Thursday, October 22, 2009

Weddings and a Brooding Hen

We've been busy but not too much with the chickens. My sister got married in Greenville, SC on the 17th, so I had to find a sitter for the chickens. Luckily, my across-the-street neighbor, Cindy, agreed do it. She seems to have done a great job (not to take away from her efforts, but sitting mainly entails cleaning poo, filling food dishes and counting heads to make sure they're all still doing well). I hope she wore closed-toe shoes when she came to take care of them. When she came to get the rundown on the Thursday before we left, they were very interested in pecking at her cherry-painted toenails.

In other news: Rosie is brooding. She wants to set on eggs, even when there are none. If one of the hens lays an egg, she is Johnny-on-the-spot to go sit on it. Somehow, she has convinced the other hens to lay in the same spot on the floor of the coop. I feel bad that she doesn't have a real egg to sit, but since these eggs will never hatch, I take them out from under here. She's okay with me moving her around a bit, but she goes back to setting and occasionally clucking. I try to take her out of the coop in the evenings so she'll be sure to eat and drink. Apparently, setting hens can be so committed to their nest that they'll neglect themselves.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Trip Outside

We let the chicks out of the pen tonight. At first, we just let the big ones and Myrtle out. Kevin was afraid the little ones would try to fly around, but Rosemary and Ethel wanted to be with the other chicks, so I let them out as well. The little ones didn't even try to fly. In fact, they were all pretty much together the entire time and pretty much right in front of the coop the entire time, as well.

When it started getting dark, we wondered how the chicks would do. Would we have to round them up or would they go into the coop by themselves? They were so busy and happy to be pecking around in the grass. Well, Honey went into the pen first and squawked so everyone would follow her. Nobody paid her much attention. A little later Rosemary went in. Honey came back and squawked some more and went back in. Ethel went in, and then a few moments later, Myrtle followed. Birdie went in, made a noise, and then Bee went in last.

Kevin closed the door and that was that--easy-peasy. They did so well I'm thinking more outings will be in their futures.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Eggs and Excitement, Slight

I'm averaging four eggs a day now, which, of course, makes me happy. Here are three eggs I just got from the same nesting box. We have four boxes, but apparently the favorite is the one closest to the hen door. You can see the difference in size and color of the eggs. I know that Birdie, Bee, Rosemary and Myrtle (yes, Myrtle) are laying for sure. I'm not sure about Honey and Ethel. I've never seen them in the nesting boxes, but someone lays a greenish-grey egg that I see occasionally.

It's raining here (yeah!) so when I went to look for eggs a few minutes ago, I took a red umbrella with me. You should have seen the chicks all run under the coop. They weren't scared of it like they were of the dogs, but they were a bit concerned. They're so funny sometimes.

I'm not sure if they're getting along any better, but I'm convinced that me or Kevin back there makes them more pecky toward each other. Speaking of me and Kevin back there, I had to do some work back behind the coop on Saturday and they all lined up under the coop to watch me. Kevin raked out the pen and then was disposing of the waste just outside the enclosure and they were all crowded in a corner to get a good look at what he was doing. I guess any little change of scenery is fascinating for them.