Guest Chickens – Miller Farm Friday

A Guest Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Our soon-to-be neighbors stopped by last week to see if they could leave a child’s playhouse in the yard between our houses. They would have to temporarily take down the fence (the infamous privacy fence, that is) to move it into the back yard and planned to do that after they officially moved in.

That was no problem.

They also brought their chickens and wondered if we could keep them with our flock until they could build a chicken coop. This was also no problem.

They were already in a cage so we simply moved the cage into the back yard and planned to put the chickens into the coop after dark. We’ve discovered that chickens loose all their memories at night so when they woke up they would think they had always lived in our coop. chicken guestsThe only drawback to this plan was the dachshunds.  They were fascinated by the new chickens and while they could not actually get to them, their barking was very stressful for the birds.

So we moved the cage into the chicken yard behind the shed. It was much calmer for the chickens.

Now those of you with chicken experience may have noticed that the darker bird is actually a rooster.  Our neighbor assured me it was a friendly rooster and indeed it was – until it came time to clip wings.

Wing clipping is an event at which I have only been the holder of the chicken.  Rachel or Beekeeper Brian always wielded the scissors.

Since Rachel moved to college and Brian was at work, it was up to Chicken Wrangler Sara to expand her wing clipping experience and do the holding and the clipping.

It was harder than I expected.

I clipped the hen first and she pooped on me. Fortunately this was a day I did not have to go to work and had time to clean up properly.

The rooster, on the other hand, bit my arm. Actually, it was kind of a pinch since I’m not sure chicken have teeth.

In any event, it was somewhat painful, but I survived.

After the chicken scratch last week and the rooster bite this week, I’m going to ask for combat pay.

The next morning I discovered the hen roosting on the privacy fence.  Obviously, I had not clipped enough off her wings.

That night, while she was roosting in a tree, the more experienced wing clipper Beekeeper Brian grabbed her and did a better job.

Now everyone, including the guests, go into the coop at night.

And stay.

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