Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Naughty Chickens!

We have had three successful nights in a row of the girls going into their coop and going to bed where they are supposed to.  However, one naughty chicken has decided that its a great idea to lay her eggs under the ramp.  I put a log under the ramp so whoever it is can't nestle down under there, so we'll se if it stops the next couple of days.

Egg under ramp
I've read that feeding the girls pumpkin can help prevent worms, so here's a picture of the babes eating some canned pumpkin.

Omelette and Maple

Owen feeding the hens.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Eggs Keep Coming!

It's been cold here.  Very cold.  The last couple weeks have been miserable.  Today, however, was beautiful!  We got into the 50's with little wind and LOTS of sunshine.  My family and I went to the local zoo, and the chickens enjoyed basking in the sun.  I even let them out to "free-range" for a while this afternoon!  They were thrilled!

Even with the crazy cold, we have been getting at least one egg a day.  It appears that each of the older girls is laying every other day.  In the cold we've been having that is IMPRESSIVE.

The "babies" are 16 weeks old now.  Supposedly Buff Orpingtons start laying anywhere from 18 weeks to 24 weeks.  I'm guessing it'll be closer to the 24 week mark for our babes because it is winter time.  That should put us right around Easter!


Layla, Yadi, Tilly

Omelette (with the big girls in the background)

Derek and O with Omelette

Derek and O at the zoo!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Coop Additions

In response to the bitter cold we had this past week, I changed a few things for the coop.  I took the heat lamp out as soon as it got above freezing during the day, but I plan to put it back whenever it stays below freezing for more than a day.  Chicken wuss, sure.  But they're my pets.

I also added some straw to the nest boxes and an entire bale of straw to the run to give them something to do and keep the run from getting so muddy.  Within 30 seconds of putting the bale in the coop, all five hens were investigating the situation.  Layla even played king of the hay bale for a few minutes squaking around on top of the thing.  Silly chickens.

I wrapped a good portion of the run to give the girls a place to get out of the wind when they are outside.
I picked this side to wrap since it would also help protect their food from getting wet.  

I used a canvas painting drop cloth to wrap the run.  It was 4 ft by 15 ft.

I also wrapped a plastic painting drop cloth under the canvas to help keep that section of the run dry.

The old girls.

Hay Bale

Some hay added to the nest boxes.

Chicken fun!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


It's currently -40˚F here with windchill.  The wind is so bad that all the schools in the area had to close.  I have been worried about my chickens all day.  I didn't let them out of their coop today, and I started the day by heating bricks in our oven and placing them in the coop for the girls to cuddle next to.  I put a bowl of water in the hen house since the electric waterer only works down to 20˚.  I would fill it with HOT water and it would be frozen within an hour.

So I caved.  I added our heat lamp to the coop.  It's only going to raise the temp about ten degrees, but it makes me feel better about them being out there.  I already have frozen chicken in the freezer--I don't want it in my backyard.

Heat lamp.