Follow our adventures

Follow our adventures as we raise a tiny flock of chickens in suburban Bexley, Ohio.
Our chicken bloggers include Tami Taylor, a Welsummer, and Tyra, a Jersey Giant.
RIP, Betty, Joan, Sally & Peggy.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Welcome home Tami Taylor & Tyra!

It's a cruddy day outside, but we're happy over here at Bexley Chickens because we've finally brought home two new pals for Peggy!

Welcome Tami Taylor (a Welsummer) and Tyra (a Jersey Giant)!

This morning Andrew & I woke up early to drive to Marion & pick them up.  Cathy from Omelet Acres met us (apparently what counts as early for us softened city folk is practically mid-afternoon for Cathy & her husband, Mark!).  They have a lovely farm out there & a bunch of all kinds of breeds of chickens.  You can check out their hens' handy work at the Bexley Co-Op & the Greener Grocer in the North Market -- look for Omelet Acres.

Cathy picked our hens for us (they wisely don't allow strangers back near the coops because we have god-knows-what on our shoes!).  We bought some eggs, too, for good measure because Cathy reminded us that the hens might not lay for a while because of the stress of the move.

They both were very tame & not at all hand shy.  Much cuddlier than Peggy!  We packed them up in recycling bins for the trip home.  Thanks, Bexley Recycling.

I threw down some straw & scratch to make the yard a little more interesting/distracting (per Cathy's suggestion).  Tami Taylor (the pretty Welsummer) seemed like the feistier of the two so I put her in the chicken area first.  I didn't really have a rationale for this - it just seemed right.  Here's Peg & Tami, making their acquaintance:

Just after I snapped this photo there was a tiny, 15 second curfuffle, spurs up.  But Tami seems to have emerged as the top hen & they moved on quickly.  Peggy hid behind my legs for a second and is definitely keeping an eye out for where Tami is in relation to her and the scratch.  She's hugging the rails a little bit, but doesn't seem too stressed out.  She's eating and scratching, so what more can I hope for?  When I added Tyra (the Jersey Giant), it went even smoother.  She just slipped right in.

I'm relieved that this seems like no big deal!  It's certainly 100% easier than when we tried to add Sally to the established pecking order of Peggy & Joan.

Lesson learned: 1+2 is easier than 2+1!

And now, for your moment of zen:

Note @ 10:46pm: This post has been updated to reflect the fact that Tami Taylor is spelled Tami not Tammy.  I know you were all thinking "when will she discover she's made a horrible mistake?"  Someone could've just told me and spared poor Tami nearly 12 hours of embarrassment!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Two new chickens?

We found a woman on CraigsList who lives in Marion (about an hour from us) who has a small flock and about 50 years of experience with chickens! She's going to pick out two young hens to come join Peggy. I think it'll be perfect. We're driving up on Wednesday morning to pick them up: one Welsummer & one Jersey Giant. She said the Jersey has been getting a little too much attention from the rooster lately so I think she'll enjoy coming to live with us. I'm really glad that this is shaping up to be a happy ending for Peggy & hopefully the two new girls, too!

I'll be sure to take pictures to post! In the meantime, here's what the breeds look like:


Welsummers lay pretty, medium sized brown speckled eggs.  Jersey Giants lay big brown eggs.  Cathy in Marion says they might not lay for a while after the stress of the trip, but by springtime we'll definitely have eggs again!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Peggy Update: We're keeping her!

Peggy seems to be doing so much better.  Our rubric for "doing better" is "acting like a chicken."  She's scratching in the dirt, eating well, running away from loud noises but then coming up to investigate.  All very Peggy-like.  This is good news!
Her comb is still flopped over which in my limited chicken-vetting knowledge means nutrition deficiency or old.  She's still missing a lot of feathers.  She still seems not quite all there.

With all that in mind, Andrew & I have been talking about our responsibility toward this little lady.  We did have an offer to adopt her out to a bigger flock, but my sense is that, because this other flock is big, each individual chicken is less...valued.  I have a sense that the flock owner has a much more pragmatic approach to hen husbandry than we do.  If Peggy was picked on, I'm not sure she'd be coddled there.  As Andrew points out: it's not a rescue farm.  (Note: even at the rescue farm where I used to work, there wasn't too much time to worry about each individual chicken's emotional well-being, if you get my drift).

But we did commit to Peggy when we got her.  Maybe not in the same way that you commit to a dog or a cat, but in some way we promised to take care of her.  So now what?

We've decided to try to find a pal for Peggy that we can adopt so that she has company and body heat this winter.  Ideally, we'll find a 6 month old who can start laying in the spring as I'm pretty sure Pegster's laying days are through.  We'll get just one so Peggy won't have to defend herself against two.  We'll monitor things to see how they go.  We'll see...

Peggy's tiny addled brain can't understand this decision, but I know she'll be happier staying put!

Incidentally, if you know of a not-too-aggressive older pullet or young hen looking for a home, please let us know!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

City Folks Coop Tour!

This coming Saturday is the City Folk's Autumn Coop Tour!

We're excited that two of our fellow Bexley chicken owners are on the tour!  And another family in Eastmoor!  Lots of reasons to come east on Oct 12 from 1-4pm.  I'll be popping back and forth between the two Bexley houses.  Hope to see you there!

Peggy Update

Peg is hanging on.  I heard her clucking today like she'd laid an egg (she hadn't, but it was nice to hear her doing her normal chicken thing).  We've been locking her in the dog crate in the garage every night -- still not trusting the coop.  She's still looking pretty beat up, but she looks less dead-in-the-eye and less mopey.  We're still not sure what we'll do.

New options:
Get one additional docile chicken to keep her company through the winter.
Adopt her to the guy with the big flock.
Foster her through the winter with Jenni's chickens -- if they'll accept her.

I guess we'll give it a few more weeks and see how things progress.

Poor Peggy.