[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
My son has some issue with the idea of eating chickens we raise (though my daughter is all "I hope one of these is a rooster so we can eat it!"). For this reason, rather than go with the original plan of ordering a straight run, keeping the girls we need to fill in the flock, and butchering the rest, I decided we would pick out chickens from the feed store to fill in the flock, raise those until they can move to the yard THEN order a straight run to be meat birds. This should help him deal with it, I hope, in that he will know when we get them which chickens are food.

So today we went to the feed store and each picked out two chicks. The kids, not surprisingly, wanted Bantams. They miss Giblet and her 'kid sized eggs'. The girl chose a striped one and a spotted one, and the boy chose a black one (the tiniest one he could find) and a yellow one. I picked out two of the assorted standard chickens: one dark red one, and one that looks like a penguin.

Since I didn't have the handy table in there I attached the light to last year, this year I found another solution.

That is a much better use for my walker. ;P Thank you, Spring, for making it unlikely that I will need it for a while. ~knocks wood~

Those are some cute babies. The small black one is quietly smart, and the stripey one is super pushy and constantly wants the big ones to snuggle it. The redhead is indecisive, and the penguin is way laid back. So far, no personality to the yellow or spotted ones that I can see.

I need all the shredded paper I can get...and today my shredder died. Thanks, Murphy. ppphhhhbbbbbttttt
[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
The big girls are laying enough that we pretty much constantly have eggs for sale.
Except Spot.

Spot was ill as a chick, and then recovered, but I think she was damaged. Worse layer ever. Her eggs are shaped funny, her shells are always thinner than the rest of the girls, and the whites are more watery than theirs.

Given that, so far, all six chicks have survived, she may not have to worry about laying in a while. We can only have 10 hens in town, and 6 plus 5 is 11....Spot has been warned.

Meanwhile the little girls got too big for the rabbit cage where I was keeping them. When they started harassing each other I figured it was time to expand their space. They aren't fully feathered yet though, so I don't want to move their pen outside away from the plug for their heat lamp. They haven't needed it during the day, but at night it still gets chilly.

So they are in a dog pen, on leaves, in my sunroom. That floor will be fun to clean when we move them outdoors. 0.o

They are getting more and more feathers, and oh, man, do they look ridiculous. Getting better at catching any bugs that come into their space and spending a lot of time scratching and rearranging and otherwise practicing being hens. One of them has figured out the stick perch, and one has figured out if you take a bug into a corner, and fluff your wings out, you form a wall to keep the other chicks away long enough to eat your bug. They have gotten very very naughty about perching up on the side of the pen, and I had to start keeping their cage open to keep them from perching on the roof of it and pooing on whomever was in the cage looking for scratch.

Silly chickens.

We do appear to have three golden-laced wyndotte girls and three silver-laced, as intended. :)

For your viewing pleasure, our "tween hen" setup, and a pic of the boldest of the girls (only one that didn't run all the way into the cage at the flash from the first pic). :P

[identity profile] gailmom.livejournal.com
We have half a dozen chicks set up in the sun-room. Rabbit cage, plus heat lamp, plus a few more things equals chick habitat. :)

When I first put them in it was on newspaper. I had to head to another store for shavings, and didn't want to take them with me, so I dropped them off here. When I got back, I put the shavings in there...it was unreal. They went from "some small bird like things" wandering about to "tiny chickens", scratching and pecking and checking to see if that thing you are looking at is better than the one in front of me...all the things the big girls do. Kinda awe inducing, if I may admit it here; seeing a creature go from "alive something in captivity" to "being Itself".

A few hours later the awe has receded, and I'm back to myself. I can't seem to help thinking "red light district!" every time I walk past the room they are in now that it is dark ...the red heat bulb is the only light outside in our backyard...wonder what the neighbors think? :P

Due to the variety of choices at our local feed stores, and no desire on my part to order an entire run from a catalog, we now have a mix of golden and silver laced wyndotte hens. Some are about a week older than others, so we have some 1 week ish and some 2 week ish chicks.

Technically, if they all live, we'll have one too many hens for the city, but I wanted to accommodate the possibility of mortality.

Push comes to shove, it isn't like it is hard to find a home for a hen...in someone elses yard, or in our freezer.

Spot, I'm looking at you if you don't start laying more often. Consider yourself warned.

I leave you now with a quickly snapped baby pic:


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Suburban Permaculture Project

May 2011



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