Monday, October 20, 2008

The chicks are becoming chickens!

This is Joe - one of our two roosters. We believe that Joe is the less dominant one, but so far, we have not witnessed any fights.

Every weekend we take at least one day (if not both) to herd the chickens into the fenced goat area so that they can free range. They love to peck around in the goat shed (presumably eating bugs?) and they seem to love running to perhaps stretch their legs.

The goats don't pay them much mind, though we have caught Buddy occasionally runing into a group of them just to see them scatter. If goats could laugh, I'm sure he's doing so!

Yesterday we ushered the chickens into the goat area. We basically just open the coop and follow them as they head for the gate. In the begining, it wasn't so simple. It involved a lot of chasing of chickens while in my head I had thoughts of some common phrase about the wisdom of hearding cats. Chickens aren't much better! Eventually, they got the hang of it so that now, one person can pretty much get them to go where they need to go. While they are in there, we take the opportunity to move the coop and to fill both the water and food containers. We've noticed how lush and green the grass is growing in areas where the coop was housed. We've put together a plan to use the chicken coop to fertilize our row garden area this fall. Once we get the whole area essentially covered with chicken poop, we will throw some leaf mulch over it and cover it with cardboard or plastic for the winter. In the spring, we'll lift off the cover and plant in our nitrogen rich soil!

Yesterday, I was able to snap a few photos - they are getting close to being full grown though I expect that they'll fill out some still. I think we have happy and healthy chickens.

This is Seven. She is growing tail feathers and will likely be joining the flock again as soon as I can build the extension to their coop.

This is Maple - still the smallest but definitely growing!

Two Rhode Island Reds - not sure of their names... I only recognize Seven and Atilla and these are neither of them!

Rhode Island Red and a White Leghorn - the leghorn could be Bonny, but Bonny happens to look just like her sister and again, we can't tell them apart!


Anonymous said...

The chickens look great and so does the house! I always thought yellow was the perfect color for a house, but yours looks terrific in blue/gray. Is sassy pregnant? Talk with you soon....Mom

Cat said...

I'm sure you'll see my most recent post before you see this...but we do think Sass is pregnant!!

Thanks for the comment on the house color. I have more photos that I hope to post tomorrow. It looks nice! Yellow would have been nice too, especially with a nice white trim. Had we known we were going to have to reside it, I might have considered it. Unfortunately, when we bought the paint (before we'd closed on the house!), I thought we were going to be painting over the yellow and I figured doing it with a different yellow would have been too hard. Live and learn!