Growing and Laying

Our baby chicks aren’t so babyish anymore… sad face 😦

Chicks2

Two of our Columbian Rock Crosses have started laying (but not the one pictured below)…

Chicks

And maybe even one of my New Hampshire….

Chick

Their eggs have been so little and cute 🙂 No yokes in them at first, but now they are getting a little bigger so we’ll see when I crack open a bigger one…

Egggs

It has been very interesting to see these chickens integrate into the old flock and find their place among the other ladies. Its also fun to hear the difference in their clucking and little noises from the other types of chickens we have. I sat outside the last couple of nights since its been cooler, and just watched and listened to them…. Loving our adventures in chicken land 🙂

Adventures for Baby Chicks

Our baby chicks are growing and as you know from my last post are able to regulate their body temperature enough where they can be out in the yard on nice warm days.

Chick pen

As you can see from the above photo when they go outside they are placed in our newly built chicken tractor so they are safe to explore and birds or other things can’t get to them.

chick pen white

At first they were very timid and huddled together when they went out. But now they jump, run around, explore, peck at the grass, and act almost like a big chicken would.

Chick pen 2

Its really funny to watch them fight over spaces even though they have a big chicken tractor to be in. Their favorite space is a laying box we put in there for them to get used to.

chicks

This white baby chick thinks she rules the roost sometimes…

chicks box

But she usually gets pushed out of the box after a while.

chicks box2

They are also learning to use a big girl water feeder…

Chick water

They got used to that pretty fast.

Chicks water

For the most part the big chickens ignore the baby’s in their pen. Maybe because I haven’t planted my garden yet so they get to go into that to scratch in during the day…

Big Chicks

Still they are pretty close together, yet enjoying their own unique spaces I guess.

Chick yard

The baby chicks just enjoy each day they get to be out and right now they are fast asleep back inside and in their heat lamp area. Night Night baby chicks 🙂

 

 

Ten Things Learned While Raising Chickens

Keeping chickens is a big job. Much of the time you are learning new things about chicken keeping and the rest of the time it is maintaining of food, water, health, etc. Along this process you learn a lot and have a lot of fun.

Here are ten things I have learned so far about raising chickens:

1. The more you handle them as young chicks, while they are still in the  heat lamp box, it will make your chickens easier to catch, better tempered, and just easier to work with should you need to if they get sick, hurt, etc.buff chicks

2. Loosing your first chicken is the worst… it never gets easy, but each one after isn’t as hard.Chickn

3. Having your own fresh eggs when ever you need them is the best feeling.New eggs

4. Knowing you “grew” your own food makes you feel accomplished and healthy.Sepia Chick

5. Build the coop/run you want from the beginning, chickens don’t like changes to where they lay and sleep. They will show you by laying fewer eggs for a while.Chickens laying

6. Hubby says they are a lot more work then you think, cost more money then you think, and poop a lot.Buff bottom

7. Each chicken has their own personality, just like a person.Buff chick

8. Chickens like mischief and some jump fences.Buff chick fence

9. Chickens love tasty treats especially watermelon, corn cobs, and bread.Big chick breaks in

10. Chickens provide amusement and comic relief… no TV needed.Chickens run

New roosts and boxes

The chickens should be happy now… we spent the whole weekend building them new laying boxes and perches. My mom and step-father came up to help us. It was a bigger job then I thought, but it is done now and the girls now just need to get used to it 🙂 They now have 9 new boxes and 3 old ones as well as 7 new perches… The old girls (Rhode Islands) hutches were falling apart. They were getting old so they needed to be replaced. They kept a close eye on us while we worked…RhodeThey were not too happy to give up their old ways and even got the new buff chicks to help them make a stand in front of their old houses…They were not happy to be made to move… But they moved and let us get on with our work.Girls and HousesThe rain held off each day until we got done and then provided enough rain to get things wet and water my garden. Last night was the girls first night with the new boxes… they didn’t seem to happy and some wouldn’t even go in. After a while we went out and had to pick them up to show them where to roost now. Today one had layed in the new boxes and three others had laid in the new buff girls house we left in as it provides additional space for boxes and the new girls roosts. We needed to build new boxes and perches so all 16 of the girls have space to lay eggs and perch at night. It also makes things easier to clean.

This is the old hutches we had….Old HutchesNow it looks like this…New roosts n boxesWe had a couple girls exploring it today and getting used to the setting. I felt bad as the Rhode Islands basically grew up since 3 months in those hutches, but it was time to get some nicer living for the ladies who give us delicious eggs. (Even if they aren’t the most beautiful things 😉 )New BoxesOnly thing left to do is finish one ladder to the top boxes and add the clear sides panels to the outside of the run. I am happy thing are moving along, the weather is cooperating, and we had good help (thanks Mom and Bob). Tomorrow we hope to get that done along with getting hubbys shop back in working order. In other news we finally got some tomatoes that had turned red and I just had to eat a cherry tomato right off the vine… yum there is nothing like your own garden 🙂

