Tuesday, August 26, 2014

All That Glitters

   Unless you have chickens, you might not know that their personalities are all different. Now that my girls are getting older, I can really see their personalities taking shape. Some are still a mystery, but most are becoming clear.
   One chicken with a very distinct personality is Piper.

   She is a bit strange. Both in looks and how she acts. She is an Easter Egger so she has big puffy cheeks instead of wattles.

This makes me laugh every day!

   She is also very... curious. Overly curious. Way overly curious. She loves to peck clothing. Most chickens peck at tags or zippers a few times, then lose interest. 
   Piper does something very different. She picks a random spot on my shirt. Nowhere with writing. Nowhere with a seam. Just a spot. Then she scrapes it with her beak. Over and over. At least 6 or seven times. 

She never understands jeans. No matter how many times I wear them, she just doesn't get them. 

   Maybe its just just her cheeks that makes her look crazy. Maybe she was bred for beauty and not brains. Either way she is a incredibly sweet if weird chicken that I must admit I love!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Coop Part 3: Home Sweet Home

Speckles trying to sample my camera.
Sorry, totally unrelated but just very cute!

   Once the chicks grew too big for their box brooder, we moved them to a dog crate we had for when our dogs were puppies. We put this in our mudroom rather than our guest room (they were starting to get pretty messy).

You can see it in the background of these pictures.

   After they outgrew that, we quickly finished up a few things in the coop and moved them out there.

 They did not like the gravel at first. 

   At first we just had them out in the coop during the day and brought them back inside at night. Unfortunately, I eventually had to accept they they grew up and let them sleep outside.

   Now on to the pen! A lot of thought went into this pen. Much like the coop my family all had ideas about it. We ended up seeing someone else's pen and adapting the idea.

   We started with electric fencing. This is for the foxes. We had to drive more than an hour to pick it up at Wellscroft Farm. 

   The second part of the pen consists of posts buried in the ground. They have holes drilled in the top and fishing line strung between them. Then netting, also from Wellscroft, was put on top. We were able to buy a fifty foot by fifty foot piece, which was very helpful.

This part is mostly for hawks.

We let the chickens out in their brand new big pen last week. 

   We had built a big secure pen that the chickens loved. I was very proud of myself. For about an hour. That's when the chicks learned that they could get through the electric fencing. If they went very quickly they could avoid the shock and get through. (Sigh.)
   I guess the big pen will have to wait...

   Now if you have read my bio (to the right), you will know I am a high school student. Unfortunately, school will be starting next week. I am going to still post every week but, the posts may get shorter. Just a heads up.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Fly the Nest

Sleepy gave me a good scare last night,

   I went to put the chicks (or should I say chickens; they are getting so big!) to bed last night. I was so excited because they were all finally perching. They didn't take to perching right away and I was getting worried that they wouldn't. 
   This excitement lasted right until I counted the chick...ens. 

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...

That's not right...

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7...

There are five over there and two over there...

   Sleepy was missing. She wasn't on the perch, she wasn't on the floor. With shaking hands I plugged in the chicken's light. I still couldn't find her. 
   I was about to head outside to find either Sleepy or the place that the predator got Sleepy, when I spotted something out of the corner of my eye. 

   We barricaded the nesting boxes with netting earlier so the chickens wouldn't sleep in them. But, she somehow squeezed herself into the box and settled down for the night. 
   I was so happy to see her. I lifted up that silly chicken and put her where she belonged. 
On the perch.

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Penny, Piper, Poppy Problem

   Once I ordered the chicks and I could stop obsessing about what breeds to get, I had find something else to obsess about. The chicks' names was what I settled on. A lot of thinking went into some of the names and here are the reasons for them.

Sleepy (Penny):
   Sleepy's original name, Penny, was about her coloring (when she grew up). She is a Double Laced Barnevelder so she will grow up to be a shiny black and brown.

   However, when we got her she was falling asleep on her feet. I wasn't able to identify to identify her breed right away, so we started calling her Sleepy as a name place holder. And well... the name stuck!

   Nutmeg's name is also about her grown-up coloring. She is a Welsummer so she will be varying shades of brown.

   This name has two reasons. The first is the obvious. Color. She is an Australorp, so entirely black.

   The second reason comes from a movie. "X-Men: Days of Future Past" to be exact. I saw it close to the time I got the chicks and I loved Jennifer Lawrence's character, Raven.
   Before I saw the movie I was going to name this chick Poppy. A black body and a red comb, the same colors as the flower.
   This brings up the Penny, Piper, Poppy Problem. I loved these three names, but I didn't want so many names starting with the letter "P". As I said before, I ended up ruling out Poppy for Raven. I think it suites her better anyway!

   Our Orpington's name, Daisy, comes from a illustrated children's book. The book is Jan Brett's, Daisy Comes Home. Jan Brett one of my favorite authors. This particular book follows a brave hen in China, whose name is, you guessed it, Daisy. It is an adorable book with amazing illustrations and I am glad I can remember it through my Daisy.
   I thought the chicken in the book looked most like an Orpington, so that is why this chick got this name.

   Olive is the same breed as my late Hazel. This name is in remembrance of her. Both green names, both red birds.





   This name came from a book. The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan. I loved one of the characters, Piper. Also, for some reason the name suites her puffy cheeks.

   This is yet another book name. This comes from the Gregor The Overlander series by Suzanne Collins. Lizzie is the main character's sister and reminds me of myself in some ways.


   This name is color, color, color. She is a Speckled Sussex. Speckled. Her feathers are going to be dark brown with white tips.

This is where Speckles stepped on my camera. (Sigh).

   Hope to see you next week! Bye!