The Secret Chicken

stories of a secret chicken

Gorgeous Shiny Chicken Machine!


No, not this one. My sister sent me this picture from when she went to the Emu-Z-Um this month.

It would be a great addition to my household, I think. I could put one in the front yard – think of the money I’d make!

Meet the Young Ladies


Yesterday, I brought home a roll of chicken wire and used a couple of pallets to build a more secure enclosure for the girls to hang out in while they get used to being outside.

Since the enclosure is attached to the coop, I wanted to make sure that the older ladies would be ok with them – I’ve heard that flock integration can be a bitch at times.  I’ve been taking the younger ones out in a cage and spreading scratch, giving them all a chance to eat together without the danger of being physically in the same space, so I was pretty sure it’d be ok.  But you never can tell.

I decided to put all of them into the garden enclosure and spread some scratch, to make sure no one got picked on if they were together.  This video is some of what happened.

Yeah, just a little goofy. But they seemed to be getting along pretty well, so I left them out there last night.

I’d put a large dog house with bedding in the enclosure, but outside of the main coop, with their food and water dishes and the heat lamp. This morning, all seemed fine. The older chickens did exactly what I expected – ate the little one’s food. Otherwise, the younger girls stayed close to the enclosure while the older ladies roamed the yard.

So, Stage One Integration complete. Eventually, I’m hoping the younger ones will move into the coop itself, and we’ll no longer need the outer enclosure or dog house.

And hopefully, they’ll figure out what to do with worms.

Herd of Chickens?


Well, of course I’ve heard of chickens!

A herd of chickens, complete with chicken-herding cat.

Spring, when a girl’s fancy turns to…chickens.


Over the winter, I got pretty lax with the whole posting thing.  But Things Did Happen.  We got snow, which the ladies didn’t like at all.  I’d love to show you photographic proof of this, but it would be a pristine snowy yard, with nary a footprint in site.  They refused to come out of their covered area.  In fact, they weren’t too keen on coming out of the coop until I brought them treats.

The "Club House" sign is in front of where the ladies are hiding out.

I did give in and put up some interior lights in the ladies coop, which did indeed jump-start the egg production.  Not-Henery was concerned, at first.  But I think that the choice of rope lights made it less intrusive and less of a jarring, sudden light when they come on.  I put them on a timer, so they turn on around 6ayem and go off around 7:30pm.   In the evening, when they go in and the lights are on, it looks like they’re having a little chicken party when you look through the window.

In other news, my mother made a decision to move to Eastern Oregon, and to take a small flock with her.  She had me house 12 barred rock and 2 bantams for her until she moved.

Of course…I had to get a couple for myself.  I ended up getting two Black Stars (aka black sex-link) and two black turkens.  I think that I will only be keeping one of each, the other two will hopefully be going home with a friend who is starting her own Adventure in Chickening.  This is good – I really thing 10 is pushing the boundaries of good sense.

We do already have names for the new ones – a tribute to Soul Eater.  Black Star and Tsubaki.  As such:

I’m going to have to do some modifications to the coop to allow for the additional ladies, but I’ve got a several weeks before that becomes and issue.  Good thing, it’s nothing but mud back there right now.

The ladies have done a great job keeping the garden area free of weeds and well fertilized over the winter and this early spring.  Hopefully I’ll be able to return the favor later in the year, in the form of tomatoes.

I suppose that’s about it for now. When the weather is better, I intend to get some great video of the new chickens learning about grass and sunshine. Can’t wait.

You can do this:


Or this: