I am going to use this page as a "Chicken Journal" Mostly to help me keep up with all my chicken's "happenings".
June 21st - got my first 5 chickens, 3 Ameraucanas & 2 Blue Andalusians. All are about 18 weeks of age.
June 22nd - it rained just a bit in the evening so I thought maybe I should put the girls in the coop. I had to catch each one. After the rain they came back out. Around 8:00 they just marched themselves one by one into the coop. We finally decided on names: the 2 Blue's are Millie & Mollie, the auburn Ameraucanas are Ginger & Autumn and the Black/White one is Ena.
June 23rd - all is well, everyone looks great. They are already taking treats from my hand.
June 24th - They were a little slow about coming out this morning. It took them about an hour to stay out.
June 25th - I tried yougurt on them today from the treat list. They loved it!!
June 26th - Now I think I will start keeping a scrap/treat bowl for them in the fridge. As I have kitchen "cuttings" I will put the prime peices in the bowl. Second best goes to the worm bin and the rest to the compost pile. As one of my Blue Andalusians was going to roost she seemed to be paying alot of attention to the egg in one of the nest boxes. I watched her for about 30 minutes. She sort of rolled the egg and spent alot of time standing over it. I guess we will see if any thing happened in the morning.
June 27th - OK, so no egg. Today I tried applesauce on them - not a winner. So as an apoligy I brought up some chopped strawberries, apple and plums. Millie & Mollie liked strawberries best, Ginger, Autumn & Rena liked the plums.
June 28th - Again, no egg. I'm not going to worry about it any more. Rual brought me 2 Buff Orps and 2 Black Austrolopes today. He said they were 8 months old, but I think around 10 weeks old. They are still peeping instead of clucking. Mollie picked on them a bit when we first put them in the coop. I checked on them about an hour later and all were roosting. We are going to turn Andy's old cabin into a coop with 3 different runs. But for now, I think they will get along OK.
June 29th - The 4 newbies did not want to come out of the coop. Finally, around 1:00 we just shooed them out and closed the coop door. There was some initial pecking and running off, but eventually they started to calm down. Around 8:00, the old girls started going in and everyone was in by 9:00.
June 30th - Everyone was out pretty quickly this morning. Treats today included apples, strawberries and plums in yogurt. They do not like apples. I gave them a few handfuls of fresh grass, and chopped zucchini and cucumbers. After they were in the coop I spread fresh hay in the run.
July 1st - This morning their treat was mashed bananas, yummy! This afternoon, Andy mowed the yard so they got several handfuls of fresh grass. Yummy, again!
July 2nd - I pulled some rottening plums from the tree and tossed them into the run. A big game of "Chicken Keep Away" ensued. How funny it was to watch them trying to keep a whole plum to themselves.
July 3rd - This morning I took up some leftover meatloaf and squash casserole. Both were a hit! Around 7 pm we scattered a bagful of crickets in the run. What a chase! However, those won't be so often at $4 a bag.
July 4th - The girls had lots of company today. Everyone from the party came up to have a look-see. They couldn't believe that I give them treats. It seems like the bedtime hour has been pushed back to about 8:30. The Buffs and Aussies go in and out several times before they decide to stay in. I tried cooked potatoes on them today and they really liked it.
July 7th - I read where corn/scratch can raise body heat in chickens. Then I read that it doesn't. I think I will give it to them in the evenings just in case it does. Treats today included bananas, potatoes, grass and plums. I've also been researching DE and ordered a 50 lb. bag that should be in within 2 weeks. The flies are getting annoying so we will probably clean the coop tomorrow.
July 8th - We cleaned the coop and put in fresh straw. That really helped the fly problem.
July 9th - I've notice Millie's comb getting redder. From what I've read she may be getting ready to lay. We went to Rual's and I got to see the little Domineckers. They sure have grown! They are around 8 wks. He said that all theywant to eat is grower feed. I took a few Jap. Beetles and tossed in & they gobbled them down.
July 10th - Just by happenstance, my girls got a great treat today. I noticed some of my squash plants looked puny. After closer inspection, I saw squash bugs. I just starting pulling up the plants and tossed them in the run. What a feast for them. It was a great way to get some extra protien in them.
July 15th - My DE came in today so we cleaned the run and put it on the hay. We also sprinkled it in the coop. Yesterday I put in a scrap corn cob and this morning it was picked clean. They got lots of kitchen scraps today since I am canning.
July 16th - Today I got 2 doz.ear of corn for the corn salad. Some had big, fat juicy worms so all the ends and the worms went to the chickens. This morning I put the rest of the watermelon hull in. When I went back, it was just a flimsy shell, so I put 2 handfulls of grape tomatoes in it. Soon, they were gone, too.
