Chickens – Week 4

Has it really only been 4 weeks since we’ve gotten these little fuzz balls? Holy cow! These guys have grown quickly. It seems like we’ve had them for months now. None the less, this past week has been long with these guys. They have been good chickens, but all the little things we’ve had to do to adjust to them and their coop has been almost tiring.

These little chicks have been moving through food. So much so that they have completely emptied their feeder half way through the day and have begun burying it under pine shavings. So we knew it was time to feed them from our homemade feeder.

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We do enjoy feeding them by hand occasionally. This Blue Andalusian and these two Brahma’s are always the first to our hands. Always.

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And this little girl, whom we have named Bonnie, figured out the easiest way to more food without battling her comrades.

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Our Partridge Cochins are still pretty skittish of us, as you will find out later in this post. But look at those feet! The feathers are coming in nice and thick! And silly little Lucy wanted to photobomb. And speaking of growing, all the chickens feathers are coming in nicely, but very uneven. They are all starting to look like teenagers – thin, lanky, and covered in acne, except it’s new feathers.

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However, they are enjoying the coop. I’m afraid they are learning bad habits as regards to the nesting boxes (using them as roosting stations), but I’m sure we will be able to fix that one of these days. No need to worry about it now.

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This past weekend, we worked on three things. 1, Getting a gate in our fence (we use to have to walk all the way around to the other side of our property). That in itself was a feat. Si (our neighbor’s goat that we are borrowing) decided that while there was a big hole in the fence that he would attempt to get out… several times. He was successful. We looked like crazy people chasing a goat around our back yard. He was having fun with it. He would slip out when no one was watching, then run to all the different bushes he had been eyeing all along and just take a taste of them, long enough for us to get to him but he was quick enough to get away almost every. Single. Time. Not going to lie, we were getting pretty frustrated with Si at this point, besides the fact that he was starting to jump on the fence when we were trying to open it, and attempting to eat our coop (yes, the coop!) and the chicken food. We ended up taking Si home today. He’s happy, we’re happy, it’s a win-win. Anyhow, now we have a beautiful gate!

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2, We also decided it was time for a ramp. Now, we don’t let the chickens out without our supervision of course… but we needed to build one and we had all the materials. So we just did it.

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Besides, the chicks love it! It took them awhile to figure it out, but once they did, they poured out!

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We will have to wait and see if they can get back up on their own. So far, they haven’t even tried roosting up at night. We end up getting too hungry or tired that we end up just wrangling them all up and putting them in for the night. Hopefully they are learning the hard way. It is not fun gathering up 21 chicks, having four dogs (our two and our renter’s) staring at you and getting excited on the other side of the fence, while the chicks try to pop through said fence and some of them still able to fit. It’s a disaster.

The third and final thing we worked on this weekend was an automatic watering system for the chickens. It isn’t complete yet, but it involved burying roughly 80 feet of water hose, which takes a lot out of a person. The PVC, water nipples, and other accessories we used for this system ended up not working (i.e. pressurizing) like Dale wanted them to. So it was back to the imaginary drawing board. Hopefully we have come up with the best solution, which we will post about another time. Currently, it still isn’t hooked up, but we are planning on finishing it tomorrow. (UPDATED: We finished it. See the post here)

In other news, we noticed that one of our rooster chicks (Speckled Sussex) is developing waddles! How cute are they, right? Unfortunately, this boy isn’t one of the friendliest… He decided to nip at my fingers (twice) and try to run away with it, all in about 20 seconds. But he’s pretty cute huh?

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Our Cochins seem to be our shyest birds. We had the coop open, ramp down, and hammering and drilling into the walls of the coop today for about 30 minutes. Throughout all of this, all the chickens were out except our Cochins and one Sussex. We had to eventually force them out of the coop – in other words, Kallie had to crawl into the coop to carry them out. I’m hoping they have learned that when the door is open, they are free to go and explore. Other than this, the chicks are loving being outside. We have noticed that several are starting to dust and, of course, scratch. It’s very cute watching these little fuzz balls roll around in the dirt like dogs. Chester, our Irish terrier mix (the one we are worried about with the chickens) was really good today too. We let him in with them all out (including our renter’s fully grown chickens and two turkeys), and he did surprisingly well. He even took a little nap in the chicken area. He has come a long way since we first got these chicks.

Until next time!

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