Free Ranging
Premium member
Apr 10, 2016
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
Ok, I know we are spoiled brats here in CA with our weather (though now I’m concerned about a summer drought... pretty sure we’re breaking records for number of days/weeks with no rainfall this time of year... but I digress.)

Anyway... sunny and mild/lovely. Yes. But note the 15° swing in two days. And this is completely normal, not an anomaly at all.


Loves Hatching
May 28, 2015
South LA
Ugh man wth :he

Ugh yea @goldenfingers im with Shad :bow ants are acidic.

Mr Bob the pullets were thinkn they had to test the waters make sure the ole gals wouldnt give up their seats easily. Agreed her being a pullet is the only way she cleared the pool but what a sight it mustve been to see!

@WhoDatChick im jealous of you! Havent had any mud bugs yet :hit also wanted to respond to your post the other day(fri?) but couldnt make time, sorry! Sometimes i do 'nothing' when a chook looks a little off. All depends on the symptoms but often ill just watch at first for a few days see if theres anything worse or better before taking furthire action. Injuries aside ive only had to treat cocci as an illness and i havent ever had to give out antibios (see shad not every america believes in it all the time :lol: ) i only would if i absolutely had to.

@Kris5902 im in the south! ME! ME! ME!

Okay so all the responding over with... i have been super dooper busy :D today we threw a surprise party for my teenagers gden bday that passed last wkend :D she thought it passed no big to do and Bam! She was so surprised she cried and cried :love

Also yesterday Dh finished my quailie grow out! Tumro it will be occupied but ive been acclimating them to the outdoor temps. Donno what ill do when Next fri(? Next wk sometime idk i half ignored Gunkle after he said the despised word :rant) it dips down to freeze again :rolleyes:

The kids wouldve told u they had a new clubhouse :rolleyes: Richard the cat surveyed it all. Dozer the german shepard proved his merit as i can now proudly claim he is trained to catch escaped quail! He did half the training himself but with just a little guidance hes Good. Like whoa. He went Deep into some Heavy brush retrieved an escapee and brought it back to me without a single injury! Im so proud of him!

So a couple pics



Crossing the Road
Premium member
Dec 24, 2018
Adelaide, South Australia
My Coop
My Coop
Integration: Day 1

Unlike @MaryJanet and @Ribh ,the integration at Fluffy Butt Acres was not smooth today. This is not to say it was unexpected. It is very reminiscent of all the integrations I have had with one difference, this group of pullets really created most of their own problems.

Here they are finally released into the yard. Such optimism in their young faces. Unfortunately, hard lessons were about to be learned.

Everything was timed out well and the lords of randomness even cooperated by of all things having Lilly lay an egg just as the newbies were released. With the meanest of my hens occupied I thought this should go pretty smoothly. I think it would have except the newbies had other ideas.

It’s Never Easy but Sometimes They Make it Hard on Themselves
As before, as soon as the doors are open, the Bigs headed into the big run to eat and generally reclaim their territory. With the Newbies in the yard, this should have allowed for space between the 2 groups, alas, my two brilliant pullets, Phyllis and Sydney had other ideas.

It started with Hattie walking through the big run and Sydney deciding that it was time that Hattie understood she was below Sydney in the pecking order. Now Sydney is not small but Hattie has to be twice her size. Hattie put Sydney in her place. It was short and not particularly vicious. Frankly I was so surprised with how this went down I did not get any video.

This would not be the end of the Newbies trying to take control.

Next on their list would be Aurora.

Phyllis decided to go first in intimidating Aurora. Now Aurora has to be 3 times her size. I was surprised by this one but I did get the camera started just as it happened. Because it is so fast and right at the beginning of the video, I have taken this still so you can see Phyllis initiate the situation by raising her neck in an effort to peck down on Aurora, as you will see in the video, Phyllis loses.

As the video continues, you will Sydney try again to assert her authority. This time over Aurora another hen that is larger than her. Pay close attention, you will see Sydney peck Aurora on the back and Aurora react quickly and decisively. This would be the end of Sydney’s attempt to exert dominance for the day but not the end of her adventures.

View attachment 2033451

Round 2 Goes Worse
The next incident took me completely off guard and there is no video because it was so fast all I could do was go “Oh Crap!”.

