Friday, 10 August 2012

Musical Coops

The downside of red mite, is that when it gets a hold inside a badly designed hen house ( and I am talking about those cheaply made ones from pet superstores here) the only thing to do is to torch the whole thing.
I have a donated hen house which 16 hens ( and one guinea fowl) absolutely adore. It looks the business but is, in fact cheaply designed and badly constructed. Yesterday I dismantled the double panelled roof and found lurking inside millions of blood sucking fat bastard parasitic red mites and so, without a moment's more procrastination, I took a hammer to the whole thing and made a bonfire.
Job done I hear you all say.....well yes AND no, for the problem that now reared it's ugly head was..... where exactly do 16 suddenly displaced birds roost for the night?
I moved several of the other hen houses slightly nearer to the site of the destroyed house in the hope that they could take a bit of the overspill, then waited for dusk to hit that "night is here" switch so that I could watch the reaction of the "homeless" and hopefully help as needed.
Collectively the hens all milled around looking somewhat bemused at first, and as the light gave that subtle change into dusk panic broke out amongst the ranks
This video captures the scene quite beautifully



The whole thing looked like a rush for the lifeboats from Titanic, with fat old buffs  kicking their way into the duck house with  that frozen "frigging Hell Frigging Hell!!!" kind of expressions on their faces.
Only the old cockerel Stanley took somewhat of a calm lead by finding a space in my largest hen house and with all the experience of his 8 years of being in charge loudly clucked at his girls to follow him home.

By dark, I had rounded up all of the stragglers and pushed each one into less over crowded hen houses alongside Felicity Shagwell and the remaining crackhead Whores........and peace reigned only around quarter to ten when the last hen clucked her last hysterical cluck before sleep
 yeap never a dull moment

ps
Congratulations to local girl  Jade Jones from Flint who won an incredible Olympic Gold medal in the Taekwondo finals.....nice one!

26 comments:

  1. Crikey, I hope you explained the red mite situation to the homeless hens, to soften the blow a bit !!

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  2. Nancy Walker's silent scream in Murder By Death - absolutely priceless!

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  3. A community in disarray..poor chickies.

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  4. Chicken drama..better than a soap opera!

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  5. Oh heck!

    Life is never boring!

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  6. Goes to show, when forced into extreme circumstances cooperation will reign supreme!!
    Good job John!

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  7. From chicken whisperer to chicken traumatiser in one afternoon.
    Jane x

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  8. Commy power? Or is that Red Might!

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  9. That was a spur of the moment decision. Shame you and the hammer can't build a new one as quickly. That always is the most irritating part of those ultimate solutions. Will you let them sort it out, or will you come in with a new and equally loveable house?

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  10. Thank goodness Stanley remained calm. I do hope they settle in all right--it's never easy to explain why sometimes these things have to happen, is it?

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  11. Every chicken house we build has ALL the wood components painted on all sides before they are assembled, and no little hiding places are left. It's a constant battle with mites, and probably more so for you because you've had a damp summer. I still think you need a nice chicken barn where you can just walk down the alley in the evening and see into the pens so you know everyone is tucked in for the night. Add automatic waterers and you'd save yourself so much work and it would be easier to find a poultry sitter when you need to get some time away.

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  12. I've never understood the gesture in old movies where the heroine draws her outwardly cupped hand up to her cheek as she screams. What the heck is that?

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  13. So, are you insinuating that there's an UPside to red mites...? Sound like all-around miserable buggers to me.

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  14. I'm surprised. Couldn't you just bring all the hens into the house with you?

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  15. Yes it is on occasions like this that we realise that hens really are pretty daft things - but hopefully they will go to the right place tonight John.
    What a lovely girl your medal winner is = many congratulations to her.

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  16. I rather cruelly enjoy observing the hens when I've moved their house. They dash up and down in the empty space, incredulous, as if they expect it to suddenly re-materailise....rather like I did, the morning after my car was stolen....

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  17. On a farm where I used to rent a cottage the chooks ignored the henhouse and spent the night on the branch of a tree. Perhaps no red mites up there?

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  18. congratulation to Jade Jones from Flint...well done!

    I wondered how that scrubbing down the hen houses was going to work out for you...mites are tricky little varmits! and chickens who live their lives by the "when the sun goes down my hen house is meant to be right there" clock, have their favorite abode burnt to the ground...you did well to have them all tucked in by 10something ;) loved the video...recognized some Hitchcock in there and some others...excluding my headache, the screaming was right on target as regards the houseless hens! ;)

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  19. I thought you'd mention Jade Jones...she's a star isn't she?

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  20. Haha.

    Glad to hear it all worked out in the end, John. Quick thinking, too.
    Have a great weekend!

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  21. I think the least you could have done was knock up a new henhouse that afternoon... Meanie.

    I only got half way through your scream movie and I'm All Screamed Out. Must send it to my daughter. She'll love it.

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  22. So glad your girls all managed to get themselves sorted out in the end LOL

    Lordy, I sure hope I'm not tempting fate here, but in the 5 1/2 years we've had our girls we have been SO lucky not to have the dreaded red mites descend on us. My only theory is that the girls have always lived in a haze of Stalosan F powder and Diatom! Just the thought of red mite makes me feel itchy!

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  23. How DO you get rid of red mites, without burning down the coop? Ours is unfinished rough cut wood inside, and this summer, the mites have come out in droves. I hate going in there to collect the eggs. I come out scratching and needing a shower. (Well, I DO take one, daily, but I need ANOTHER shower AFTER collecting the eggs) UGH. What to do for it??

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  24. creosote is supposed to be useful..... but the hens cannot live in the hut for a while....

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  25. I hate red mite with an absolute passion. I used the legal version of creosote (creocoat I think) and haven't had an issue so far this year.

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