July 28, 2011

Our Chick Diary: 15 weeks old

IMG_2105At the time of this posting our chicks/hens are 15 weeks old!  We still find them every bit as entertaining as we originally did, probably even more so. 

So what’s new on the chicken front?

We introduced them to straw in their chicken coop and they love it! We also have rearranged their ladders.  Initially when we added their ladders, several took to roosting on them right away but there was a group of about 8 that preferred to huddle together in the corner.  9726NO more!  They now all have their favorite perching spots on the ladders.  The higher ladder rungs are apparently the most valued from the flapping and clucking going on as they get ready to sleep for the night.

The summer heat is really something here. The chickens are eating and drinking more.   The girls seem to be enduring the heat quite well, but I still worry about it.  We have invested in a larger watering container.  Prior to that, we had to fill their water up 2 to 3 times a day.

IMG_2116For those looking for chicken equipment, consider this kind of waterer (in photo).  It is so user-friendly and no flipping upside down.  We really like it.  There is a nifty place to store the small lid when not in use, but ours disappeared. Sigh. However, we found that the lid that fit a bottle of worcestershire sauce fit it perfectly.  Hooray!

IMG_2088Steven adjusted their 2nd window so they now have two open windows to add to their ventilation. We have added a box fan on the outside of the window which sucks the air out of the coop.  This really makes a difference.  We have also added a thermometer in the coop to keep up with the heat.  It’s been triple digits here way to many days thus far.

On really hot days we feed them watermelon or cantaloupe.  I know what you are thinking and you would be right.  Our IMG_2123chickens are pampered!  They love watermelon and can clean off the rind like nothing I’ve seen.  They leave a very thin bowl of rind with the cantaloupe.

They are regularly seen dust bathing and sun bathing.  Dust bathing is funny to watch.  They dig and settle down in a hole and then open and fluff their feathers.  When they are done, they stand up and shake and a huge puff of dust surrounds them.  It seems to take 2 hardy shakes to clear it out.  Have I mentioned that chickens are cIMG_2113razy! :)

Our chickens received their vaccinations a few weeks back.  They didn’t mind it so much, but hated being held upside down.  The vaccine team said we had the tamest chickens he had ever seen.  Surprised?  me neither. 

We have some greenery on the boarders of our backyard and the girls love to walk through it.  When they first started IMG_2106exploring in this area, we couldn’t see them in it, but they’ve grown quite a bit now and it’s not a problem.

Hank loves to run through a group of chickens sending them squawking and running.  He really loves it, I don’t think they find it as fun though ;)

Just this week, several of the girls wattles and combs have gotten quite large and bright red.  TIMG_2102hey are looking so pretty.  Isn’t she beautiful? Others haven’t developed to this point yet. 

The most exciting news is that yesterday one of our girls laid an egg!  I wasn’t expecting eggs until around week 20.  I let the hens out and there it was - a beautifully-shaped, wonderful egg.  It is small compared to the store bought eggs, but perfect in every way. 

The night prior, one of our girls was very vocal.  When she went back into the coop for the night she was restless and didn’t get in her roosting spot like usual.  We wondered what was up.  She kept making loud noises at us. We are guessing she was the egg layer.  We put a nest place for her on the ground in the coop for now.  We’ve got to get our nest boxes in!!  Chickens are awesome!  What else can I say?

For previous chick diary entries follow this link:  Our Chick Diary

7 comments:

  1. Still lovin the entries!

    What fun that you got an egg! I would love to see the whole coop, or possibly where you got the plans. This is the first thing I get when we finally get land...chickens! (bees are after that...want to do a hive or two so that I can copy that too?!)

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  2. That is so cool. I really would like to raise some hens. Another gal in my ward just got 6 and is building their coop. Do you find it a lot of work to take care of them? What kind do you have?

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  3. Jaime, I'll get some pics of the whole coop for you soon. We are working on nests for our new layers. :)

    Next spring, we are attempting to relocate a hive of bees. We have them living inside a brick wall of our home and don't want to kill them. We've read up on it and need to move them in the spring. We'll be making a bee hive/home.

    We'll see what happens. Yikes!

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  4. Caren, Basically it takes less than 20 minutes a day to feed and water them. We are using the deep bedding method for our coop so we don't have to clean it out but a few times a year. And no it does not smell bad. :)

    The most time we spend with them is loving on them. We love their company and spend time with them every evening.

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  5. Hi, this is the Damsel from the Old School website. I left a reply to your comment on my site, but it bounced back to me, so here I am. That's ok, because I wanted to come see your chickens anyway. Supercool that your young'ns are laying! Ours are about 16 weeks old. I'm stoked! We only have four hens. I am so impressed that you have 23 on your very first go around! We are only allowed to have six total in this area. Bogus.

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  6. You're right! The big comb and the crazy squawking are definitely coming from your "layers." Lulu is our only layer so far, and she made a terrible racket at first. I waffled between pity for her and out-right laughing, cuz she was so vocal. Poor thing. It gets easier!

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  7. I'm SO glad I found your blog again! I used to read quite frequently, but then blogging time got limited to, well, BLOGGING my own blog and stopped reading many of my favorites. I found you again through Nicole's Home School Bloggers Directory!

    As a homeschool project we incubated chicken eggs this spring and now have 1 11 week old and 9 7 week old chicks! We're building a permanent, long run this weekend for them. Aren't they so much fun? I NEVER thought we would EVER find chickens interesting, but the kids like to sit there are watch them on and off all day long! LOL

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