Sunday, August 30, 2015

The Corner

The hens send themselves to the corner.  Their favorite shady corner.
You can see Weezy in the front.  Jim and Murphy are on the other side of the plant but it is hard to see them all tucked down into the cool mulch.

The Morning Regulars

 We were a little late with the morning snacks.  Can you tell?

 Of course the snacks came eventually and all was well at Red Door Coop.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

We Are Five

It is rare to get all five chickens in one photograph, but tonight they were all happily enjoying a feast of grass in the same corner of the yard.  I couldn't resist.

And then Weezy decided to get a little alone time.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Tomatoes + Eggs = Happy!

We are happy with the bounty of Red Door Coop and Garden. 
And there is plenty more where that came from. 

The chickens seem happy as well.  They are getting along although they tend to stay with their own "crowds" as evidenced in the photos.

Big events going on around here.  Papa Hen has a new position that starts Monday.  Mama Hen is back to school for her fifth year.  We are getting five eggs a day.  Friends and family will be visiting soon and we are planning a fall camping trip.  Woo-hoo!

Sunday, August 16, 2015


Chickens like melon.  Even BB, but she was busy with other important chicken affairs. 

Friday, August 14, 2015

Quiet Morning

The chickens are enjoying the yard this morning.  We had a big rain late yesterday afternoon so there are lots of goodies in the grass for them to find. 

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Pied Piper

Despite missing Lou, we can still laugh and smile.  Life goes on.  The new chickens, Jim and Murphy, are fitting right in with the other three chickens at Red Door Coop.  All five of them followed Mama Hen on a march around the yard with some special treats.  Papa Hen added a new roost and ramp to the coop to give the birds more perches and hiding places.

 See the roost back there and the ramp up to the loft?


We are in sad times here at Red Door Coop.  Lou never came out of her funk.  She wouldn't eat or drink and had been sitting in her little nesting box for two days.  None of her favorite treats would coax her out of the box.  Then she died in her sleep.  We will miss that feisty chicken with her floppy comb.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Today's hazy sky is creating a welcome break from the hot temperatures we've had in the Mile High City this week.  The chickens are enjoying this less-hot hot day.  The heat has been so intense that the coop's been unbearable, especially for the little girls who are constantly being sent to the corner by the big girls.  So even though my intention was to keep them all locked up together until all of their 'issues' were worked out, I've had to let them free range.  It's been a lot of fun to watch. 

These old girls are comfortable as a threesome.
Although they are missing this one, who is still in the sick bay.  She's not eating or drinking much.  I've been bringing out a lot of her favorite treats and managed to get her to eat a little here and there.  Lou is still under close observation. 
BB's been checking in on Lou.  She looks all caring and everything, but she really wants Lou's special treats. 
The new chickens continue to stick together like glue and even venture into the old chickens' small flock now and again.  The old chickens' chasing is getting to be less and less already, on only day two of integration.  This makes me happy.

Here's Murphy.
Here's Jim.
Here's Murphy and Jim.

It's been a pleasure to be home for most of the week, except for when I venture out for a few errands and daily bike rides and walks.   My main focus has been on Red Door Coop and the chickens.  I hope to travel next week and after that am heading back to school and need to get the hens comfortable together before those things can happen. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Step One: Last night, just after chicken bedtime, I added extra fresh water dishes and feeders to the main coop.  The old hens will try to dominate the food sources so I leave a lot out so the new hens can eat and drink. 

Step Two:  At 1:30am I rose when my alarm clock sounded.  First I moved Lou to the pen and laid her to sleep in the nesting box there.  She's been a big bully in the yard with the new hens so I decided to take the advice of many bloggers and isolate the bully.  Second, I carried Jim and Murphy from the little coop into Red Door Coop and put them on the main roost alongside BB, Bill, and Weezy.  There were some quiet squawks at the interruptions to sleep, but everyone quieted down in the dark.

Step Three:  At 5:15 my alarm sounded again and I rose to make coffee, gather chicken snacks, check on Lou, and then wait.  At 5:45 the Red Door Coop door opened and five birds emerged, in order: Jim, BB, Bill, Weezy, and then Murphy.  There was a lot of loud squawking from then until about 7am when things quieted down.  Poor neighbors.  The old hens strutted their stuff like they were in Milan during fashion week.  Flapping their wings, beaks in the air, voices loud and proud, dominating Red Door Coop with attitude.    The new hens hid in the coop, on top of the little coop, near one of the hidden away feeders, and wherever else they could get a moment of peace.  Luckily, these new hens are plucky.  They ran in and out from hiding to nibble and drink, showing that they are much more bold than Weezy and BB were when they started their lives here last summer.

Step Four:  I checked on the chickens many times today.  If there was an especially loud cackle I ran out to check that no blood was drawn.  The chickens are establishing a new pecking order minus Lou plus two new hens.  It'll be rowdy for a few days.  When things calm down, probably by the weekend, we plan to bring Lou back into the fold. the afternoon I noticed that Lou did not look quite right.  I observed her for a bit as she sat unmoving and then switched to standing unmoving.  This is not like Lou.  She is ALWAYS moving.  Then I noticed a big drip (kind of like a big long snot) coming from her vent.  No!  I checked it out, washed her off, added cider vinegar to her water and then went back to our books and online bloggers.  She could have a prolapse although her vent does not look like it is poking out like (disgusting) images online.  Later, Lou started walking about and scratching again.  Yet, she's currently under close observation and staying in the pen.  With all her other recent health issues, Papa Hen and I are not certain what we will do for her if it is a prolapse.  Those are very serious.

Step Five:  After twelve hours together in Red Door Coop, I let the five hot chickens (high of 95 degrees today) into the yard.  Lou stayed in the sick bay.  As predicted, the old hens found one corner and the young hens found the opposite corner.

Here are a few photos from this evening.

Lou is in the sick bay.
In Red Door Coop, new hens above, old hens below.
Shake those tail feathers.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015


We have some little squash.

Reminds me of one of my favorite books by Joan Bauer, Squashed.  If you are a gardener and enjoy teen fiction, you should read this book!

Jim and Murphy

You might be thinking that the new Red Door Coop hens are getting all the love, but that's just not true.  Everyone's getting their fair share of care, but the camera is focused on the new girls right now.

Here is Jim.
 Here is Jim the Explorer.

 Here is Murphy. 
Here are Jim and Murphy.

Sounds like a children's book. 

Monday, August 3, 2015

Chickens in the Yard

The two new chickens, Jim and Murphy, have been mostly separated from the four other hens for the first few days of life at Red Door Coop.  Moving is stressful for all the birds, newcomers and old-timers, so we are slowly introducing all six chickens.  This morning, we allowed all six birds to roam the yard.  It was a mostly friendly affair while they are out on the free range.  When they get into the coop, it will not be such a pastoral scene.

Here are the two new chickens near the geraniums.  Jim is on the left and Murphy is on the right.
Here they are again being closely observed by BB.  She seems to stay very close to them, but not in a real friendly way. 
We'll get some more close up shots as Jim and Murphy become more settled into their new digs.