Phyllis simply did not accept her defeat to Aurora. Aurora decided to try again while Aurora was still in the front of the big run about where Aurora had her incident with Sydney. Phyllis came up to her again and this time pecked her on the back.

Aurora exploded!

With a fury!

She grabbed Phyllis by the neck feathers and did not let go. Phyllis tried to run and Aurora rode her to the ground and stood on her. Aurora ripped two feathers out of Phyllis’ neck (not her head) and damaged one of Phyllis’ wing feathers in the process. Here is Phyllis afterwards with her damaged wing feather.

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Thus ended the Newbies trying to cow the Old Ladies. I am very glad it ended for the day. The lessons were hard learned. I still can’t believe that little Phyllis was trying to take on a hen 3 times her size. I thought she was smart but this makes me wonder. She certainly showed no fear……I guess.

After all of this fun, the Big Ladies headed over to the house together and the three littles occupied their time working over the patch of grass between the coop and the garden. Even when Aurora did return to their area the Newbies had learned enough to stay clear.

Not the Pool!
Of course, after that much fighting, the girls were a little jumpy. At some point, something spooked Phyllis, probably a song bird. She flapped a short quick wing-jump and that spooked Sydney big time. The created one of the things I feared most, an airborne pullet headed over the pool.

I quickly measure her trajectory, take off, and the distance she needed to travel (I have some experience with pool flying). My brain says, no way she makes it, mid-pool landing is likely. I start to head for the pool pole and net. The water is just above freezing and she will catch hypothermia quickly. I check back and she is starting to decend towards the pool. Yup, about mid-pool. Drat!

Then something amazing happens, she somehow starting flapping faster and gains altitude. I have NEVER seen a hen gain altitude like this and she manages to clear the pool and land safely. Now she is on the opposite side of the pool from the other two. Here is where she finds herself.

View attachment 2033453

I let her settle and then I try to guide her to the other side by walking her around the pool. It is best that she learns the way by walking herself. However, she will not move. She will not walk. I try to get her to move with my hand; instead she lets me touch her. In the end I have to carry her, until we get most of the way around the pool and she can see the others. Then she wants down. I put her down and she runs to join the other two.

Lilly Emerges
Well, sooner or later Lilly was going to finish laying that egg. Everything has finally settled when she comes out. Fortunately she heads to house to beg for snacks. That buys the littles some more time. Lilly really does not start to pay attention to them until right before she heads to bed. Then her interest is in luring them into a false sense of security and then attacking. I never really knew when she would do it and it is masterful. Just as the newbies relax, Lilly pounces and pecks someone on the back.

She lets them relax, then out of nowhere,


They fell for it quite a few times and then Lilly went to bed (smiling, I’m sure). I thought things would settle down then but after Lilly and Hattie went to bed, Aurora’s attention returned to the Big Run. I believe that Phyllis has learned her lesson regarding Aurora and now when she enters the run, Phyllis jumps up on the roost in their little coop.

View attachment 2033455

Roosting Time
The problem now is that the Newbes want to go to bed but Aurora is milling around in the “their” run. I intervene and coax Aurora out with some snacks so they can roost in piece. The Newbies roost themselves in their little coop and I stop distracting Aurora.

What does Aurora do?

Go and check out the little coop section of the prefab. She is looking into their coop where I am certain they are terrified that she is coming in after them. I can’t let this go. I shew her out of the prefab and lock her out.

So ends day #1

In Summary
No one is really damaged, a feather or 2 is gone but overall, we are doing OK.

The most interesting thing to me was how Sansa really managed to avoid all the drama. I figured she would be the one to get into trouble. She played it smart all day. I did not see her get caught once by a larger hen. Hopefully the three of them can discuss this tonight before they go to sleep and have a better plan for tomorrow.
Wow!! What a day that was! You must've been exhausted once it was all over :th

But I have to say things were not always smooth here. I lost count of the times Sandy made Peggy lie down. It was more than a dozen. Sandy was quite riled up for a while there. These days (a month later) the worst is a bit of chasing and the best is everyone snoozing together.


