Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our chickens

We have had chickens for years.  They lay eggs for us to eat and the best part is they eat ticks and other yard insects.  When we first moved over to the new place we didn't bring the chickens immediately.  Talk about tick infestation.  It was a nightly ritual to de-tick the kids before bed.  Finally the pen was built and the chickens brought over.  we left 5 hens and two roosters out to be our tick clean up crew and the rest were penned.  It became clear that we were not going to keep the chickens in the new pen so we gave up and they all got out.  This area was completely undeveloped so  we lost all the chickens besides the 5 hen and 2 roosters that stay here in the yard.

We needed to start again so this spring we came across 30 biddies really cheap.  We couldn't pass that deal up. We bought them and then the question was where to put them. They were not old enough to be outside without a momma.  The cat had already got 2 of the other 6 we bought.  In the past we have kept them in a box in the house, But 30 would start to smell bad in no time.

 I had a few totes around so I put the biddies inside with food, water, and a heat lamp. They were still needing cleaned constantly and when they spilt water they were getting wet.  We lost two because of this.  Then my husband went outside and brought in leaves. We just keep piling new leaves in there until we clean it out about once a week. The biddies are happy and as soon as nice weather moves in they will be moved to cages outside.

The older 4 were moved already to the new and improved Biddie pen.  They have free access to food and water and a roost.  The hens will be let out but the roosters will be kept for dinner. 

Here is the nest box we have mounted on the back of the shed next to the Biddie pen. I get about 4 eggs a day. One red hen thinks she is sitting.  she lost her first nest to the dogs. Then she lost her second to her getting confused and sitting on the wrong one. The other eggs could not be saved.  Now I think she might hatch this 3rd nest. We will see.  I am not even sure how many eggs she has. 

She don't seem to mind having her picture taken. In fact she is the most mild hen I have ever had sit. You can reach under her and she won't even flog you.

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