This weekend on my trip to Dallas I also picked up my chickens. It was quite an adventure because I was supposed to pick them up on Sunday just before I left town. Only when I heard from the chicken man on Friday during my drive up I found out that I had to get them Saturday. He wasn't allowed to bring any chickens to sale to the Sunday event. So I called Virgina to make sure this was ok.
Me: Sooooo.....I have to get the chickens on Saturday. Do you have a patio we can keep them on?
V: Oh yeah. It's nice and private and backs up to a creek so I don't think anyone will mess with them.
Me: A creek? Do you have raccoons?
V: Yeah. There's this giant one that gave me the stink eye the other day. His name is Chrystal.
Me: Raccoons eat chickens.
Me: Yeah, they rip off their heads and drink their blood.
V: I didn't know raccoons practiced Santeria.
(There were many jokes about raccoons and candles with chicken blood all weekend)
All I had with me was a wire dog crate so I found myself stopping at a feed store in Waco to buy a feeder and waterer and some feed.
Saturday we took off to get the chickens. It was a huge crowd that was there. Virg was surprised my chicken man was so popular. (Check out Dan Probst from Bageniece Farms near Dallas.) By the time it was our turn there were only two of the Rhode Island Reds and one of the Barred Rocks left - exactly what I wanted. When I told him that's what I wanted he said they were on hold for someone that had called ahead. After a minor internal freakout it turned out he was talking about me and soon me, Virginia and the girls were off.
We stopped at Walmart after deciding they wouldn't be very safe in the wire dog crate I had and bought a plastic pet carrier. In the end though the chickens spent the night on Virgina's washing machine in her laundry room. We didn't want to risk a meeting with Chrystal the raccoon.
After a smelly drive back home (it's about 4-5 hours) I got home pretty late Sunday night, but we got the coop moved out from the garage and the ladies installed in their new house. We even introduced the dogs to them. It was funny at first because not a one of them realized there were now chickens in the yard.
Riley was the first to meet them. He was very indifferent towards them. Reese came next who REALLY checked them out. She was more of, "I will totally herd these chickens for you. If these chickens ever get out I'm your man."
Now Rufus. Rufus is the one that wouldn't think twice about eating the chickens. First he didn't know they were there, then we pointed them out and he was like, "CHICKENS! OMG CHICKENS! Oh - SQUIRREL" but then he came back and could not get ENOUGH of the chickens. He has scoped out every inch of the coop. Last night he even wanted to patrol the yard. I don't think it's a protection thing though. I think it's a "these are MY chickens. If anyone is going to eat these chickens it's going to be me. Raccoons, opossums, skunks, you get the hell off my chickens. They are MINE."
Needless to say the chickens are NOT fans of Rufus. Whenever he runs into the yard they go about their pissed off clucking at him and head into the coop where they can't be bothered. Fussy little things.
I think they're enjoying their coop though. This is Maudene. The only one that will somewhat tolerate Rufus.
This is Midge hanging out on the roost inside the coop (I plan on raising them. They were built in really low)
Here she is joined by Agnes. They were not happy with Rufus who was trying to crawl into the coop while I took pictures.
Rufus checking out the chickens and Nene having enough of it.
The three ladies inside the coop - Agnes on the left, Midge in the middle and Maudene in the doorway (I wanted old lady chicken names)
They're all around 14 weeks so we won't have eggs for another couple of months. The two Rhode Islands were also picked on so they're regrowing some feathers and will be fluffing up some. Poor Midge has a naked butt right now.