July 17th - The girls sure are loving all of this canning I am doing! I also gave them left over tuna salad which they devoured. I noticed that my buffs and lorps are beginning to cluck instead of peep. Peppers crest is starting to redden a bit.
July 20th - It was pretty hot today so I tried a new treat on the girls - frozen fruit. At first they really didn't care for it. But when it started to thaw YUMMY!
July 22nd - Boy, did they go to bed early tonight. We walked up at 8:15 and the last one was walking in. Oh well, so much for the chicken show.
August 1rst - Still no eggs yet. I'm still keeping up with treats. Today they had leftover fish and finished of a can of corn.
August 4th - I tried canned carrots on them today, yucky! Last night, Tom put a roost in the run for them. This morning it took about 2 minutes for Millie to try it out. All day they would hop up and down. I mowed the yard today and they got several handfuls of grass. For an afternoon snack, they got leftover corn and tomatoes.
August 9th - Yesterday the girls had 4 dozen crickets from the pet store. This morning I did not hear one that got left. We cleaned the coop out today. I put out a small bowl of oyster shell grit they can have if they choose. Oh, and yesterday, Rual got his first egg. It was blue so it came from one of his Ameraucanas or EEs.
August 15 - Last week we put a roost in the run. They seem to like sitting on it. Yesterday and today we caught several crickets in the compost pile. Today, they got a juicy tomato worm from the garden. Over the past few days we have been working to get the cabin ready to move. It is 8x12 and we are going to divide it into 3 seperate coops with their own runs. Womac's Wrecker is supposed to bring their rollback to move it tomorrow.
August 20 - The cabin is moved. It was quite suspensful seeing it on the back of that rollback going up the hill. It has been leveled and the front porch is back on. Yesterday, Tom got the inside coops framed in. I have decided to have 2 different coops instead of 3.
August 22 - Yesterday, Rual brought my chicken tractor and 3 Dominiques over. At first Cocoa tried to dig them out, but now she doesn't pay them much attention. I have found out they like tomatoes but not leftover chicken legs. The ones in the Hen Pen do like chicken legs. Rual said he has gotten 8 eggs from his Ameraucanas. I am still at zero!! I have cut back on the treats some. They are really eating the laying mash, though. The inside of the cabin coop is almost finished. The doors, feeders and nest boxes are all we lack inside.
I paid $125 for it. I think I got a pretty good deal.
August 23 - We got most of the runs done. We lack the roof, skirting, middle posts and gates. Then, I'll just have to wait for the animal sale. The Doms are doing great. They like watermelon and a little bread. I put 3 shovel fulls of powder dirt in their run. They loved bathing in it and did so for about a half hour.
August 25 - We did the roof and the middle posts today.
August 26 - Rain!!, about 4.5" so far. The chicken's dust bathing holes are now mudholes. The Dom's feed got all wet in the tractor so I changed it out. What a muddy mess!! We didn't get to work on the new coop at all. Maybe tomorrow we will be able to build the gates.
August 27 - The rain has stopped. We got the gates and the divider finished. When I was carrying in groceries, I heard the loudest BA-GOCK, BA-GOCK!! I thought surely someone just laid an egg. I grabbed my cell phone and ran up to the coop. NO EGG! Dang.
August 29 - Finished the cabin coop!! Just in time, too. The chicken sale is tomorrow.
This is my newest coop. We just finished it August 29th. It used to set in the woods and was my son's play cabin. Instead of building from scratch or buying one finished, we renovated (evicted squirrels from the eaves) and modified it. We moved it about 600 feet with a rollback from a local wrecker service and my DH's Bobcat. This cabin itself is 8x12 with a 4x12 front porch.
Inside, we divided it into 2 coops and a hallway. Both coop areas are 5x6 with a 3x12 hallway. Each coop has its own window and roost. There is a smaller window in front that we open for a nice breeze during the day.
There is plenty of room for storage and a shelf along the top of the coops.
The runs in back are 6x12 and are completely covered.
Here, you can see some of the happy occupants. Each coop has its own entry door with ramp. On the left side, we have 7 Buff Orpingtons and on the left are 4 Black Australorpes. When the weather gets too cold, the 3 Dominiques that are in the chicken tractor will join the Australorpes.
August 30 - Got exactly what I wanted at the sale. Five Buffs and 2 Black Australorpes. They are older than the ones I have now. They should start laying once they settle in.
September 1 - Labor Day, no really. How appropriate. This is my first egg. It is from Ena, one of my Americaunas.
It has a great shape and the shell seems nice and strong. I think it's pretty good for a first try.
