Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bird Update #2

Okay, this is a real update, with pictures from today.

The chickens are all doing really well. They are all still alive.
We've been getting 1-2 eggs every day. We ate that first egg, brought our second egg to J's mom, and I think I used one egg in a recipe that we made, but mostly they've just been accumulating in the fridge. On Sunday when we went to J's parents' house for dinner, his mom gave us a stack of egg cartons which she had been saving for a while, I think because she wanted chickens. (I think his dad is way happy that we got hens, because now his mom doesn't need her own.)

So I think we've had 18? eggs now. We're looking forward to when the other two hens start laying, because we have a long list of people we want to share fresh eggs with! We want to share with our families, J's neighbors (because we're not totally sure that it's exactly, technically legal to have chickens here, heh heh. BUT! Shining ray of hope: we were outside with the birds like, the day after we got the laying hens and the neighbor asked us through the fence if we had chickens. We of course said that we did. He said "cool." AND THEN! like a week ago, the same neighbor told J that someone down their street has a pig. So. We don't think he'll tattle.), our coworkers, our friends, etc.
This is Maude.
These are our four original chicks. They don't really look like chicks anymore; they just look like little hens. Gladys is the biggest. Gertie is the lighter of the dark ones. Maude is the darker of the dark ones.
They all get along really well. I often let the Delawares out to catch bugs and eat grass and do other fun things like that, and they really enjoy that. Occasionally I'll pull one of the chicks out and when the Delawares see that someone else is out and not them, they stand at the door to the chicken coop and peck at the wire. They can't stand to miss out. The dark Delaware does really well in the yard. If I come over to her, she sits down. So it's easy to catch her. The Araucanas do the same thing. The Buff Orpingtons (two blonde chicks) and the Barred Plymouth Rock (speckled black and white one) are slightly harder to catch. They don't sit down or totally cooperate with being caught, but they're not hard to collect, either.

The light Delaware and the little red hen (Red Sex Link), are the most difficult to catch. They run! I caught the little red hen to put her away today, and in the process I got my first chicken-related wound. She carved a 5" gash into my hand, and a 2" cut on my foot. Mean bird.

I wanted to take a nice, pretty, up-close shot of the little red hen, since she looked really dark in the other pictures on my phone (on the computer they look fine), and instead I ended up with an action shot of the carnage.

After I cleaned it with peroxide:

(Also, that's kind of a funny picture because it looks like I'm cupping the doormat in my hand.)

So anyway, in conclusion, the birds are doing well. We like our fresh eggs. The Delawares are laying pretty well, and the little red hen and the Plymouth should start laying sometime within the next couple weeks, we think. The chicks are feathering out very nicely and they're pretty calm, which is nice. They should start laying this fall.

They kept scratching at the food containers, so last weekend we got them a big automatic-filling dog food thing, and it works like a charm. We have it and the big automatic water dish on containers and now they're the perfect height to avoid being kicked/dumped/filled with wood pellets, etc.

Every time we go to IFA, I want ducks. They're adorable! Also, I want 40 more hens. This is becoming an addiction. I keep telling J that eventually we need to build a big chicken coop, and have a whole lot! of birds. He can't see any reason to. We will already have way more eggs than we need when our whole flock is laying.

1 comment:

MamaErin said...

You'll have fun at Easter next year decorating the eggs =)

Do you remember the duck farm off the 605 fwy? All I remember is that it used to smell sooo bad... think about that before you get ducks! They're cute and everything but I don't know how tasty their eggs are, and I am not fond of their meat