My Chickens Finally Tested My Patience

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by RedDrgn, Aug 2, 2011.

  1. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

    May 11, 2011
    West Virginia
    My Coop
    I guess that it is to be expected that anything within one's care will eventually push your buttons and test the limits of your patience...everything else that I have and/or have ever had has at one time or another. However, it has been over six years since my DH and I have had very young critters in our care, so we apparently lost sight of that. No worries, though, because our 4 week old chickens reminded us last evening....

    This is our very first experience with chickens. Of all of the creatures we've kept/raised/dealt with in the past or still do, chickens were never one of them. It's always good to broaden your horizons, though, so after passively talking about raising some chickens over the past few years, we finally took steps to make it happen. We even just put the finishing touches on our run this past weekend. We were planning to move them out into their coop and run permanently at 6 weeks of age.

    In the mean time we were keeping them in a big rubber swimming pool in our bedroom. Not an ideal location, but not bad. The original plan had been to keep them in the guest room, but we ended up with weekend guests the last 3 weekends and moving the brooder around was too much of a chore. So they stayed in our room, getting completely cleaned out twice a week. Worked great. We could easily check on them and maintain temperatures. They got lots of exposure to us and our other animals, which all went very well and made them quite amenable to handling. Everything was juuuuust peachy!

    I wrap up at work and head down to the metro station to start my long trek home. I hop the metro only to hear an announcement on the train that the line I need to get to my next station was currently closed (single tracking planned soon), and delays would be 1-2 hours. 1-2 hours would have ensured that I miss all of my potential trains home. Urgh. So I call my DH to come pick me up at an alternate locations (because he works not TOO far off from one of the metro line end points), and because he's a great guy, he comes and gets me.

    We go through two epic thunderstorms to get to a little restaurant for dinner (which was my compensation to him for picking me up). Two more huge storms roll through while we're having dinner, and a fifth is traversed to get back home. All the while, we were discussing the chickens. I was worried we'd get home too late to take them out to the run for some time to stretch their wings and legs like we usually do with them in the evenings. We also talked about when we should move them out on a permanent basis. Their bodies were starting to catch up with their wings and tails and a few were getting pins on their heads. We had repeatedly read that you should wait until they're fully feathered, which would be at about 6 weeks, so ultimately we came back to that number before getting home for the evening.

    As we pull into the driveway, I commented that we still had some light left, so I'd bring them out for a bit. My DH went in to check on them while I put some things away. As he opens the door, I hear him say, "Uuuuuhhhh, greeaat..." I asked what and started back to see what was going on. He had the door mostly closed and was still peering in as though trying to block my view. I push the door open as he says, "The chickens got out."


    Two of them were sitting contentedly on the cat tree. A third was sitting on the floor beneath them. The other two appeared to have been wandering about and as soon as they saw me they bolted and leaped back into the brooder. Half of my bedroom floor (carpeted) was pocked with chicken poop. They had also manged to spread their wood chips around and had even carried one of their little plastic toys (a twist of thick plastic that was designed as a cat toy, but was enjoyed much more by the chickens than our cats) out of the brooder. Absolute MESS. I turned around and marched down the hall, grabbed my smartphone, and checked the weather; temps weren't supposed to dip below 70 anywhere in the 10 day forecast. I therefore delcared, "The chickens move outside NOW."


    I took them all out to the run immediately, then grabbed the Anti-Icky-Poo and started cleaning. I picked up everything that was able to be picked up while my DH began spraying and scrubbing everything left. As darkness fell, I went out to make sure the chickens ended up in the coop. It was a chore as they much prefer to roost on US as compared to anywhere else, but I eventually got them all into the coop and shut all of the doors. They huddled up at the pop hole and quieted down almost immediately. Then back to cleaning for another hour or so....

    This morning, the chickens were all there and doing fine. My DH called in "sick" to rent a steam cleaner and do a more thorough cleaning of the carpet. He said that when he opened the coop up to let the chickens out that it took them over an hour to actually decide to do so. [​IMG] They were perfectly fine, and once they were out they mucked about the run as usual.

    They are so adorable, but oooooooooooh I was mad! [​IMG] Assuming the temperatures remain as they have, everything should be fine. The electric fence will be added and complete within a few days, so then it's all 100 percent. Those little feathered devils...[​IMG]

  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    With greatest sympathy. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I can picture your husband's face and then yours. [​IMG]
  3. verity

    verity Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 8, 2008
    well, at least they are pretty babies -- [​IMG]

    (great story -- since it didn't happen at our house!)
  4. Chickadee55

    Chickadee55 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 17, 2010
    Central Florida
    [​IMG] LMAO!!! Sorry.....been there!! They look so innocent. How could those sweet little babies make such a mess. [​IMG]
  5. LottieDa

    LottieDa Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 1, 2011
    Boise, ID
    Great story, sorry it happened, but it makes for a great story.

    I had a moment with my chickens where I nearly lost it.

    We have an enormous greenhouse where we raise most of our veggies year round and we raise tilapia in a 250 gallon tank. So it's a HUGE greenhouse. And on the hot days, I leave both ends open for additional air flow.

    Well that worked out great for the girls. Our chickens got in and literally MOWED down every plant they could get to. I mean down to stubs sticking out of the dirt. They only made it throught the first of 10 beds but that was enough! I came in and before I could totally freak, they looked up at me all proud and happy and getting fat on my veggies like, "hey thanks mom! love the new veggie buffet you set up for us! You rock!"

    Uh... yeah. We put up screens that same day. There will be no veggie buffet for those little fart-tards! Now they stand outside the screen and yell at me till I finally give in and throw strawberries at them. Gotta love 'em.
  6. ChicksterJo

    ChicksterJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 19, 2011
    Grounded on Earth

    That reminds me of the time my Ameraucanas, when they were baby chicks, got out of their brooder and were all over the bed (pooped on it, of course). I opened the door, [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. Housefull

    Housefull Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 2, 2011
    Oh my, I can picture the mess. Our ladies made a huge mess in the garage once, I couldn't imagine our home.
  8. BovieVei

    BovieVei Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 26, 2011
    Walnut Creek, CA
    It's a good think chickens are so cute! Otherwise many more of them would end up in the soup pot [​IMG]
  9. lowry075

    lowry075 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 29, 2011
    Southern California
    So sorry, but at least they're cute. [​IMG]

    Your story reminds me of a similar situation, different species though. My DH and I came home once, to find our condo stunk like poop. My babysitter didn't notice, and my toddler had locked our cat in our bedroom on accident, and she had the runs all over our soaked through to the mattress pad. [​IMG] I wanted to KILL the cat, but it wasn't really her fault.
  10. Darlasmum

    Darlasmum Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2009
    La Crescenta, CA
    Innocent til proven guilty! [​IMG] I mean-=LOOK at those sweet lil faces! It must have been some other chickens that got into your place and mucked it up.

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