One problem with this setup is trying to feed them separately. To prevent illness when they're little, it is common practice to use a medicated chick feed for the first several weeks. However we don't want our laying hens ingesting a bunch of this. (You'd think they wouldn't be interested in this crumbly textured feed, but they seem to love it.) So yesterday I put the feeder in a box that only the chicks can fit into. We'll see how it works out.
Monday, May 27, 2013
Friday, May 17, 2013
We have eggs hatching this weekend! We went and took a peek under the mother hen tonight and several chicks are out! One was just coming out of the shell so we're just letting them be right now. We'll take some photos tomorrow. Update: 7 of 8 eggs have hatched!
Sunday, March 31, 2013
We came home from Spring Break to lots of eggs! Our neighbor who took care of them while we were away put them in cartons for us -- which is too nice because of course we'd like for her to eat them. Anyhow, there were 28 eggs from 3 chickens over 14 days.
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
In December the hens stopped laying eggs for the winter, so we've been buying eggs from the store. This week I saw signs of nest building in the coop and was happy to see an egg this morning. This is the first egg from our Easter Egger that hatched this past June. She still needs a name -- we still call her "the white one". Anyhow I'm so glad that we've got another green egg layer. The other Easter Egger was killed by a raccoon last month.
Monday, January 7, 2013
Last night raccoons got two of our chickens. Richard heard a noise in the middle of the night that he thought was one of our kids having a nightmare. He got up, walked around for a little while in his underwear, and didn't hear anything more. He came back to bed (I was sound asleep) and then heard more noise -- got dressed, went down and looked out back and saw one raccoon on our deck. So he went outside, saw another raccoon escaping from our chicken run, and then found two dead, half-eaten chickens by the coop and feathers all over the place. This is very upsetting and the first time since we got chickens over 3 years ago that we've lost any to predators. The two that got killed are the one that lays green eggs and the little red hen. I do feel like it is my fault in that I had stopped locking the chickens in their coop in the night. The door was open so that they could come out early in the mornings. They have netting over their run, which seems to keep cats and out, but is not raccoon-proof. I had decided that the raccoons around here were too well fed to bother climbing through the netting. The main precaution we have always taken was to not leave food out at night. But this week there were apple cores in the compost out there -- maybe that attracted them? Maybe they are hungrier in the wintertime? Aren't they supposed to be hibernating? Tonight the remaining 3 hens are locked away safe and we've got a trap set. Apparently raccoons keep returning once they've found your coop. The bait that's recommended on the forum for urban raccoons is marshmallows and cat food. Richard was out setting it up at dusk and saw one climbing up the net already (at 6pm !) So we'll see late tonight if we've got one. I'm not sure what we're going to do with it if we do... Update: 2 nights later and no raccoons yet.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
The newest chicken -- now about 5 months old -- is finally integrated with the flock. She got chased around so much by the others that she's also scared of people. She still does't eat out of our hand unless she's being held. Any ideas for a name? In these pictures the chickens are being fed "scratch" which is a mix of grains and cracked corn that they love. Their regular pellets have more protein and less fat. I think that an ideal diet for a chicken would be 1/3 pellets and scratch, 1/3 vegetation and 1/3 bugs and worms. The chicken run is full of straw, old grapevines, and fall leaves now. Hopefully the pen won't get too muddy this winter.
Monday, November 5, 2012
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
The buyer has a flock of 100 and is converting to Black Copper Marans and Easter Eggers for their egg colours. So asked her if she'd want our problem Maran Ginger as well. Her egg laying is back to normal, but she has been a bully in our flock. The buyer took Ginger for $15; this is a discounted price since Marans would usually go for $25. The chicks were $20 for the pair.
This brings us to 5 chickens -- a manageable number for our space. We'll get 3-4 eggs a day with these particular hens.