We wait until near dusk because we live in town and although we want them to have some free-range time, we can't let them out too long without supervision or they might get into the street or bother the neighbors. And quite frankly, an hour of idle chicken-sitting out back is about all I can stand. Stuff to do, you know, stuff to do.
That really is quite the backyard flock, isn't it? The original wild chicken, our six older hens, plus the nine hens I mail-ordered (and the thirteen roosters that came free with them), and nine older hens in my next-door neighbor's old pigeon coop. We feed and water the older hens (as well as collect their eggs).
When the light starts fading, they begin making their way back into the pen. The white chickens are always the first to bed.
Chickens like to get as high off the ground as possible. We used to have a roost about two feet off the ground, but then I got the bright idea to put one up by the ceiling, with a ladder to get up there.
At first, only the white ones went up there. But now it's becoming quite the hot spot.
The problem is that the chickens are all so selfish. They only think about themselves. As soon as they get up the ramp, they settle into a comfy spot and won't budge. Since there's only one ladder, this can pose a problem.
Shove over, willya?
P.S. Some of the chickens in the pictures are no longer with us, thanks to a neighborhood dog. We lost one of the three white, one of the three orange, two of the five black, and two roosters. The white chickens are my husband's favorites.