Category Archives: Rhode Island Red

Country Catches Critical Chicken Crisis — Can Old Fashioned Remedy come to the Rescue?

2 or 3 days old, backyard chickens
2 or 3 days old, backyard chickens

Chickens are starting to appear in larger and larger numbers in animal shelters. Animal shelters? Really?

Really really. This is a real story. The story goes on to say that people no longer want their chickens after the birds have stopped laying eggs, and just don’t know what to do with them! Are we really spending tax payer dollars, or donor dollars, on abandoned chickens because people do not know what to do with them?

My wife and I have backyard chickens. When these chickens stop laying eggs, they are not going to become pets. They are not going to be dumped on some poor overworked/underfunded animal shelter. And they are not going to be dumped in some neighborhood like a college kid’s puppy that is no longer wanted because summer break has arrived. This is a real problem. Yes, sadly Country Catches Critical Chicken Crisis (c5) is not a joke. This is a reflection of the super-modernized, super-sanitized culture we live in. People sit at their computer screens, distant from the “dirty” processes that make the real world run.

“The majority of them are going to be backyard birds that have been either abandoned or dumped,” he said. “Usually, no one wants roosters, and the hens we get are usually spent hens. People don’t know what to do with their old hens. I’ve picked them up at apartment complexes, parks, or I get calls from the Humane Society or animal control.”–OPB

Well, there is an old fashioned remedy that has been passed down for generations which can deal with c5. And I’m going to share it with you, here… for free!! That’s right! You won’t need to purchase a membership, buy a poorly written book, or attend a seminar in Las Vegas.

The Remedy to c5 is… (drum roll please): It’s called chicken dinner. I know some of you may not have realized that chicken dinner is made from chickens. You probably thought chickens grew on trees or were manufactured by a new Monsanto wonder plant. But in reality, chicken dinner is made from chicken.

First, you kill the chicken (yeah, this is old school). Second, you pluck the chicken. Third, you gut the chicken. Fourth, you prep the chicken for cooking (my wife normally does this, and it is an overnight process). Fifth, prep the chicken via your favorite recipe and then toss it in the oven/skillet/crock pot. Sixth, you EAT the chicken. For some of you, this old fashioned method of what to do with chickens after they have stopped laying eggs may seem a bit barbaric. Well grow up. At the very least you could sell them on craigslist to someone else that will eat them.

Think before you get chickens. If you want backyard chickens but don’t have the stomach to eat them, then you shouldn’t get backyard chickens. What’s the problem with eating chickens? I mean seriously… chicken tastes like… chicken.

Honestly, backyard chickens filling up animal shelters is absurd… wake up America.

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Happy 4th of July – My Chickens are Stuck in the Trees

My chickens were in the trees again. Happy 4th of July!

They will definitely be getting their wings clipped this week. One trick I learned to get them out of the trees involves a broom handle. Chickens, similar to other birds, will perch on anything.

So if you take the broom handle and press is against the front of their legs, they will almost naturally step onto the broom handle as if it was a branch. By doing this, you can then easily lower them down from the tree. One of them I was able to carry from the tree almost to the door of the chicken coop by using the “broom handle perch” method.

Anyone else had the adventure of catching chickens in the trees?

My Chickens are Stuck in the Tree

My chickens were in the trees again. This time, two of them were REALLY high up. I tried to video them, but the result looks like Blair Witch meets the Chicken Wrangler. It took approximately 30 minutes for me to get all four chickens unstuck from the trees tonight. Two were fairly easy to catch because they were within arms reach.

The other two chickens were a different story. They were both nine feet off the ground, and I made the smart decision to poke them with a stick to get them down. Which, of course, was the wrong decision because they flew higher into the tree. Finally I came up with the idea of pulling the tree branch down and then they were six feet off the ground, and then I snagged them from the tree. Now all four are safely locked in their chicken coop.

So has anyone else had the adventure of catching chickens in the trees?

How do you get chickens to use a new coop?

Getting Chickens into the Coop
Trying to get the chickens into the coop by leaving a trail of chicken feed

So, it has been nearly two weeks since our chickens got their new coop. But they still won’t use it… and we are still being forced to pluck them out of trees at night. How do you get chickens to use a new coop?

New Chicken Coop will hopefully keep my Chickens out of the Trees

Motorcycle Shipping Box
I converted a motorcycle shipping crate into a chicken coop
Four Walls Up and Door
Four Walls are finally up, and the door has been added
Finished Coop
Finished Coop, painted, has a roof too!!
Getting Chickens into the Coop
Trying to get the chickens into the coop by leaving a trail of chicken feed

Our chickens finally have a coop. They are approximately three months old. We have three Rhode Island Reds and one Ameraucana. The coop did not take long to assemble. The biggest problem was that I am a graduate student, so I had zero time to put it together during the school year.

But now all my classes are finally done, and I finished grading papers. So I started working on the chicken coop Friday, June 15th… and I worked on it Friday, Saturday, and finished it Monday (today). Apparently grad school sapped my strength… because the motorcycle shipping crate seemed much heavier than I expected. Sitting around and studying 6 to 12 hours a day is probably not great for my muscles. Anyway… the coop is finished.

The crate was a deal from craigslist. The cost for the wooden motorcycle shipping crate was $75 (U.S.), the paint (which was on discount) and other supplies were less than $20 (U.S.). The coop measures four feet by eight feet… and has an 8 foot wooden beam inside for the chickens to roost on. So, a very large coop for under $100.

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The last couple weeks my wife and I have started finding our chickens in strange places. They have been roosting on top of the rabbit cages… or roosting in the trees above our heads. Hopefully we can get them accustomed to getting into the coop. Yes, I am still new at this… but it is still hard for me to reconcile the fact that I found my chickens in the trees. Really, in the trees? What strange places have you found your chickens?

Bearded Chicken
Ameraucanas look like they have beards… that’s a Rhode Island Red next to it