On Tuesday May 19, 2009 the cornish rocks spent their 1st night outside in the chicken pen. They were stinking up the house to much and getting big enough that they needed more room to roam about then what the bird cage could provide them.
I kept them out there in a small dog kennel inside of the pen for the night. I covered it with plastic and put a heating lamp in there.
I kept checking on them to see if they were ok. I even prayed for their protection.
On Wed morning they were really hot and panting since the sun was up and shining right on their heat lamped cage. They were happy to be let out of the cage to run around the pen and to cool off.
I stayed outside most of that day trying to do work on the chicken pen. We about obsessed over watching over them making sure nothing got into the pen to get them.
And now today, Friday, we are feeling more comfortable with them being out there alone roaming in the pen for a while.
Tonight they are not sleeping in the small dog kennel cage but instead in an old dog house that is inside the chicken pen. I have the heating lamp in there with food and water and a fence panel in front of the door so they cant get out for the night. The dog house is more roomy then the small dog kennel/cage thingy. And the morning sun kept shining right on their kennel no matter where I put it. The only shade in the pen at that time is in and around the dog house so they are better off in there. I put up an old door on wooden horses inside the pen to help with getting some morning shade and to use as a perch and bird feeder holder.
The poor things seem to not be as bright as they should be. We have to use a ho to scratch up dirt for them to find bugs and worms. We even tried teaching them to perch on stuff. They are learning and starting to get it. Today one found a dead june beetle and carried it around trying to keep it from the one of the other chickens who was chasing after him for the bug. He gulped it down whole.
On Tuesday we got 3 new egg laying chicks from 3 differnt chicken breeds and they act so different then the cornish rocks. They dont eat near as much, they preen themselves more and are not as chirpy. I like the chirpy sound of the cornish rocks. We are keeping those 3 chicks in the house in the bird cage until they are a few weeks old.
We refer to the cornish rocks as the pigs. We scatter their feed around calling "chic chic" in order for them to get some exersize, this is helping them get off their lazy butts to explore more as well. 1 kept playing with a piece of plastic.
They like and need lots of shade. They do not do well with heat I notice. I see them panting off and on a lot and laying themselves out on their bellies with their necks laying down and wings kind of away from their bodies as if they are dead or dying. But they are fine.
They are in the preteen to teenage stage. Their heads still have the down but their wings and tails feathers are mostly in.
From the begining I have noticed that 3 of them are differernt. I wonder if perhaps I have 3 males and 3 females? Or 4 females and 2 males because Im not sure about the one. We shall see as time goes on. 3 have their tail and wing feathers and 3 dont.
We are working on putting bird feeders and humming bird feeders in or near the chicken pen. There is already a finch house in there and the finches come and eat with the chickens.
My kids like it when we sit outside watching the chickens and make up voices and personalities for them.