Tuesday, November 13, 2012

It's all about chickens..

Chickens, chicks, chickens... If you talk to me in person, about 70% of our conversation would be about my chickens.  I'm a little obsessed with my new pets, I suppose I was the same when I first got my rabbits 14 years ago.  Currently I have 9 chickens... Yup, if you read that correctly, 9! I did bring home 6 chicks in August, so you're not going crazy, but I am!
The Coop and Run were made with scrap and extra materials we had laying about: door from the laundry room, window from my Dad's old trailer, plywood and walls from neighbours basement, roofing was leftovers from City Hall roof job Mike worked, and wood from various projects. We splurged and bought a can of discounted paint (not a colour I'd normally pick) a few 2x4s, insulation and of course wire for run.
These first 3 pictures are from late August
The Coop!
The Run! See the 6 little chicks....
Inside the Coop looking out.
In mid September, I was perusing the local online buy & sell and saw a listing for 4 free older hens. Being slightly naive and anxious for eggs I jumped on it and that evening I had the hens! But by next morning I was regretting the decision, the hens were mean to the chicks and they were huge and ugly(molting)! Luckily someone else was inquiring after the hens as well and the next day 3 hens were off to a new home. We decided to keep one hen and Ivy named her Clarissa, but I call her "Old Hen" (I know, so original).  She was still mean  to the chicks (hen pecking/pecking order) But at least 1 vs 6 was easier on my stress levels. Old Hen was laying an egg twice a week, not bad for a 4 year old, molting hen. She is a New Hampshire cross... at least that is what I was told. My chicks are ISA Browns.
The next 4 pictures are from Old Hen's first week. 

Old Hen liked to guard the door...
... definitely boss chicken!

7 week old chicks, nervously hiding from the Hen.

Still in that awkward teenage chicken stage,

After a few weeks the chicks and Old Hen became accustomed to each other and everything was hunky dorry. Mike and girls made some A-frame perches outside in the run and all the neighbourhood kids would come over and catch grasshoppers to feed through the wire for the chicks.
For my Birthday, I got a surprise from my friend Drisana! She brought me 2 of her special chicks: Silver Phoenix Bantam crosses! My flock did not appreciate the new members as much as I did. They didn't mind the brown one(Doris) but the white(Phoenix aka Fuzzycheeks) they despised! Mike joked that my chickens are racist (he's so mean) But after 3 weeks all the hens are getting along. The two new chicks are just a week older than the original, so everyone should start laying soon!
New chicks trying to stay away from others.

Close up of Doris and Phoenix.

This past weekend, we got the biggest snowfall of the season (so far) and the chickens refuse to leave their warm cozy Coop. I think they were scared of all that white stuff! The Chicks are all 3 1/2 months old, 15/16 weeks. They should start laying this month... I was told around 20 weeks. I hope they start soon as Old Hen has slowed down, 1 egg every 9ish days, which I knew she would but was hope she wouldn't.

Relaxing and playing with the little door.

Treats and seeds will not lure them out.

Phoenix and Doris love to be up high,

Chickens are so funny, check out their little combs!
And don't worry I haven't forgotten about my first crazy pet obsession! We had a batch of bunnies is June and plan to have maybe 2 batches next spring.  Before I get into another pet obsession I better buy some property so I can have my dream hobby farm! Yay to pets that produce!!
Big Grey, my new favorite buck.
I suppose that's it for now, 3 months of crazy chicken-ness all crammed into one post... Now I shall go check on my chickies and shoo them out into the run for some fresh air!


Heritage Farmgirl said...

Oh no you named the chickens!!! That is always trouble when they become freezer housed. Enjoy looking through your blog. I feel quite at home here.

Lovely Leslie said...

Thanks Farm girl :)

lol, only 3 of the 9 of names so we might be alright... except I did a few shocked looks from the girls when I told the family that I wanted to butcher Old hen when all the chicks start laying. It'll be an adventure ;)

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