Chicken Keeper…

Being a chicken keeper is not as easy as it sounds. Like any animal there are daily decisions about care, feed, shelter, etc. Today dilemma was about clipping the new chickens flight feathers as they keep escaping their area and the concern is that our neighbors dogs or other wild animals will get them. As I said the  other day, they are safer inside the area we fenced off for them where our dogs are then outside it. We have a large area fenced for them and our dogs to be.BuffSo today 4 more got out and so we clipped the one that couldn’t figure out how to get back in. Now clipping a chickens wing is something we have never done as we like for them to be able to get up on their perch, fly away from predators, etc… so this was a hard decision. Yet, it came down to the girls are safer in the fence then out of it. If the other’s keep jumping they will need to be clipped to at least this year.Buff x2I was told and have read the flight feathers grow back and if that is so hopefully the girls will have figured out they can’t jump/fly over the fence by the time they grow back and not try. Fingers crossed… one can hope so we can let them keep their flight feather’s next year. 🙂

Jumping Chickens

Our buff chicks have grown so much over the last three months… they are almost the size of the Rhode islands. It is still fun to watch them copy the Rhode Islands and learn to eat new things. 3 buffsThey also have learned how to jump the fence…buffNot something I wanted them to learn so we are working to break them of… but don’t think we will have much luck. There are only a couple that do this.  We would hate to clip their wings in case they need to get up high on a perch or get away from predators… but going outside their fence and where the dog smell is not as strong puts them in danger. The predators for the most part stay away from the area we fenced off for the dogs and chickens to roam in. So we would like the chickens to stay in… we shall see 🙂

Chickens and Watermelon

Since it has been so hot out off and on for the past week we have been enjoying the first watermelons of the season. Once the rinds are mostly clean the chickens get to peck them clean. This I found out is a favorite summer treat for the chickens (yes I know it is still spring).Chicks watermelonSo when I threw out some rinds the other day it was the baby buff’s fist experience with watermelon. At first as with any new treat we have given them they watch the big girls for a few seconds, then the ‘brave two’ as we call them, dive right in and follow the lady red’s.baby chick watermelonSo with any new treat we have to make sure we spread out the treats so the baby’s have a chance to get some. This time the baby buff’s had gotten some of the rind eaten as a big lady red walked by…Chkn walk byThen attempted to steal the rind a couple of baby buffs were working on. Big chick breaks inThe ‘brave two’ watched…Chickens fruitBefore getting back in on the action.Chciks fruit It is great to watch the new buff’s figure out how to be chickens and enjoy treats as the older lady reds do 🙂 If you have never tried this with your chickens, give it a try… I know it will give you some entertainment 🙂

Buffs Month 2 1/2

The baby buff’s are quite a bunch. They oriented to the outside quickly and after a couple of weeks are now trying to get in with the big ladies our Rhode Islands. They are so cute running across the yard after the big girls their bottoms just a moving…buff cick runThey are getting bigger this past couple of week as it seems between 2 months and 2 months 2 weeks they stalled out in the growth department for a bit. Now they are starting to look like a chicken and loosing those baby features….Buff chick faceAs the Rhode Islands did too…Big chicks faceThe baby buff’s are also more brave taking over some of the big girls space like laying on their ramp from their laying house…Buffs on walkDusting in the coop run…Buffs DustAnd they are trying to at times get in on the snacking action when treats are thrown out…Buff StandsThey are such soft girls I just love how soft their feathers are. They are a little more skittish as we didn’t handle the as much as we should have early on, but they are getting used to us picking them up and holding them.Buff chick They also now don’t run when we come into the coop they see the big ladies surrounding us and they come right along. They have learned to love scratch and the occasional food treats we throw to them. Some are braver than other’s, but isn’t that how it is with anything 🙂

Chicken Scratch

Today the rain that the weather man promised came… I couldn’t be upset about it though as it was good for the garden, the trees, and the land. It seems the grass shot up today and already needs mowing again. Hubby just mowed on Wednesday so he was not all that happy he needs to mow again two days later 😉  I didn’t mind as the grass is so green and pretty and gave the chickens a great place to scratch today after the rain ended chkn pecking

After the rain stopped it warmed up and little and allowed the dogs some time outside before dinner. It was nice to be able to have them outside every day this week as they have not had that since last fall due to this crazy cold, windy, and wet weather we had all winter. I hope where you are you get some sunny and warm weather to enjoy this weekend…. blessings to you 🙂

The Great Outdoors

The weather was perfect today 92* and there was a light breeze. Hubby and I moved some trees for the neighbor with our tractor. Then hubby changed the oil in the car while the one month old chicks got to go outside for the first time 🙂chick flower

We put up a little fence with a wire top so the hawks couldn’t get our babies.chicks fence

At first they were a little hesitant and wouldn’t move. It was if they didn’t know what to do.chicks explor

Then slowly they started to explore, peck at the ground, find things to play with like pinecones, and they were off…chicks explore

They now LOVE the great outdoors 🙂

One of our big chickens that our neighbor has named Mrs. Marigold came to check out the new chicks…. She got closer….chkn

And closer….chickn

Until finally…chicks n chicken

She checked them out…chicks n chicken 3

They checked her out….chicks n chicken 2

Then she lost interest and walked away to find some food…chkn peck

That was it she just left the little chicks wondering who that big mama chicken was…chick confused

A couple of them got a special treat and under close supervision were allowed to explore the flower beds…chick white flower

And the grass…chick grass

They just seemed to love the day outside 🙂

Previous Older Entries