Monday, July 27, 2009

Chicago Chicks

Andrew and I just got back from a wonderful week in Chicago. A big thank you to Kevin for feeding, watering and playing with the chicks while we were gone. Although we were away from my chicks, we weren't totally away from chickens. Yes, even in Chicago. On Friday, we went to the Lincoln Park Zoo, which is a wonderful little FREE zoo. John Deere has sponsored a little farm zoo, just outside the main zoo. We saw huge rabbits, sheep, goats, cows and Chickens!

I met this chicken at the "Meet the Chicken" event. She's five years old and very sweet. We were also taught how to pet a chicken. Luckily, we've been doing it right.

A huge buff Orphington

Sweet, sweet little chicks. We also saw some just hatched chicks--not as cute, but interesting to see.

My own little chick in his shell.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sad Day

Today's a sad day for me. I had to find a new home for Jackie and Poppy. As you know, Jackie and Poppy turned out to be roosters. As a novice, I was holding out hope that they were just faster growers than the others and that was why they were bigger and had larger combs and wattles, but no such luck. Once they started crowing, I knew otherwise. A couple of weeks ago, they started crowing at 5:20 on the dot, and as the sun rose earlier each day, they would start crowing earlier. I started putting a blanket on the pen at night so they would stay in the dark longer, and that did buy a little time. They would start crowing at 5:45 instead. But the thing is, they didn't just crow once. They would crow and crow.

I would wake up with the crowing and even though no one ever complained, I was getting so stressed that my neighbors would confront me about the *&%#@ roosters and their *^%$#@! crowing. I put an ad on craigslist and this morning I had someone come pick them up. I'm much sadder than I thought I'd be. Jackie, especially, had so much personality, and I'd become so attached to him. They both were so sweet. When they'd sleep, the hens would sleep huddled together in a corner, and the roosters would sleep on the outside, protecting them, I'm sure. The roosters were much braver and would interact with us more than the hens.

I'm going on vacation next week, but when I get back I'd like to get 2 or 3 new hens. It won't be the same, of course, but it will fill in the flock again.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Cleaning the Pen

I took the chicks out again today so I could clean out the pen. The chicks love being able to roam around and to investigate. I like having them out as well--they get a chance to eat some of the food that falls out of the pen. I hate wasting food. Poppy especially likes eating bugs and that makes me happy as well. This time when I went to put them back in the pen it was Poppy that was hard to catch. Apparently, the last one is going to be the most difficult. I think the other ones are unaware of what's going on until the very last. I finally caught Poppy when he (yes, he) trapped himself betwween two gas cans.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Fourth of July Chicken Coop Update

Happy Fourth of July! Kevin and I spent the day working on the chicken coop and we're getting close-ish to being done. The pictures don't do the coop justice. The main thing is that it's not cock-eyed. That's just me apparently. The other thing is that it's cuter than it looks in the picture. I was having a hard time shooting around construction materials, so the coop isn't being photographed at its best.

Anyway, the large opening will be a door for me to clean the coop and to get eggs. The smaller opening will be a chicken door. The chickens will have a ramp that they can go up and down into and out of the chicken coop. Oh, and yes the background to the coop has changed again. My neighbor put up the rest of the fence yesterday, so the entire backyard is fenced, and all but about 15- 20 is privacy fence. Mostly the chicks will be in the coop and run, but I may let them out when I'm back there with them. There are too many predators, e.g. cats, hawks, etc., to let them out when I'm not there.