It is raining, not sweet spring showers, but bathtubs full. We were almost out of chicken feed and with 23 squawking mouths to feed, and with me going to help at an alpaca shearing tomorrow, we braved the torrents to go to town for feed, pine shavings for the coop and lunch for us human types. We got home to find our farmer friend here to pick up the morter mixer we are loaning him, stopped to chat in the barn for a few minutes, then on to the house. The temporary coop had a seriously sagging roof, the tarp was filling with water and disaster was looming. As that pen is the testosterone bin anyway, I felt sure that gallons of water suddenly dousing the only dry spot of their pen would not be welcome. I was already wet, so a little more time in the rain wasn’t going to melt me, I haven’t been accused of being made of sugar for many decades.
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the giant Cornish Cross meat birds, that look like turkeys at this point, go through food and water faster than the other 21 combined and they were unhappy with me for neglecting them this morning. They are so fat that they can’t even get up in the coop and just huddle under it. I did erect temporary walls on two sides to try to keep them dryer and put a feeder and waterer under with them to meet their needs.
|Tweedle Dum and Lucy, quite a size difference|
Last night, I decided that three young roosters in the hen house was not working, so I captured one of them and moved him to the testosterone pen where since he couldn’t pick on the pullets any more, he would get in a fight with another rooster. I captured two of the pullets that were in that pen (the meat birds to be) and transferred them to the hen house. That left two roosters in with the girls. After thinking about it last night and wondering if I will have enough hens to produce the eggs I desire, I moved two more pullets in the rain today and captured another rooster from the hen house to cull. That still leaves two young roos in the hen house and one of them will have to go, but I am waiting until closer to harvest day to see which one has the better disposition.
|The foreground 4 are now happily in the warm dry henhouse|
In the middle of the relocation, I hit on a solution to tent the tarp a bit, to run the water off instead of it pooling. First I had to get rid of the pool that was already there. Using my upper back and the back of my head, I stood up and the back staples came out of the tarp, 10 roosters and 2 pullets, along with my feet got doused. They ran out into the rain, figuring out there it was coming in drops, not buckets and looked at me like I was the meanest creature of all time. The tarp is now tented in the middle with an expansion pole inside a bucket, the back side of it is restapled and they can again get in out of the rain. As a consolation, I gave them a second perch.
My wet clothes are drying, I am warming up, chicks are tended.