The Coming Out…and the Great Mistake…

I couldn’t wait the 30 day quarantine …I couldn’t even wait until the full 2 weeks were up. I felt so sorry for the hens being cooped up, so in the evening, I let the “wild hens” out, and they did just fine…at first…

coming out

They were looking so much better… a little plumper…a little more content…quite a bit cleaner…

Emma was the first one to greet them…

coming out2

Then Mr. Knightly…

coming out3

So far, so good…of course Mr. Knightly started doing his rooster thing, and I left them to get used to each other…

Later that evening at dusk, I went down to close up the coops. All the “wild hens” were in their coop, roosting up high, except for the white one. I ran around a bit trying to get her to go in, but she wouldn’t. I shut the coop door and let her fend for herself.

In the morning she was sitting outside the coop door waiting to get in to eat. I let them all out for the day and they seemed to get on just fine.

Here’s one of the new hens hanging out by the porch in the heat…

new hen

The second night all were in the coop, but the white hen and her friend, one of the scruffy speckled black and white hens. They were happily roosting on top of the barn roof and I closed the coop and left them.

My husband reset the dog trap knowing that we now have these “wild hens”  roosting all over the place unprotected.

The third night only one hen was in the coop, probably the one pictured above. The other hen that looks very much like this one was in the Tack Room coop with all the Marans and Wellsummers. She seems to have assimilated very well.

So there were 4 hens out this night when I shut the coop door. A little frustrated with this whole thing, I muttered under by breath that I really didn’t care if they were there the next morning, or not. Aren’t I awful?

One of my daughters came home late that night and said she saw two hens trapped in the dog trap. I just figured that at least they would be safe inside the trap from predators, so I left them in there for the night.

At 1 o’clock in the morning, my other daughter heard a dog barking and growling down by the coops. I slept right through it, and  she didn’t wake us up.

In the morning the dog trap had been pushed over and the hens were clucking away inside. They probably had a rough night, but they were not hurt. The other 2 hens that spent the night out were  sitting by the coop door waiting for me to open it so they could get food.

This was it for me! These 4 hens were looking wilder and dirtier and they were not assimilating!

This is not what I want for a flock of hens…I don’t care if they lay or not!  I left the hens in the trap, gave them some food and water throughout the day and when my husband got home, we caught the other two “wild hens” and put them in the trap, and he transported them over to our neighbor’s house who was happy to have them and keeps them inside a large coop and run all day.

Yes…my conclusion is that this was a bad mistake…a GREAT mistake and I won’t do it again.

On the positive side…I did get 2  nice hens out of the deal that lay pretty light green eggs.

new hen 2

Now Mr. Knightly is another story.  We tried to catch him too and give him to the neighbor.  I’m tired of having to look behind my back all the time and carry a stick or shovel around with me to ward him off in case he attacks me. My husband ran around with a net trying to catch him, and ended up breaking the net, and Mr. K ended up sopping wet  in the creek trying to get away. We laughed at him…he deserved the dunking and  we gave up. But he has been pretty good ever since. And the hens just love him so…

Mr. K2

I guess he can stay until he misbehaves…

Mr. K

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