Introducing myself- not sure this is right section!

Bedtime-story

In the Brooder
Dec 3, 2018
4
19
21
I got into keeping chickens by accident. We bought a house in the village near us in North Wales and the owners had 30 hens and a rooster and some guinea fowl. Some of them roosted up in the trees and others in the coops.
I was shocked by the aggression of the guinea fowl who used to charge the hens like a battering ram, in one case breaking a hen’s wing. But they were incredible ‘guard -dogs’ and would make such a racket if they saw any predators that we kept them for that purpose.
My biggest problem was what to do with so many eggs in the summer, and feeding them all with organic pellets etc wasn’t cheap. The rooster was a really character and. very friendly and courteous. He wooed the girls before mating with them and died a natural death at the age of 11. I thought all rooster would be the same. One cold January afternoon, we’d let the flock out into the orchard to peck at fallen plumbs and sweet apples etc, my husband and I went out for a walk in the woods. As we left I could hear one of the guinea fowl making a din but my husband said that foxes only hunted at night. Sadly, that’s not true especially if it’s january and a vixen needs to feed her cubs. When we got back the carnage was dreadful and there were 17 dead hens and no sign of the rooster etc. We collected the dead birds and left them in the field for the fox and managed to get some of the survivors back into the run. We discovered them hiding in large plant tubs, old wooden crates, on top of our cars etc and were sad to find not rooster. 3 days later, I was woken about 6 am by a cockerel. I thought I was dreaming, I rushed outside in my dressing gown and slippers and there was our lovely silver and black rooster walking along the property wall towards the coop. I put him in safely and was very happy. I always took note of the guinea fowls after that, though they died eventually. Wild pheasants often fly in to the run and feast on the hens food.
My coop is a very old stone outhouse, probably 150 years old with a very crooked roof. ( our actual house dates back to 1596, so the reign of Queen Elizabeth 1) The coop is a bit draughty and I lined it with straw bales a few years ago but then my hens kept dying( from fear I guess) and I discovered I’d got ‘ratopolis’. So I stopped doing that. They have lots of fruit bushes like raspberries and black currants in the run to peck at, and hide under and too much sunshine isn’t usually a problem in N Wales. I look forward to the updates and articles etc and am very happy to have found this site.
 

alexa009

Crossing the Road
Apr 6, 2017
4,183
18,339
907
Texas
My Coop
My Coop
Welcome to Backyard Chickens!:welcomeWe are glad you joined the flock! BYC is a helpful site providing all of the information you need to know about poultry! There is always space for more members on the BYC roost!:highfive: I am sorry to hear of such a massive loss! I was also going to remind you that you are in the correct forum. Hope you enjoy it here as much as we all do!
 

feathermaid

Egg Obsessed
Feb 5, 2018
3,126
23,288
942
Northwest Oregon
My Coop
My Coop
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What a lovely introduction... thank you for sharing your story. I'm so sorry you've experienced so many losses, but it sounds like you really care about your birds.
Unfortunately not all roosters are valiant flock protectors (some can be real chickens!) or very polite like your 11 year old guy... that's amazing! Did your new rooster just run away when the attack happened? Will you be getting new guinea fowl or adding more chickens to your flock?

There are many folks here who keep all sorts of poultry and could answer any questions you may have. Just start a new thread in the appropriate forum section.

There have been lots of discoveries and changes in recent coop building practices and chicken keeping in general over the last few years even. Your old historic coop sounds very charming, but may need some updates. Here are a few articles with some helpful tips you may want to implement:
Chicken Coop Ventilation - Go Out There And Cut More Holes In Your Coop!
How Much Room Do Chickens Need
Predator Proofing

And some more information on cold weather:
To Insulate or Not To Insulate
Prevent Frostbite During Winter


Here's an entertaining story about roosters, just for fun:
Keeping A Rooster

Hope you enjoy your time here and good luck with your flock!
 

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