the enclosure in the vain hope that at some point they might call to each other.

Then she hopped through the sheep netting at the bottom of the fence and took off, literally, across the field. At that point I realised I had no hope of catching her without using the net, which was really the last thing I wanted to do. Having collected the net I climbed over the fence to set about driving her towards the enclosure. She wasn't having any, trotting around a waterlogged 3 acre field with your new owner running about behind you was MUCH more fun!! I was desperate to head her off from the trees along the banks of the brook, but in doing so I tripped over a tussock and went flat on my face on the sodden grass. It had the desired effect though of turning her back towards the enclosure, except she then trotted off at a rate of knots towards the other hedge.

I headed her off again although I missed with the net causing outraged squawks. By now I was thinking that I could probably say goodbye to my new aquisition; she had no idea where the henhouse was or how to get into the enclosure; there was no-one really that I could telephone for assistance and heaven knows where she would get to while I went to the 'phone. Spurred on by the thought of her being out all night and still (hopefull) having the problem of trying to catch her in the morning, I managed to drop the net over her. Oh dear! we didn't like that much did we?

Now, bear in mind that up until now the only hens I have handled were 2 very young Silkie crosses handed to me from inside one of the hen houses, and a very subdued young Houdan. Here I am faced with a 30 week old Welsummer hen who is NOT happy at being in the net, but I took heart from the confident way people were holding their birds while queueing up to have their photos taken this afternoon. So I managed to slip my right hand under her and grab her round the legs while she was still in the net. I didn't get her head in quite the right place - it was almost under my elbow rather than on top of my forearm but she seemed fairly calm. The net was abandoned in the field and off we went to the box in the enclosure. Stroking her to keep her calm helped me as well!! I popped her back in the box and sorted the lid out a bit better, and tossed a handful of birdseed in for good measure.

I still had to get the bedding in the coop but at least if they got out again they were in a much smaller area. Once I'd done the bedding and tossed a couple of handfuls of seed down as well I decided I'd put them both in even though it was still quite light. That went without a hitch and they are now tucked up with a small pot of water and a mix of birdseed and mealworms - I thought they deserved a treat after all the trauma. I have been advised not to let them out until about 10 am, and that they may be too nervous to come out of the hen house. Not sure about that one as she got out of the box and down from the car boot!!!

It's a good job we're fairly isolated as I must have looked ridiculous charging around the field brandishing an outsize butterfly net! I've still got to collect the feed, otherwise they'll have to have porridge in the morning! As far as I can tell though the cockerel is a handsome chap although he looks as though he has a couple of small dark scabs on his comb. Both of them are very bright eyed and with good yellow legs and come from a good dark egg laying strain. The pullet was laying although she stopped a week or so ago - but that's Welsummers apparently.

I await the morning with a mix of excitement and trepidation - just hope I haven't given the poor hen a heart attack or a lifelong hatred of me!! Oh, and I retrieved the net from the field.
User avatar
chrismahon
Forum Guru / Wise Bird
Posts: 4991
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 10:29 am

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by chrismahon »

My God Margaid! A tale of Biblical proportions. Sounds like you got the situation under control eventually. She'll love you if you approach with a handful of mixed grain. She will be receptive to routine now, that's what she needs. So establish one and she'll quickly adapt to it. Don't subject her to any more change.
Bickerton
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 210
Joined: Fri Sep 28, 2012 5:26 pm

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by Bickerton »

A perfect story! Humour (for us) drama and danger!

Glad to see you managed to catch her tho.
User avatar
Marigold
Moderator
Posts: 6795
Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:27 pm

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by Marigold »

Well,what a pity nobody was about with a video camera, Margaid, would have gone viral on Youtube!
Well done you, to have persevered and caught her under such difficult circumstances. I hope you have no bruises this morning. Enjoy your chickens, the worst is surely over!
User avatar
BabyBantam
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 497
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 1:26 pm

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by BabyBantam »

Well that made my morning :) What a story, well done you for persevering
User avatar
foxy
Part of the Flock
Posts: 2367
Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2010 11:33 am

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by foxy »

Oh that has made my morning! :-)08 :D :D

Sometimes even very experienced handlers can have a few problems :D ...at the Fed a friend (a breeder of some 40 years...) when trying to pop a trio of sumultras into a show cage, the cockerel slipped her hand and flew out...onto...you guessed it a table of egg exhibits...he gingerly pranced between the trays of perfect eggs and did not break one, how I just don't know.. :shock:
User avatar
darkbrowneggs
Regular Forum Contributor / Laying Well
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Jun 24, 2010 11:14 pm

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by darkbrowneggs »

Excellent - :-)08 Hope you all enjoyed the Fed :-)17
If you want to follow my travel journal see
www.theworldismylobster.org.uk
Margaid
Full Member
Posts: 1488
Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:27 pm

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by Margaid »

The only bruises I have are from falling down the stairs in the new building. It's been one of those mornings - power trippped out and it took an hour to get everything sorted so Iwas late going to fetch some feed; the lane is still blocked so had to go the long way round - 5 miles instead of 1.5; the feed bin was empty so I had to do a mix; Adrian went out and shut the gate behind him so had to faff about with that then 5 miles back home again to let the chooks out.

Glad you enjoyed it - it makes me laugh just thinking about it!! See the "Bad bits and Good Bits" !!
karminski
Part of the Flock
Posts: 1020
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 8:13 pm

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by karminski »

and this is why they class chicken keeping as great fun that gives you plenty of exercise :lol: :lol: :lol:
User avatar
chrismahon
Forum Guru / Wise Bird
Posts: 4991
Joined: Tue May 17, 2011 10:29 am

Re: Oh boy! Did I get that all wrong!!

Post by chrismahon »

Hit the nail on the head there Karminski. Abbreviated to 'great exercise'.
Post Reply

Return to “Chicken Houses, Runs & Equipment”