Winter Prep & Updates

Busy times. I’ve been so busy with my contract job that Mr. Hen House has been putting the the ladies to bed. With the cold weather, we’ve moved the ladies and guineas into the hoop house. They will be spending the winter there. The good part is it provides more shelter than the coop. It has electricity for lights and keeping the water warm (eventually!) We also play a radio at night to discourage predators. Yes, still doing that after the weasel incident this past summer.

Getting settled in.

Getting settled in.

So getting the birds into the hoop house was interesting. Most of the girls went in on their own, but Beulah was weird about it. So after some wrangling, we got her in. Then it was guinea time! It was brutally cold here, so they knew they wanted to go in somewhere, but really don’t like being in the coop but that was the only place they knew.

So after running around like crazy, we got two of them in the coop. I then went in and grabbed, them, one at a time, and moved into the hoop house. That last guinea was a terror to get, though! It took about an hour, but we finally got him into the coop, so I could then move into the hoop house. Chasing these birds around the yard was like something out of the Roadrunner! If it wasn’t so cold, it would have been funny. 🙂 And you’d think after all this time, the guineas would be at least used to us. But nooooo, they still act as though we will rend them limb from limb.

The odd man out.

The odd man out.

To digress a bit, it seems we have two boys and one girl. There’s a pair that always are together and then we have the odd man out. I think I’ll try to get a guinea hen in the spring for the lonely boy. I am concerned the more assertive guinea rooster will take her, too, leaving lonely boy even lonelier. But it’s worth a try. Worst case, guineas are meat birds. Maybe odd man out will become dinner. I don’t know yet. I do know that if I go that route, I will not be there to see it. My enthusiasm for the last bird was greatly diminished when I saw him butchered. Like I said, I’m the city cousin of the Iowa farm bunch.

Winona moved into Guapo’s space. She’s put on weight and is much more normal, including laying eggs. Her eyes aren’t completely normal yet, but I hope they will come back in time. I did make a huge mistake though. I thought she’d be fine in with the rest of the flock since  she was so much better. I was wrong. Beulah beat up on her horribly. So, Winona is back in her area and I’m disinfecting her wounds every day. I feel terrible. But I will never make that mistake again. Winona will remain segregated and safe until she passes. Which I don’t think will be for awhile. I will say it makes me sad that I may never receive the hairy eyeball from her again, though.

Winona giving me the hairy eyeball.

Winona giving me the hairy eyeball.

Guapo was moved into the airstream. We got complaints from the neighbors and had a discussion with the local code officer. So Guapo is in the airstream for the week, and comes out on the weekends. Not the best arrangement, but it will work until we get a better, more soundproof coop built. And since it’s so cold, he goes into his old area in the hoop house while I keep Winona in her crate. When she’s recovered from Beulah’s attack, I’ll have to reconfigure that area a bit as I don’t want her to suffer from Guapo’s love attacks.

 

 

IMG_0653

I have to say, Guapo is pretty relaxed for a rooster. I think the constant human interaction is making him a tamer rooster than the one I had with the first flock. He crows in the morning, and is then generally quiet the rest of the day. A few crows, but not much. He doesn’t try to attack me or Mr. Hen House. I’m hoping this behavior will continue. I don’t like aggressive roosters.

The biggest problem with the hoop house is it still gets colder than I would like. The water is freezing solid. Mr. Hen House has not completed the waterer with the chicken nipples and heater. I think we will be addressing that soon!

Now, show a Hen House some love! The girls gotta eat.

It will be warm again! My next post, I think I’ll critique the incubator I used for those eggs that never hatched.

Blue Hen House

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