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. NO 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.
For 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!
Steven 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 chickens 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 crazy! :)
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 exploring 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 ;)
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