Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Spontaneous Adoption

So lately our two roosters, Gus Gus and our Black Australorp(whom I will from here on refer to as Mr. Lorp) have been fighting... and Mr. Lorp has been winning. Gus doesn't stand a chance next to that guy. It had only been a little blood on his back, so we were letting them fend for themselves for the time being. However, yesterday afternoon when Ben entered their coup, Gus looked like he'd just been in the dirtiest of street fights. His gorgeous white head dress soaked in blood... it was time to intervene.

So, we took Gus Gus and his friend Big Tuna out of the main coup and set them up in a cage in the second horse stall that was being used to store hay. We knew Gus Gus couldn't return to that coup, but we had no idea what to do with him.

Gus Gus is perhaps our favorite chicken, and certainly not one we're ready to part with. At the same time, he and Tuna couldn't stay trapped in that tiny cage forever. Without a better alternative, Gus and Tuna spent last night in that cage with hay on two sides for them to nestle into, a pan of food, and a waterer full of warm water that we had to change every few hours to keep it from freezing... not at all ideal.

This morning during breakfast Ben suggested I jump on to see if anyone had chickens they wanted to get rid of. I had toyed with the idea of expanding the laying flock anyway, so now seemed a good a time as any. Gus and Tuna needed friends, and they needed them soon... three hours later Ben and I were on our way back from Washington, Vermont with 20 chickens in produce boxes and a huge dog crate in the back of the car... when I make up my mind about something, it happens quickly.

So now we have two coups full of chickens. Our old coup houses our 7 Black Australorps.

And the second horse stall has been fully set up to house not only Gus Gus and Big Tuna, but their new friends, a mixture of Rhode Island Reds and Barred Rocks.
While I ran around buying another waterer, water heater, more shavings, and food, Ben hung up our old set of nesting boxes in the second stall and made sure the chickens were safe and comfortable in their new coup.

Since these new chickens are 9-10 months old, they are already at laying age, which means that come tomorrow morning, we'll be getting about 15 eggs a day! Three Bean Cafe has agreed to buy our eggs in addition to the bread they already buy from us for their paninis! Needless to say, we're really excited about this wonderful addition to our farm family!


Hannah Ruth said...

I love knowing I can get local food at local places!
Congrats on the addition.

countryelvis4 said...

Great solution to the problem, and congrats on the new hens!

Andrea said...

that close-up of gus-gus is heartbreaking! The plus side is that you are going to have some freaky looking brown/white egg laying baby chicks if you let gusgus do his job. I bet you'll have at least one or two broody hens this spring :)

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