Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Moving Day...

It's finally moving day...

Not for us...for our small flock of remaining chickens!

Last winter, I noticed that the chicken pen was looking horrific. Those girls scratch and peck...and scratch and peck...looking for every last morsel of food they can find.  They leave behind ground that looks like this...

There is no green anywhere to be found.  I was afraid last year, that the grass was totally destroyed, but to my relief, when spring came, the grass (and weeds) turned green again.  The weed/grass ratio was a little high, but at least it was green!

This winter, I've decided to be proactive. We have the goat pen, which is fenced in with the kind of wire that keeps chickens in, and is full of rich, green grass, so why not switch pens for a little while?

So...I opened the gate this morning, hoping that the chickens would get the idea...

They did...kind of.  They headed out of the pen, and straight for the compost bins.  I was hoping I could either catch them, or corral them into that pen on the far side of the picture, with the big tree and the calf hutch.


No chance!

It soon became a zoo.  Those barred rock chickens aren't used to being handled, and were impossible  to catch when outside.  So...Daniel (our neighbor) and I chased them back into their old pen, into their shed and shut the door.  Then we proceeded to catch them and carry them in pairs over to their new jail pen...

If only they could've understood what we were trying to they have lots of lush, green grass, shelter, feed, water, and several roosting and hiding places.

But you know what?  I probably won't get any eggs today as punishment! As of 1:00 pm...egg count "0"!

**We're in the midst of a warm trend right now, but when it gets colder again, or windy, I'll have to move them back to their regular shed!  This is just to give them a chance to have some lush grass, and give the other ground a break from all the scratching.


  1. I love your moving day. I learned a trick long ago about using a huge oversize fish net to catch the chickens and gently move them to where I wanted them worked every time and they did not seem to mind it at all. B

  2. Loved your moving day post and photos made me smile as I remember those days . We would put our chickens in a large indoor outdoor coop to let the grass and weeds grow again over the winter months , they were grain and scrap fed then come spring we released them in the big chicken pen were they could eat all the green grass and bugs they wanted ! Hope they give you eggs soon . Have a good day !

  3. Wait... you're doing this in WINtER???? They don't have any other shelter than the calf hutch? How is this going to work?

    1. Mary Ann...We're in the middle of a rather mild snap right now. There aren't many chickens, and they fit nicely in the hutch, and if when it gets really cold again, I'll put them back in their shed! :) This is just temporary.

  4. I think that rotating the feeding pasture for your chickens is very wise. They in turn will fertilize the pasture with their rich compost to give you more grass next year. You are so kind to your chickens.

  5. That looks like chicken heaven right now! My egg count is way down right now with our colder weather.

  6. ok how does your winter involve green grass and mine 2 feet of snow?
    what a treat for your ladies!

  7. Hee*hee***

    I was thinking the same thing as "farmer"!

    Our property is under about 2 feet of snow, with more on the way.

    It will be quite a while, before "our girls" see any green grass, at all.

    Go out and tell your girls just how lucky they are, and they better start laying as a sign of thanks :)

  8. I've heard (in my limited farming reading) about switching pastures and it always sounded so idyllic. The vision of you both chasing chickens around in circles, though, is a bit more realistic... and definitely the way I would farm. :-P I am sure they'll be happy eventually!

  9. What lucky chickens to have a whole new "pasture" to scratch around in! We use the same technique as Buttons, large fish catching net, to catch the chickens when needed.

  10. Isn't that when you wish you could just talk chicken? When my chicks were small I put them in that little wire cage so they could be on grass during the day, My yard still hasn't recovered. They ate every single bit of grass. Since we cleaned my back flowerbed my girls have not been on the grass.
    I have been taking a bucket and picking chick weed that is coming up but so is the nettle with it too. I have also been harvesting dandelions too they seem to really like that.
    I am getting one egg every other day. My hens look beautiful though. I will be glad when they go back to work.
    I think really I love days when I juggle chickens the best. I think it looks like a lot of fun.

  11. How often we miss out on the opportunity to enjoy a good thing because we are creatures of habit and afraid to venture into new places. Best wishes getting eggs tomorrow and, maybe, finding a way to teach old chicks new tricks.

  12. So glad you came over today so I could find your blog. I love it. Love to read about farms and farm lives as mine is so completely different. How wonderful to have all those animals. sandie

  13. chickens are never very cooperative about moving to a new home. But they will get settled in. Your grass looks so amazingly green...


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