Meet the New Coop Ladies (and Gent) of Paradise Ranch

Aw, I went today to pick up my 7 hens and 1 rooster (blue cochins), and had to do a doubletake- they are HUGE. 
I traded a painting for them, but really my hubby will eventually be called to do PC repair in exchange. I expect with all the feed and the waterer I'd call it even for an hour of his work. (They are now past their laying peak age).


They wouldn't fit in the crate cages I brought for them (2 to a cage), The rooster would take one all by himself! So we just loaded them up into the back of the wagon (station wagon). Thank goodness I had put down a large canvas first. LOL

All the way home, they stayed where they'd been placed, and even finally set down upon their legs (is this 'sitting'?) One let out a very quiet chicken purr, not a cackle, a little trill: Drrrrr.
(they got here before I got the straw spread out)

There is a silver one too- maybe they call it a lavender. Her previous owner called her "Speckles". I should've asked about their names, but they are pretty shy (not flighty!), and I don't think they'll come when called.


We set them down inside the coop and they didn't move for the half hour it took to get their water and feed set up. (The two on the left hopped up onto the outdoor water pan- no water in it, just a big rock). They had no roost where they'd been, except an entry bar in front of the ground-level nests. 
This is their yard:
(thick wire is draped with sheet strips to discourage eagles and hawks from swooping down on them)






We'll see how they adapt as the days go by.
I'll let them outside in their yard tomorrow and get better pics and a size comparison.
If they're large, will they lay large eggs? (They are 2 years old and won't lay every day, but 7 hens for just 2 of us, it will be enough- in fact I may endeavor to hatch more next spring, and that's why I'm happy about the rooster!)

Now I just need to keep the bears, coyotes, mountain lions, neighborhood dogs, eagle, hawk, badger, and my chicken-killing pomeranian away from them.


Do porcupines bother them? I sure hope they don't attract any skunks!
Two nights ago, I opened the door and at least a dozen coyotes began yipping and howling! They were close by- maybe 30-40 acres away, in several directions.
It was really chilling. 
Like wolves at the door.
At night. 
With only a sliver of moon, and clouds overhead too. 
Maybe I'll get some solar lights out there.











 Sweet dreaming!







My Chicken Coop

Chickens this Friday! I'm finally ready, and got the camera back...


Here are pics of the coop and the fencing/gate situations (click to enlarge if you want detail):







at the entry - a ramp with rubber doormat attached, anchored with tent pegs so it won't slip, a removable step for me

Before:
there it is, on the North side of the house


*most of the junk and tools are out
After:



Inside:


*the floor now has some spots of stuff that leaked from the chainsaws- eventually the floor will be covered in linoleum for easy cleaning!
*roosting bars in front of a South-facing window (cut and gathered from the property), attached with string, and secured to just above the window with 16-penny nails.

*the ramp and 6 nesting boxes (plastic crates with boards to help hold the straw/eggs in) 
Better picture coming when it's got straw supplied.
Those 5-gallon cans are full of paint and such- too heavy to move.

Pictures with the hens coming next! 
I'd love to see the progression of your journey- come share!

Sweet Dreams,