Saturday, October 31, 2009

Reduced my chicken load


The other day I went into the coop to collect egg (notice I didn't say 'eggs', because I only have one hen laying right now, so it's one egg every other day for us), and the stink just about knocked me over! Yuck! It occurred to me that 18 chickens in my 8 x 10 coop might be a bit much. It was ok when they were little, but the youngest chicks, Red's Six, was growing up fast. I had just put down a fresh layer of chips a week or so before, and it was already time for more. Plus they'd just eaten through another bag of pellets, and I am having enough trouble keeping ourselves fed - no need to be feeding all these extra chickens. Time to lighten the load!

I advertised the 6 chicks on the Portland Chicken List. I already got rid of the roos from this group, so I think all six were pullets, unless there was a slow-maturing roo hidden in there. Also those six were driving me nuts because, just like their mom, they were wanderers! They were never in the coop area, always out wandering around. So I figured when they did start laying I'd be going on easter egg hunts everyday looking for the eggs. So it was an easy choice to let them go, and the money could go towards buying some more pellets.

I got a response, and it was an older lady from a town in the far corner of our county. I made her a deal on the chicks, and we agreed to meet at a nearby store parking lot. She kept wanting to come to my house, but I didn't want that, my house is hard to find, and besides I would have to catch the chicks the night before anyway - so it's not like she could just drop by. Well, she canceled, and rescheduled, and rescheduled again, and I was getting the idea she was high-maintenance. And she wanted to pay with a check, which was ok if she was getting them that day, but after a week of trying to arrange a pickup, I just wanted cash so I could go buy some chicken food.

Finally we had arranged to meet Saturday morning at 10, so at 10 I was in the arranged spot, with six chicks in a box, listening to Car Talk on NPR. Time passed and eventually I realized it was 25 after, and she probably wasn't coming. Grrrrr. I called Dave and let him know. So we agreed to wait five more minutes and give up. A few minutes later, as I was driving home, he rung me back, and said the lady had called, and she was at another store, about 7 miles away, and thought we were supposed to meet there. Dave had told her I would come there, and although I didn't want to, I couldn't call her back because she didn't have a phone, she had borrowed someone else's phone to call.

So now I had to drive all the way to this other store, and when I got there she insisted she was at the right place. I know she wasn't, I never would have agree to meet 15 miles round-trip from home, that was a whole gallon of gas or more for my huge van. I didn't want to argue, I just wanted to be done. Either way she gave me the cash, and I gave her the chicks, and that was done with! And I went right to the feed store and got a few bags of layer pellet for the remaining girls. Then I went home and laid down more fresh chips, refilled the feed bin, and gave them all a treat of leftovers from the kitchen. Happy chickens!

So my current chicken-count is five young hens that haven't started laying yet, one buff girl who is laying, and four older hens (including Penny) who are not laying - I don't know if they are done laying forever or just taking a break. And two roos. That's 12 chickens! Last year I had 8 hens laying all summer and had more eggs than I knew what to do with. So this year even if only the new girls are laying, we should have plenty of eggs.

2 comments:

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

Grrr! I can't stand when people play games like that.Time and gas can be wasted...and that costs, especially in this economy. bah!

I'm glad you were able to find a home for some of your chickens. I'll have to do that, too, if I find out any of my new chicks are roosters. It was fun to have them be hatched out, though, but I don't think I'm going to let my Silkie hen do that for a long time.

I'm only getting one or two eggs a day now, too. And they seem to eating more than they did when they were all laying.
It's funny how the few eggs that we get are treated like rare gifts, when last year, I was up to my eyeballs in eggs and glad to get rid of them and make some money. Now, none will go to waste or be sold. lol!

~Lisa

Mer said...

I can't get past the fact that there is an entire list devoted to chickens. Who knew? But as Bryan and I always say... you can get anything on the internet.