After the chickens found a new roost and the loss of Mrs. Leedle a few days later, I’ve decided our chickens are safer in a coop and tractor. I thought it was odd they suddenly started roosting in the horse barn after 8 months in our storage shed. I initially chalked it up to the cold, but wondered if some animal disturbed their peace. We do have mice in there and cats have come around. I know it seems common sense to not let your chickens free range, but with the horses, we had A LOT of flies and mosquitos, and the chickens pretty much got them in check as soon as they arrived. With foals and other baby animals, pesticides aren’t the best answer.

I am using an old shed as a coop, and have moved the last remaining hen, Leedle, and my juvenile pullets and roosters out there too. The good news is the red hen (who we call 2.0) has started laying again, although she needs to learn to use the box we set up. I put a light in the shed for warmth.

Leedle is confused by the new comers, was ok with the older juveniles, but has completely lost it over the younger 12 week olds (who are considerably smaller). I had to separate them into a smaller cage. We will start them in a tractor soon.


Maat van Uitert is a backyard chicken and sustainable living expert. She is also the author of Chickens: Naturally Raising A Sustainable Flock, which was a best seller in it’s Amazon category.  Maat has been featured on NBC, CBS, AOL Finance, Community Chickens, the Huffington Post, Chickens magazine, Backyard Poultry, and Countryside Magazine. She lives on her farm in Southeast Missouri with her husband, two children, and about a million chickens and ducks. You can follow Maat on Facebook here and Instagram here.

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