September 4 - Five eggs so far. The first Americauna egg was quite a bit larger than the second I got yesterday. The Black Austrolorpes still aren't laying yet. They probably just need a bit more time after being moved. The Dominiques now look forward to me coming to the tractor. They know they will probably get a treat. We almost had a catastrophe yesterday. Tom was looking for eggs in the Buff's coop and Cocoa shot through the door and got halfway out of the run door before he grabbed her. She has always been interested in them, but I never thought she would go after them like that. We will have to be more careful!!
September 5 - Both Mollie and Millie laid an egg today! I told the boys last night that she was getting ready to lay when one of the others pecked her back and she squatted. I had to throw one of the eggs away because someone pecked a hole in it.I looked at the yold and it was very rich and golden colored. I got another buff egg, too.
September 6 - Two buff eggs, one Americauna, and another Andalusian. Except the Andalusian had been pecked open again. I gave it to Cocoa. I will start checking for eggs more often during the day.
September 7- Our first 4 egg day! Two from the buffs and one each from Millie & Mollie. I watched Millie lay her egg. She stood up and the egg landed on its small end and dented in. It wasn't all the way through. Tonight, we put extra hay in all the nest boxes. Everyone seems to lay before 11:30 am. One of the buffs was in the nest box and the second stood waiting, even though we have 2 boxes. She finally settled in the 2nd one and I thought she would use it. She came back out and waited for the other hen to finish. I moved the fake egg to the other box to encourage them to use both. We cleaned out all the coops except for the buffs. It still looked pretty good. Breakfast was "on the girls" this morning.
September 8 - A 5 egg day today! Two buffs, both Andalusians and now Autumn are laying. Ena has taken the last couple of days off. Another buff looks like she will be ready soon. One Black Australorpe should be starting any day now. I can tell one of them has been in the nest boxes because they are mashed down.
September 10 - I went to the coops about 12:30. I found 1 lonely egg from the Buffs. I was kind of disappointed thinking most had takn the day off. However, I found 2 more eggs that day (1 Andalusian & another Buff). They just laid a little later. We hung hanging feeders in the cabin coop due to so much feed waste. The Doms are still wasting theirs so I'll have to figure out something for them.
September 11 - Four eggs today. Two were from the Ameraucanas (that I think now are EEs). One was bluer than the green ones I had gotten earlier. One of the Buffs had been pecked with a little hole, but I put it in the fridge anyway. We moved the Dom's tractor.
September 12 - This morning I found a soft shelled egg on the floor in the Buff's coop. It must have been someone's first try. Both Andalusians layed today, Ena (I think), and a Buff egg. I ate the egg with a hole in it for breakfast this morning. It was perfectly good.
September 14 - Another 5 egg day! Yesterday, we bought a butterfly net for catching grasshoppers. This morning we caught about 2 dozen. Some were pretty good size. It's great protein for the girls and good exercise for us.
September 15 - Four eggs today, which was kind of suprising since the five yesterday. I sold my first dozen, to Daddy (lol).
September 26 - My Andalusians haven't laid for 4 days now. Nothing seems to be wrong with them, maybe they are settling into their true routine. My big black Australorpe has been squatting for me for 2 days now. She is very calm and lets me pet her. I'm expecting an egg any day now from her. The Buffs really eat alot. I have to fill their feeder at least every other day. I have been buying discount bread and freezing it for them. I'm still catching some grasshoppers for them every couple of days. They sure enjoy eating them.
September 27 - Still no eggs from Millie & Mollie. Finally, Stella laid her first egg!! She has been such a sweet girl lately. She always looks forward to me coming (probably because of the treats).
September 29 - While changing over the compost bins, I noticed several worms and pupa. I took a few over the the chickens and they gobbled them down. So, I took a round tub, filled with some of the compost and put it in the Australorpe run. At first they didn't know what to do. Later, I noticed them scratching around in it.
September 30 - I think one of the Australorpes stays in the compost bin all the time. So, I put one in the Buffs and the Hen Pen. I started throwing all of the scraps in them. What doesn't get eaten gets composted.
October 1 - Millie or Mollie laid again today. The egg was a little lop-sided. I got 7 eggs today, woo-hoo!
October 2 - Another 7 eggs today, unbelievable!
October 3-6 Only 3-4 eggs each day. Stella still enjoys being picked up and petted. Another 2 Buffs should start laying soon.
December 2 - Wow, how time flies. All my hens are laying now. Out of the 19, I was getting 10-12 eggs a day. Although for the past 2 weeks, they have really slowed down, 6-8 eggs a day. About a month ago, I noticed alot of pecking going on. So, I bought some "Flock Block" and that seems to have helped. I suppose they just needed something to do.