Saturday, August 29, 2009

Scrambled Eggs for Breakfast

We had our first homemade eggs this morning. As you can see, they are tiny, but they are slowly getting bigger. The one from last Saturday was noticeably smaller than the one layed yesterday. (Today's hasn't come yet.) They were very tasty. Nice job, Birdie!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Un-Neighborly Visit

This morning when I went to check on the chicks, I took a watering can with me to refill the waterer, but then I decided to wait until I came home for lunch (and to check on my daily egg) to fool with the waterer. When I came home at lunch time, the watering can was knocked over and about 8 feet from where I left it. Gus, our neighbor's cat, has been interested in the chicks, although I've never seen him do anything to antagonize them. Still, he was my most likely culprit. I figured he stood on the can and knocked it over. I didn't have it all worked out--with water in the can it would have been fairly heavy for Gus.

When I was checking on the chicks this evening, the mystery was solved. I was in the enclosure with the chicks when my other neighbor's dogs came running up. They have been interested in the chicks as well, from the other side of the fence, but I've never seen them in my yard, let alone around the chicks. The dogs circled the coop, looking for a way in.

To my surprise and delight, the chicks marched quickly into the coop. Of course, they were safe in the enclosure, but I liked that they saw the coop as their safe zone.

I actually like these dogs. They're basically sweet and attention-starved. I don't think their intention was to kill the chicks, but they would have surely played with them to death. It's my fault they were in the backyard. As a rule, I haven't kept my gate closed securely. I never had to before now. I will now, of course. My poor chicks will have little heart attacks if they have any more visits from my sweet neighbors.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Coop Day Two or Day One, Depending How You Are Counting

I got up early (okay, early-ish) to open the hen door so the chicks could go out into the pen. They seemed perfectly content to be in the coop and didn't come out during the ten minutes or so I sat out there with them. The morning was beautiful and cool--about 66 degrees, which was too cool for me just getting out of bed. When I checked on them around 8:00, they had figured out how to use the door and ramp (I guess).

I sat with them for a while and Birdie would go into the coop and sit in a nesting box. Every so often, she'd come out and make such a ruckus. She did this at least two or three times. I'd go check the coop and find nothing. I kept looking to see if it had rolled somewhere or was buried in wood chips.

Finally, I came in and made blueberry muffins. As I was mixing the batter, I heard the cackling again, but this time I decided to wait until I was done before running out there. My patience did pay off. She had, indeed, layed another small, brown egg, but not in a nesting box. It was laying in some wood chips by the hen door.

Today's egg in situ.

Today's egg is the top lighter brown one. Yesterday's is the darker one, and the white one is a store-bought jumbo egg.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The Final Reveal

The day is here! The coop is done and the chicks are in the coop! We finished the ramp today and attached the chicken door tonight. Andrew and I had loaded dirt in the pen this morning. We put wood chips in the nesting boxes and on the floor (we want to put some linoleum on the floor soon to help it not get so poopy). The chicks don't know what to make of it. We didn't put them in until almost bedtime, so they didn't have time to get to explore very long. They love scratching around in the enclosure, but don't know what to think about the coop. We closed them into the coop for the night, but will probably let them decide what to do about sleeping arrangements from now on.

A Small Surprise

We're hoping to move the chickens into the coop tonight. We have just a couple of things left to do and then we will be done. Yah!!!

I had told Kevin that we had another 2 months until the nesting boxes needed to be done, The chicks are four months old now and won't start laying until six months. Well, much to my surprise and delight, when I went out to the pen area this morning (around 10 am, if you are interested), I found an egg! I'm not sure who layed it, but I'm betting on Birdie. She just looks more mature than Honey and Bee. It's small, probably about 1 1/2 inches long, but an egg! And yes, the nesting boxes are up and ready for more eggs. We had just discussed keeping the nesting boxes covered up until the chicks (if they're laying eggs, I should probably start calling them hens) were ready. Well, I guess we won't have to do that after all.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Partial Coop Update

I know it's been a while since I wrote about the coop. Lots have been done on the coop. We've (i.e. Kevin) built doors and window flaps (I'm sure there's a technical term for them that I don't know). We've put up chicken wire and enclosed the tops of the front and back sides. We are so close to being done. That said, we still have a few things to do, and I don't want to post any more pictures of the coop until we're done. We may be done (fingers crossed) this weekend.

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the chicks. Honey and Bee are on the perch getting ready to go to sleep. Birdie gets up there to sleep as well. They're so sweet.