The Adventures Of Coop & The Gang

November Bits & Bobs November 20, 2011


Not a groundbreaking week for Coop & The Gang but some exciting news has lead to thoughts of pastures new & a better life for my lovely little ladies. Got my sights on a grand design with a garden focused round them.

I’ve safely boxed 12 eggs for Stir Up Sunday, the Sunday next before advent where the girls will be contributing to the preparation of the families Christmas pudding.

With this in mind they’ve had some nice treats to say thank you, mixed corn, meal worms & a peanut butter mess to keep energy levels up. It seems to be working, Im happy to announce we’re lice free & have been for a few weeks. Mave has bulked back up & dusting is on the maintenace routine for every 6 to 8 weeks in a hope we can keep them at bay over the winter weeks.




We’ve had fun with feeders again this week, now that is a post I do need to sit down & write. Two nights I’ve come home to the top very much unattached from the bottom. What now I’ve tried them all?

With the modifications which have happened to Coop following the last clean, the ramp has been removed for health & safety reasons. The part attaching the ramp to the hen house gets a fair amount of abuse from poo as its within aiming distance of the favoured perch & very well trampled by pooey feet.

As a result when brushed with a stiff brush part of it came away! Oh no, I broke Coop, help help help! I scurried the girls away, what if they got a toe caught, or a beak….its shiney! I found a screwdriver, took a big deep breath and tried with all my might. Phew, it came off and not such  bad thing, it needed a good clean.

What will the girls do? Can I get a box, do they need some stairs. Well the answer is no, before I’d got the removable base back in Coop Doris had hoped up and said hello. As the week has gone on it appears the girls are very capable & seemingly enjoying jumping to & from the hen house. In the morning they get points for dismount and do appear to be trianing for the olympics, Flo bunny hops down as the first awake she has no one to step on, Mave takes a little back step and then gives her best jump. Doris as the last up has to take a good run up, part avoid a feeder and either Florence or Mave, we did get a little cute wing and leg kick from her this morning. Aww.

But without the ramp there is more space in Coop so we have introduced the outside feeder I was saving for pastures new but what they hey. Its up on legs with rain hat purchased from the CLA game fair this year for a steal. Its only day two but its still intact…baby steps,baby steps. But its still clean & not pooped in….rare!

Tonight  its going to end up in every possible part it comes down to & covered in poo now I’ve said this. Oh well.


The Moult: Maves New Clothes November 13, 2011

Filed under: Keeping Chickwans — Coop & The Gang @ 1:00 pm

So, Mave is looking a bit scruffy…after a lovely 6 months in fine feather looking her best most days, the Autumn has come & so has the moult.

The odd feather has been appearing in Coop, in the garden & in the hen house. She’s looking pretty shabby around her neck but not so much in her tail as I expected.

At first I thought it was lice, poor Mave. More powder? A good scratch? Some oinment, a cream? A wash. Fortunately none of the above, the lice seem under control & I suspect its just the moult, replacing old feathers for new.

Usually happens when a hen has seen her first season, a completely harmless procedure that happens over

Mave Pin Feathe

4 to 6 weeks from losing to rejuvinating.

Its essential to keep the girls well fed, build up energy levels so new feathers are strong & they’re no

t knocked for six in the process. Mave has missed the odd lay which isn’t uncommon in the process, despite her being the oldest in the gang I figured based on approximate date of birth she’d be a spring moulter rather than an autum girl, but maybe she just likes the pretty colours too.

Typical Mave, just as I’m worrying about how best to keep them warm over the winter she decides to lose her feathers! Good job she’s never taken a serious interest in flight other than to shoulders & to knees so we’ve never clipped her wings but if we were this wouldn’t be the time to reclip.

On her morning decent from coop she looks rather odd, but on closer inspection following a house invasi

on she’s regrowing nicely with pin feathers appearing on the back of her neck, I was a little freaked out when I first saw them…she’s a chicken not a hedgehog.

To support additional feather growth, any aditional protein source is mostly welcome. A scheduled yogurt & seed feast is on the cards  as a treat for my lovely little ladies.


Its All In A Name… November 6, 2011

Filed under: Keeping Chickwans — Coop & The Gang @ 1:00 pm
Tags: , , , , , ,

The British Hen Welfare Trust have released the results of their 2011 Hensus, amonst the data collected about choice of feeds, mortality & predation rates in rescued ex bats, egg production & views to food standards including labelling is a lovely section with some wonderful comments about how hens have affected lives & finally the most popular names.

In first place, Henerietta. Tied in second place, Daisy & Ginger & in third place Rosie

Other top names included Betty, Ruby, Doris, Mabel, Matilda, Poppy, Lily, Babs, Hetty, Molly, Dolly, Millie, Lucy, Penny, Hattie, Martha & Peggy.

What a selection! Coop & the Gang has one member featured, Im sure our Doris would be pleased to know she’s not the only one.


Doris, Coop, Mave & Flo

So how did the Gang come to pass? I always liked the idea of calling one of the girls Mave…inspired partly by Willo the Wisp & Mavis Cruet, well the anti Mavis Cruet, but had she not been strutting her stuff & showing off when we approached the yard, she could just have easily been called something else, she is my little darling. I fell in love with her on sight, a lovely little waddle, good shape in the vent & a cheeky glint.

Doris was next, she was later named at home. He selected her, more by luck than judgement, so after a brief stint as poo feet as that was her most defining feature before acquiring her real name, Doris came to pass. He’s always wanted a Doris, as I had refused to be referred to as “his Doris” he got our light sussex instead.

& finally our Flo, she was a last choice which I wasn’t so enamored with at the time. The black rocks were considerably younger, lacking in weighted waddle. Once home & handled I was never concerned she’d go for my face, but somehow she became facepecker…incidentally it was Mave who karated me in the face & made me look like I was crying blood.

The more she snuffled around the garden the more she seemed a little scatty & scaredy all at once, with some abuse from Mave she felt like a Florence, there was something quite elegant but scatty about her & so Flo came to pass.

They’ve certainly lived up to the characteristics that lead to their names, Mave the Mercellous or Mavis Cruet when Im mad with her. Doris is our most chilled out girl, nothing knocks off her cool & Flo is as fickle as the wind & most definitely a Florence when she’s nibbling my potato plants.

How did you name yours?