small sample of my crazy quilt embroidery

About Me

I am a consumate crafter. I knit, quilt both sane and crazy, scrapbook, bead, mosaics and any other thing I can think of along the way. Someday I also hope to do real glass jewelery and stained glass but those have to wait until I have room and more time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cute chickens, if I have to say so myself!!

So it has been a few weeks. And of course, the chicks are starting to grow up pretty fast. They transitioned out into their coop a few weeks back and that all went fairly smoothly. Except for the 2nd day, when it was still too cold for them at night. I needed to get them back out of the coop and take them into the house before I had frozen chickens. The first night they were all snuggled up next to the door waiting to go back in the house. The 2nd night though, they ran away from me no matter which door I tried to use to get them back out. So eventually I had to belly crawl into the coop and bring them out one at a time. You can only imagine that the clothes I was wearing went straight into the wash!!

The next phase came when we left them out in the coop all night. They have plenty of room down on the bottom level to run during the day. But at night they need to go upstairs and roost where it is safe. But they weren't really all that adept at figuring out the ramp that goes between. So I had to go out after it started getting fairly dark and pick them up, one at a time, from the bottom corner where they were huddled and put them into the top thru the egg door. Then the ramp door got closed up to keep any night time predators from being able to dig under the chicken wire to get at them while they slept. In the morning we let down the ramp but the chickens weren't so keen on going down by themselves. So I figured out if I threw feed all over the ramp that they would follow the feed back down. It worked quite well. But getting them to go back up by themselves at night was harder to accomplish. So for about a week I would pick them up, one at a time and move them up thru the egg door. I really didn't mind all that much, cause a sleepy chicken is a sweet cuddly chicken. But honestly, going out and doing all this after dark was an issue. But finally one night, 2 had gone up by themselves. The next night, 4 and then finally they all got the idea.

The last step in all of this was to start letting them free range for an hour or so every evening. The first night I let them out was so cute. They came out a bit cautious. But then realized how much more they could do out of the coop. They stretched their wings and took short flights and headed straight for the garden. Since then they have gotten so used to getting out at night, that they line up at the door when they think it is time. We have had no trouble getting them back in the coop at night. When the sun sinks just below the top of the treeline, they head back in, like March of the Chickens. Except for one guy(we think), that is way more independent. Sometimes he takes longer but eventually he gets in there and all is well.

Most people say chickens will tear up your garden. But so far, we have not found that to be true. They love a little weed called oxalis and will eat that til they are stuffed. They like english peas but only if I shell them out for them. They don't seem to pick at the pea plants much at all. I am not sure what I will do for treats once the peas are done and that day is fast approaching with our summer heat setting in. I love when they peck for bugs. They scratch thru the leaves we are using for garden mulch this year and when they find a bug, they pick it up and then set it down to observe it before they eat it. Then when they are done, they do this sideways swipe of their beak on the ground, both sides, like they were wiping their mouths with a napkin!! And if they see a flying bug it is even funnier as they run to catch them. Wish I could get a decent pic of that, but all I ever get is a big blur.

We still don't know for sure if we have 1 rooster and 5 hens, or 2 roos with 4 hens, or even 3 of each. I am banding their ankles so I can tell the 4 more similar ones apart but I am still waiting to finalize those 4 names. Hamlet and Ophelia are sticking cause I am still pretty sure I have those 2 right.

Now for pics......enjoy

Hamlet and Ophelia

Hamlet and Ophelia dust bathing

I love how Hamlet is so much redder and Ophelia is almost white

A big dusty ball of chickies

Hamlet in his glory

This is where doggies must be when chickies are roaming
Poor poor Holly!