Unexpected Happiness!

By Krichie82 · Jul 10, 2014 · ·
  1. Krichie82
    My fiance and I moved in to this rental in April. When we came to look at the property, one of the first things we noticed was a mother hen and eight little chicks. We immediately fell in love. Once we moved in, we started to notice several other chickens roaming the yard. We were delighted and started feeding them whenever they came around. To date we have ten hens, one rooster and six chicks that we are looking after.

    A little while after we moved in we started noticing that some of the babies were coming up missing. By the second week here, the mother hen "Henrietta" had lost all but one of her chicks. One day, while we were outside working on my brakes, we had the unfortunate experience of witnessing the last baby get taken off by a chicken hawk. We were so very upset and for days we watched Henrietta walk around the yard, lost without her little ones. It broke our hearts. Henrietta has since hatched a new brood and we have been doing our best to help keep them safe but there's only so much that we've been able to do and she's already lost three of the eight she had. Two of them disappeared overnight and one of them died yesterday from unknown causes.

    I have no experience with chickens but I have a deep love for all animals so I decided to try to build them something to help keep them safe. So, I woke up this morning and began searching for materials around the house that I could use to build a make-shift coop. It's not much but I think they'll like it. I built it under the protection of our back porch where they like to come and rest during the hot days. I'd like to build them a run but I'm pretty sure they've been free for so long that putting limits on their mobility would lead to their unhappiness.

    I've had so much fun getting to know my chicken neighbors and am looking forward to continuing the relationships :) Here are some photos of our feathered friends. I hope you enjoy them, I sure do!

    "Barbara" is the black one and "Henrietta" is the white one.
    "Henry" the rooster that came from nowhere.
    One of the five black sisters.
    One of the "red twins".
    Henrietta and her first babies. R.I.P little ones.
    And here she is with her new babies!
    And here's the little "coop" I made today :)

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  1. rebecwi333
    Love the story, and so sorry for lil mama hens babes.. been there. Kudos to you for taking over as chicken parent!! Love the flock, enjoy their nice little presents they will leave for all your love and TLC!!!!
  2. Mountain Peeps
    Cute pics! Love the title too:)
  3. ScottN73
    What the heck was that rooster doin' while all the predators were pickin off the chicks??
  4. Diannastarr
    wow thats such a wonderful story, your doing good..!!!and how wonderful of you to take care of the chickens...! im sure they will reward you, keep up the good work...! ;) i also have a Henryetta, she is a big barred rock, we have been worried about halks to, so what to do..? i had set up a lean-to type of covered area off our back porch with a 12 x 10 tarp, it only cost $9.00 & my 15 chickens get some good shade under it and it is also a form of safety for them,& they spend the day under it chasing bugs and sleeping in their dirt holes....lol... ;)
  5. sljack2006
    Beautiful chickens and story!
  6. Mountain Peeps
  7. bantambury
    the fact you moved to the house and the chooks were there is incredible! great job on making them your own though tons of TLC <3
  8. Lollie508
    Amazing story, I'm glad your doing somthing so great for this mother and her chicks. : )
  9. Wol1
    The lack of comb and wattles appears to be normal for an American Gamecock. http://www.thegamecock.com/history.htm

    Our broody hen was quite happy being kept closed up in a little coop. As the babies got bigger, we built a little closed-run addition.
  10. Eggette
    Oh! and Henry is beautiful!
  11. Eggette
    They make up such a pretty flock! What colored eggs do they lay? Pearl kind of looks like a cream legbar, if she is then she will lay a sky blue egg.
  12. Kadjain
    Love the coop and super cool story .. .
  13. RezChamp
    PS. Re:pix
    Resolution is really really good.
    Point in question; "1 of the black sisters" ... I can practically see the barbels on her feathers.
    Beautiful coloration on that bird, ...the light off her feathers that angle....
    Nice nice job
  14. RezChamp
    Yes, when you see your baby chicks getting picked off it does hurt.
    I do have my birds in a run, but it is about an acre in size. Because I ain't a millionaire(YET) I can't afford to cover it.
    I've reduced my losses to almost nill by hanging CDs and DVDs and surveyors ribbon all about my run. I move them about the run from time to time and have them at different heights.
    It deters avian and some terrestrial predators. It even works to some degree on coyotes. Them darn mink though are fearless little devils. Skunks too. I just put traps out for them rascals.
    And, I agree that your flock looks to have a strong Game influence, esp Henry & Henrietta.
    The black in the first pic tho?,,, more like Aussie.
    Nice lookin bunch of adoptees. Kudos to you.
  15. Matthew3590
    Henry is definitely an American Gamecock.
  16. roostersandhens
    Henry is lovely! It's sad that someone cut his comb and waddles though :( (gypsy, he looks like an old english game)
  17. MyPetNugget
    Awesome flock!!
  18. gypsy767
    Anyone know the breed (or mix) of the rooster...? I like that guy!
  19. BYC Project Manager
    Congratulations, we've chosen one of your chicken pics for the Chicken Picture Of the Week. Thanks for posting your chickens to our "My Chickens" pages! You can find more info about our POW here: BYC POW process
  20. ErniesFlock
    Very sorry about mr hawk taking them little chicks :-(... I am so paranoid of predators since our guy Johnson was taken off by a young groggy hungry bear we keep our chicks in the house and a baby monitor & webcam to listen in on the grown ups in their coop which is in OUR BASEMENT... did I mention we were paranoid of predators? Anyways are these chickens wild did you say?
  21. jbusby86
    What breed hen is that
  22. The Home Flock
    Yes, so easy for predators to take the little ones. Hawks, even rats will have a go. So sad to hear of your loss. I have experienced the same thing - you start out with a bunch of little ones and over a week or two they all disappear. I have taken to raising young ones in secure covered pens away from harm.

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