Roy the Chicken Whisperer coaxing chooks to come to him
It’s been a couple of months since we last wrote about our chickens. They’re now about 3 1/2 months old and have adapted well to their new home. Recently however, they’ve been flying up on the 3-ft fence and exploring areas outside of their spacious run. So we thought it’s probably time to clip their wings.
The chooks seem to like Roy the most – which is great – because he’ll be the grim reaper when their time comes – but hopefully not for a few years. To prepare the chook for wing-clipping, Roy likes to turn them upside down like this (and yes, they’ll put up a fight for about 20 secs. or so, but then settle down in submission). I don’t think it’s necessary to flip them over, but it seems easier to articulate the feathers.
Grab chicken at legs to turn upside down before you clip wings.
Next, spread out either the left or right wing. It’s usually sufficient to clip just one wing, but we suspect that our gals are gung ho fliers and may have to do the other wing later on.
Spread out wing to articulate feathers. This girl is a Rhode Island Red.
You (or preferably, your helper) will want to clip only the long outer wings or flight feathers, taking care not to get the shorter inner wings. Make sure you use sharp scissors. We clip only the first 10 or so flight feathers, but some people clip up to 20.
Only clip the flight feathers, and as closely as possible.
Lastly, you’ll want to give them a good pet on the back and praise for being so cooperative. (Um … it’s a bit of a stretch they’ll enjoy the hugs. But it is a good idea to get them used to being handled!)
Handle your chooks frequently or you'll be like Rocky Balboa chasing chickens!
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Meet "Jeanette", a UFO, garden fertilizer & breakfast provider
It is Day 4 and our twelve chicks (all about 3 wks old) are still kicking – literally. I am slowly becoming more efficient in the cleaning and care, esp. making sure that their water is changed several times a day. Every day of survival is another day of health and another egg factory in the making Cleaning their boxes isn’t too big of a chore, and the newspapers go straight in the compost bin!
We all look in on the chicks several times a day, letting them get used to being handled. The 12 are currently split up in 2 groups of 6.
Big Bertha & Psychos
In one box are the “blondies” (Buff Orpingtons), and these gals (presumably all gals, but unlikely) seem to be the most sedate and poo-lific. The second box has a mix of Black Sx-links, Rhode Island Reds, and Buff Orpingtons. Unfortunately, this seems to be the psycho group, segregating according to color (what’s up with that?), taunting each other, and seeing who can screech the loudest. The largest are the Black Sx-links, one of which I have called “Big Bertha” of turkey-esque size. Every time you handle her, you’d think she was Marie Antoinette at the guillotine.
We are currently studying various chicken coop plans, including those we found in this book, Chicken Coops, by Judy Pangman. Many people criticized it for lacking real building plans, and perhaps the title is misleading because there are no detailed plans for any of the coops – just pictorial representations and occasionally, dimensions. For us, however, these “concept” plans should be sufficient.
I’m especially excited over the opportunity to use a lot of scrap building materials and “junk” that we’ve accumulated over the years. Rather than haul these to the dump, constructing and interior decorating a chicken house brings me back to my childhood when I’d build houses for my dolls
We’d love to see a link to your own chicken coop or ones you’ve seen that you really like!
Tweet tweet for now,
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