Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Moving chickens

We have many discussions in our house about what is best for the finca, and how we can make it run smoothly and earn money. The chickens are a huge part of these conversations, therefore, they need to be maintained correctly. We have two main orchards and originally there were one set of chickens in one part, and another set down below.

My husband had mentioned on several occasions about moving the top lot so everything was in one orchard. This would make it easier to feed, clean and monitor the chickens, and I considered the prospect of attempting to move 30 chickens without disaster. I think the soaring heat must have got to me last week, as during one of the hottest days I declared we were moving chickens!

Now in my insane moment I believed that with some corn, the chickens were simply going to follow me out of the orchard, like the pied piper of hamlet, and into the bottom orchard...yeah right!! This "small" task took 3 hours, 4 rakes, a huge amount of swearing, and some stressful moments. Eventually they were all down the bottom, and I thought it would get easier.

The next morning as I bounded down the stairs (OK, I don't bound, but you get the picture) my heart sank as I saw that a huge proportion of the chickens were back, smugly starring at me waiting to be fed. It then dawned on me that this was habit for them, they knew no different, and had to be taught where to go. We repeated the process, and in all fairness it only took just over an hour this time....why I am not the size of a pencil I do not know the amount of chasing animals I do on a daily basis.

After 3 days of this I was pissed off, and demanded the scissors...no not to slit their throats although this had crossed my mind, but to clip their wings! So far this seems to have worked, and they are enjoying their new nesting boxes, and the new environment. Lets hope they remain where they should be, and begin to get back to normal.

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