chickens for beginners

Chicken update

Our chickens should be approximately 20 weeks this friday so we’re expecting eggs any old day now! They are big girls now but unfortunately our original four has become three – one of the chicks was most definitely a rooster. He is a very handsome boy with some gorgeous colouring and has been rehomed to my Aunt and Uncle’s farm as a breeding rather than eating rooster (phew!).

Here we are saying goodbye (very sad day for Mister 8):

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And here he is king of his new home:

And our remaining girls – taken today, in their favourite spot in this hot weather.

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Sarsha is our eldest by possibly a week but as George is a faster growing Australorp and now the biggest of the bunch, I’m expecting her to be the first to lay. Poor Latte, the middle child – youngest Lohmon (Lohmann?? we’re going by the breeder’s printed paperwork here but I haven’t been able to find references to Lohmons at all) and smallest despite being the same age as George – is right at the bottom of the pecking order.  I still wonder if she might be a slower growing male as her tail feathers are different to Sarsha’s but there haven’t been any other signs – she’s certainly not dominate and risk taking like Tiny was.

Our coop – we ended up adding the extension soon after we bought the main coop so we could leave them locked up if necessary. They prefer to free range though but if we can’t be there to supervise they stay in the pen. On these hot days though I like to let them out as much as possible to find a comfortable place.  We have chicken wire under the floor of the main area and after a visit by a python one evening I make sure to shut the inner door at night for extra protection.

We’ve been feeding them pellets – I keep trying ‘layer’ pellets but they prefer ‘grower’ still and scratch, as well as some scraps and meal worms for a treat. They also do a lot of foraging – one particular type of succulent has unfortunately become a favourite! Our only gripe is that they love to perch on the patio furniture and leave calling cards for us – one of their favourite places is behind a sofa we have on the patio where they can hide, eat mosquitos and be cool (as well as poop and shed feathers ack!).

 

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