Free Ranging
Apr 20, 2019
Blue Mountains, NSW, Australia
Dozer the german shepard proved his merit as i can now proudly claim he is trained to catch escaped quail! He did half the training himself but with just a little guidance hes Good. Like whoa. He went Deep into some Heavy brush retrieved an escapee and brought it back to me without a single injury! Im so proud of him!
Awww, look at Dozer. He's so proud of himself. He's not a German Shepherd Dog you know. He's a German Quailherd Dog! 😁


Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
British Columbia, Canada
I admit it. I've been interfering a little in chicken politics.:oops:
Apart from me finding Treacle a good looking rooster, he also pulls his weight in the tribe and gets on with everybody. As long as no food or mating is involved he gets on well enoubh with Cillin to join in with tribe activities. Tyle his younger brother is now interested in the hens and is making random neck grabs. Mel Fudge and Moon either warn him off or fight him off. The others avoid him apart from Tap.
To look at the tribe, apart from Fat Bird, Treacle and Moon stand out in both looks and behavior.
Treacle needs at least one hen as company. They both come to the house on their own or together without the rest of the tribe. They come with the rest of the tribe as well.
Moon arrived, I didn't even notice until Treacle arrived shortly after. Moon is very quiet.
I was shelling walnuts outside and instead of giving a piece to both I just gave to Treacle who dropped more than half for Moon. This gives him credit in Moons estimation. The more credit Treacle gets the more likely Moon is to follow him.
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View attachment 2033913
At least he has manners! I’m :he so frustrated:he by the cockerels in with Sammy. They keep jumping the hens randomly, and he’s letting the other white boy do it!:thbut the MarsBar (Marans/Isbar) boy and the white one will chase the pullets when they escape the tractor on “moving day” (tomorrow) like flares hackle feathers pits his head down and charges them. Kind of like that photos @Shadrach shared of his two boys beginning a “discussion” but with full speed chasing! The girls have figured out that if the run under me I will snatch the idjet up when he tries to follow them. Makes catching him again easier some days! Will they ever grow up? And if they do will they be good boys? I must say I’m glad I let Chickie Hawk grow out of the worst of his attitude.

Today, I was putting the third coat on the floors at the now finished? Job site... BIL was going to be up near my trailer in the evening (don’t know why) I had asked for help moving them in the morning, but managed on my own... so I asked DH to ask him to put the chickens up. Wait til it’s dusk, they will all be in the roosting boxes, latch the ramp/doors. How hard can it be... the almost 9 year old can do it? So 1out of 4 with doors got closed in and Hawk ( who always puts his girls up first in the evening) was apparently out and attacked BIL’s leg and Boots. That’s my good little attack chicken! Who needs dogs? Unreliable and easily bribed... Hawk is ready to defend against predators and strangers, and even mealy worms don’t guarantee safety. But we have an “understanding” him DH and I.


Crossing the Road
Oct 12, 2018
British Columbia, Canada
I got so paranoid when I learned Ruby is “well insulated, like a seal” per my favorite avian vet, I didn’t think the diet through. :he I’ll look for a compromise.

Sorry but “well insulated, like a seal” :lau :gig

:hugs Glad things are looking up! :D

I have my doubts the problem was a calcium deficiency. Hens lay lash and shell less eggs for many reasons.
In general, if the rest of the hens here are laying eggs with decent strength shells then their diet with regard to calcium is about right. They all eat much the same stuff and their size dictates the quanitity. The same applies to protein and fat. If you've got one hen carrying too much fat then the likelihood is they all are.
The hen stores calcium in a special type of bone. These bones are primarily found in the hens legs. What usually happens when a hen is severely calcium deficient is first the shells get thinner and eventually she suffers from osteoporosis.
You can find lots of information about this on the sites that deal with commercial layers.
Once again, in general, a hen doesn't suddenly run out of calcium deposits. It takes time. A sudden change in egg shell quality is usually another problem. I've never been quite sure why whenever a hen lays a shell less egg but shows no other signs of ill health forums such as this recommend calcium supplements. Unfortunatley the science behind egg laying gets forgotton and because after the calcium increase the hens next egg seems good the tendency is to believe that a lack of calcium was the problem. If a hen cannot produce any calciuim or that little then she would have bone related illnesses. Lots of battery hens used to get osteoporosis when I worked on my uncle farm which was before more was known about diet and how the hen manages her calcium supply.
I thought the calcium was to help more with the passing of the egg? Like with eggbound hens. And that it had more to do with the muscle contractions, because Shell less eggs can be harder for the hen to pass? Could be mis-information or one of those old wives tales sort of things that we all just accept?
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