Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Long awaited chicken post

OK, the long awaited post on chickens. Probably mostly pics, I will have the Young Miss do an entry on what kind they are, and care, etc. as she is the one who does all that, for they are HER chickens. Here is a view that shows where the chicken yard is in location to my root bed. You can see my clotheslines in the front, too. This pic was taken before we weeded the root bed today. It looks so good! The big tall tree behind the green coop is our apple tree and is as far as the run goes in the back. Now that they are fenced in, we aren't having to interrupt our day every ten minutes to herd chickens back to their area. It is so much nicer this way!
This is a little homemade coop Mr. B. made that started the whole chicken adventure. This is where the "Dots" (Gold and Silver-laced Wyandottes) live. Young Miss has 3 left from the ten she originally started with (the infamous wild dog incident took the other seven.), and this is where they bunk.
These are the new girls, and their hutch. It started as a rabbit hutch and had a few additions. THey have a ladder they climb up to get to the hutch. The day we rescued these girls, we were up till 10 at night, (one of us with a 102 degree fever), buiding this run. We needed to have this separate run so the two groups of chickens wouldn't peck each other to death. They are just now starting to be able to be out together the whole day without pecking each other. I think two weeks is a fairly short time for them to have come that far!
Here are the "Dots", from left to right: ChickieBoo, Goldie, and Lucy. Lucy is the siver-laced, the other two, golden-laced. ChickieBoo is my pal, and lets me hold her, but I don't do it as often as I used to, cuz once she pecked my tooth when I was holding her, and it scared the bejiggers out of me!
The new girls on the block from left to right, fromt row: Ida, AnnaBelle, Virginia, Mavis. Agnes is the one in the back. Ida is bossy, but funny. The others I am still getting to know. I can't remember what breeds they are, but they are close to five years old. They lay huge eggs, and this morning, we had 3 double yolkers in a row! How cool is that? I should get a better pic of them, now that they are all in the big fenced area together. See the squash there in the front of the fence? They hadn't gotten to it yet. What I think I love the most about these chickens today, is that they eat huge piles of weeds in a very short amount of time. Good birds!
We were at the feed store yesterday, and the man working there said they would have baby chicks probably next week. We have a big cardboard box ready to use as a brooder, and the big chickens don't need the lamp anymore, now that it is warmer at night, so we will probably set them up in the garage when we get them.

I am not sure what all else to tell you about the chickens. Do you have any specific questions, that I can have the chicken expert answer for you? She would love that. That's all for now, I gotta get myself off to bed, so I can be at the dentist by 7 am!


KathyJo said...

So do they need some sort of heating source at night all winter long?

I don't know enough about chickens yet to have any intelligent questions, though I'm definitely going to remember where I can find a chicken expert. :) One cool thing about having them for us is that at least 90% of the problems of trying to grow apple trees organically can be solved by letting the chickens loose in the orchard. Gotta love that.

I think Ernie's decided on Road Island Reds for us.

Pamela said...

Great post ~ thanks ladies. Goodness, those chicks have grown since we last saw pictures. Quite a nice area you are developing for them. So you're getting more? What kind? How many? What does the boy think of the chickens?

I didn't know they ate weeds? How cool is that!

Looking forward to more info from Young Miss.

:) P

Needleroozer said...

They can withstand temps to -15. The YM however, couldn't stand the idea of her babies being cold, so yes, we had a heat lamp on them this winter. We just used the same red lamp we used when they were chicks. That is why there is that extension cord in the photos.
Our friend Mr. B. says that their laying can be affected by the heat lamp- I *think* it can mess with their internal laying schedule, but I will have to ask him again to explain that.
More important than heat is keeping them out of the wind and the rain. That is why we have that green tarp on top of the coop. THe wind gets them much more than the cold does.

I agree about the organic growing. I would let them walk around in my gardens more if they just didn't EAT everything!!

The YM really wants Rhode Island Reds- they are supposed to be great layers, but they are hard to get locally here, and I am not ready to get mail order chicks. We just take whatever we get at the feed store here. Given that there are only two feed stores around here and that one of them is 2 hours away, it just makes more sense. I think the Wyandottes will be great layers.

Yes, the YM loves to raise the babies. We will only get 3 or 4 more. Chickens only have a laying span of 4 to 5 years, and the ones we rescued are already 4 and 5 yrs old, so we will need some new layers next year.
The Boy loves to hold them and chase them occasionally, but realistically, he barely has anything to do with them. THey follow the YM around like she was their mama, though. They know she is the one who brings them food and treats every day.

Pamela said...

Love the picture of the chickies following YM :)

Fyi, Our feedstore, Dels in Monroe, has lots of chicks this time of year. I think I saw at least 6 varitieties. We're only an hour away!

Hugs to the kiddles for me,

:) P

Pamela said...

Clarificaction: I loved the picture in "my mind" of the chickies following YM.

BUT, ya know, that would make a great "postable" pic too :)