Friday, October 28, 2011

Chickens New Home

I just realize that I haven't posted about my Chickens new home yet, so here it is:
They are now living at the Windsor, Essex Coop Cooperative.  They run around with 31 other birds and live in an old trailer for a coop... not too shabby!  It's about a 15 minute drive, at most, and we go at least twice a week.  I often stop by during the day when on my way into the city to give them a few treats and some love and cuddles.  I had been very nervous about my ladies getting along with the existing birds but it took no more than a few days and they were making friends.  My ladies stayed in the coop for the first few days only venturing out at odd times.  I had witnessed one of my ladies running out and getting picked on quite a bit from the other birds.  Although, this didn't last long.  Within a few days they were seen running around with the other birds and having no issues whatsoever.  There had been some Chanteclares introduced a few weeks prior to ours and they never left the coop until my ladies were there.  I think once they saw my ladies running around outside they decided they should head out as well.  Everyone seems very happy together.

The Cooperative plans on keeping the coop and chickens all winter long and so we will now be hiking out in the dead of winter for the birds.  I don't mind much, but hopefully there are no major issues with the cold and ice.  I am not sure what the plan is for the waterer... hopefully it doesn't freeze solid inside the coop.  They winterized the coop by covering it with plastic tarps to keep drafts and such out, but there are areas for venting.  I think we will all just take it one day at a time and concur the challenges as they arise.  That said, I was very glad to see where my birds had decided to roost.  They are on the highest shelf.  It is a wide shelf so they can tuck their entire feet and legs under their bodies without any hanging over an edge.  They also are enclosed a bit since there is an immediate top and sides around them so they can huddle together, as they do anyhow, and keep warm.  I remember when we brought our ladies there, some of the existing birds had definitely been roosting on that shelf; they definitely got the boot once my ladies got there.  Now, I have read that the highest rooster are the "boss" but I am not sure if that is fact but I know one of my girls, I like to call her Sophia, is definitely a bossy bird.  I have seen her out in the run putting others in their place when I throw some scraps... its nice to know I raised a natural leader.  

Day one.  We had them in their own small area for the first few hours.
Checking out their new digs.

Crazy Chanteclares.
Pretty Girls!
Too many production birds in one nesting basket.  LOL
3 peas in a pod... or, 3 chickens in a basket.
I do miss seeing them in the yard and having the kids watch them and throw them some snacks but overall, I am happy about where our ladies have ended up (but will still bring them with us if we move).  We have gotten to know some great people with values similar to ours and are part of the local CSA as well as the Coop Cooperative.  I think the sense of community we will get from this group will be a major benefit.  It will help us learn as well as teach the kids about community, food and agriculture.  Regardless of where we live, be it farm or subdivision, we will remain a part of the CSA and Coop Cooperative.   Bylaw and neighbourhood drama can't change the fact that this has been an overall positive experience and I would not change any of our past or present decisions.  We have benefited from each stage of our "chicken journey" and plan to keep doing what we believe is best for our family, the environment and the world as a whole!

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