Wednesday, February 1, 2017

The girls

Hi Friends,
I thought I'd give a little update on the chickens.

These hens sure have Ellie's heart! She adores them, and they seem to like her a lot too.  They come right to her.

They are about 3 months old now, but in my opinion look like full-fledged adult chickens! Their personalities are beginning to emerge.

We are definitely on a "learn-as-we-go" path.  Everyone says chickens are easy to care for, but...

The hens graduated to the coop, and our plan was to let them free range, once they were laying age (6 months).  However, the more I read, the more I think that isn't a good fit for us.  Ellie wants to be able to collect their eggs daily, not play hide and seek for them.  And then there are the country critters that may cause trouble.

The coop, by itself is way too small for these big girls to spend their days there. 
So, we discovered we need a run.  A place that they can safely forage.  A place where Ellie can put all the table scraps, a place for them to stretch, and run and not pick on each other out if boredom.

For now, they are enjoying roaming in our garden during the day.  Being a little disgusted by last year's failure, we didn't even winterize the garden.  We planned in just letting it sit all winter, then tilling in the spring. But the hens are happy with the smorgasbord of weeds and bits of whatever leftovers that remain.  It has been good for them to have room to scratch and explore, but the other day we had to run and put them in the coop as there was a large hawk perched in a nearby tree scoping out his possible dinner (insert Looney Toons visual of the hawk dreaming of butcher cuts of a chicken).

I've been searching for run options ( on Pinterest, of course)  We need big enough, but cheap enough, AND not ugly!

I am so proud of Ellie.  She has wanted chickens for so long, and now that she has them her enthusiasm has not waned a bit.  She has shown such diligence with her chores.  I know they have been more difficult for her than she realized, and this is certainly growing her character.  😊

Ellie is counting the days until they start laying eggs!  And I'll keep you posted on the chicken run.

- Carol

1 comment:

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