Thursday, January 15, 2015

And That Could Not Have Gone Worse

Just when you thought there couldn't be more chicken drama, here it is! After striking out on craigslist repeatedly, I tried a new avenue for secondhand birds via the Roanoke Chicken Swap Facebook page. My request for peepers was immediately met with fowl available for purchase. After some brief negotiations, a fellow agreed to meet us near our house with seven birds: 2 buff orpington, 2 black sex link, and 3 brown leghorns.

We showed up in the parking lot for the exchange, armed with large plastic boxes and chicken wire. The farmer looked concerned about the birds getting loose and offered to drive them to our house, which was only 10 minutes away. We released them all into the run and he went on his way. Excited about the new acquisitions, I called Maggie, who was home sick with a sore throat, down to see them. She went into the run and left the door open, which did not strike me as a terrible idea, that is until one of the black birds left and promptly flew over the fence and into a tree in the woods, some 20 feet up.


From there we focused on clipping the other birds' wings who were still in the fenced area. Not that they were staying. One of the leghorns lit off to the Tallmadge's next door, but was relatively easily apprehended. Maggie and I hunted them down one by one and clipped their wings until one of the other leghorns took off over the fence as well.

It was off to the thorny ridge for Maggie and myself to hunt down the two out of bounds birds.

This was pointy and not much fun. We eventually wore them down, clipped their wings, and deposited them into the run. We just had one more bird in the yard to catch and snip. This one was wily. Poor Maggie, sick, covered in prickers and tired, just burst into tears but refused to leave before the job was done because, as she so eloquently put it, "Dad kind of sucks at chicken wrangling." 

Eventually we got the job done and quarantined the new girls in the coop while the three originals are outside. The plan is to merge them at bedtime. Really, what could go wrong? It has gone swimmingly so far.

Black Sex Link

Buff Orpingtons

Brown Leghorn


  1. Never know, we typically have 20-30 birds feeding in our backyard. That was until yesterday when a small hungry hawk joined in and devoured one of the birds.
    It has been very quiet since