Saturday, July 21, 2012

New Flock for Corrie!

I hope you’ll indulge me a bit, much of my posts lately may seem melodramatic, but it is cathartic for me, and a way of healing a completely broken heart.  I promise to get back to my "old" self as soon as possible.
We stopped by The Compound this week to do some cleaning up of the area, and get the space ready for a new flock.  Corrie was so happy to see us and followed us around, including Miss Izzy in hopes of making a friend or two and for some companionship.  When the Moose picked her up, I really think she was telling him the story.  Her tone was soft and sad, as has been our mood since finding the awful scene.

Earlier that day I found a chicken breeder that was getting rid of a flock of chickens.  It sounded hopeful and worth the trip to take a look at the chickens and her farm.  We would be leaving with chickens no matter what we found.  We had a huge hole to try and fill.
After cleaning up, we headed out to pick up the new chickens.   High hopes for what was in store, a way to move forward, but our minds always traveling back to the Hooligans and their crazy antics.  They were our fun, hobby and extended family.  We spoiled them rotten, they were such a joy.

The new flock is pure bred White Orpingtons.  Friendly, docile, good egg layers, dual purpose and can go broody.  We’ve always wanted our chickens to go broody and raise the next generation naturally if possible.   If this happens, it will be a plus.  The new boys and girls are of mixed ages, from around 2 months old to 1 year.  I say new boys and girls, because we don’t really know the sex of each member of our new White Orpingtons flock. 

Side note:  We bought them from a breeder/farm as she is downsizing her farm due to the cost of feed.  Her feed bill is going up 35% starting next week, due to the corn crop issue.  She has a current feed bill of $710 every two weeks. 
After seeing the chickens, we were more than happy to take them off her hands.  They needed TLC and we're just the ones to do it. The new flock was raised in an outdoor covered pace of about 10’ x 10’.  Not to my liking of course, but soon to be rectified once living at The Compound.  The couple that ran this "farm" was too overwhelmed with animals to be able to take care of them to our lofty standards.  I don’t think our new chickens have ever seen fresh fruits and veggies.  They were a bit hesitant but after they realized it was something they liked they were eating up the treats we left them as if they’ve not eaten in weeks.  I can’t wait to see what they do in a couple of weeks when they are allowed to roam the 2.5 acres eating grass and bugs!    Other than their old space, they’ve never roamed free.  In my humble opinion, chickens should be able to roam free.

The hen, about 1 year old, had gone broody earlier this year and hatched a few of her own eggs, recently took a beating from a previous rooster, and needs some extra TLC.  We put some Neosporin on the sore spot, and put on a saddle to keep the others from picking at it.  Sorry the photos aren't much better, but the new one's get too scared when you get too close.

The newbies are all housed inside the coop itself, and the rooster is roaming the run area.  We’ve decided to keep them separate for some time, so the hen can heal.   They were all a bit skittish, since they really weren’t handled or around people too often.  That too will be rectified.  The rooster, who is a handsome devil,  I’m guessing is right around 6 months, as he doesn’t have his spurs, and is not quite filled out was really getting in to all of his new space.  He too runs away from you if you get within 5 feet.  Seems odd for a rooster, especially from our experience.

Corrie was a bit surprised by her new family, and immediately tried defending her turf, but I’m sure in time, she too can move forward.  There are a total of 10 White Orpingtons, throw in Corrie, and we have 11 chickens residing at The Compound once again.  All things are still not right with the world, but this brings us a bit closer.   The entire lot of us is a bit banged up at the moment.   I think with time we’ll all be doing a little better.


  1. Great Iz! I'm happy you found some that need you as much as you need them. Orpingtons are great birds. I have 5 buffs and I am now looking for a couple of Lavender. They do go broody. To much as a matter of fact which cuts down on the egg production, fills up the nest boxes so the others don't have a place to lay so I have to separate the one's that go broody everyday into a chicken tractor. I have two right now that I am trying to break. When it comes to being mom's they are almost as great as a silkie. Congrats on the new family and treat yourself to some chicken love. Take some treats down and sit with them and hand feed them. They'll tame down some.

    1. I may be looking to you for some Orpington advice from time to time. I'm hoping they'll come around. Since they aren't used to human contact, I'm a bit nervous about letting them outside the run as they won't come back when called. The Hooligans did, which was great. Right now, these guys will run from you, not towards you. It's just so different than what we are used to.

  2. I sure hope that you've strung some stronger wire on the enclosure. That Fox/Coyote/Bobcat is still out there. Might even be wild dogs.
    The hazard of not living on property I suppose. Is a great temptation for wild beasties.

    Just finished a four mile walk this morning ! My old body feels it too !

    1. Awesome on the walk, when are we going to get together as a group again? We shored things up again, and are working to get a permanent roof on. It just takes time.


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