Chicken Diary
Friday, July 1, 2011
Got the girls Monday evening: Trixie (Rhode Island Red), Jemima (Buff Orpington), and Charlotte (Barred Rock). They are different ages, but all between 6 and 8 weeks old. The coop isn't done yet (hopefully will be this weekend), so they are living in an old rabbit hutch in the basement, where it's cool.

I take them out to the backyard every day for a little while, and put them in a kind of temporary pen. They are still small enough to get through it, but the idea is that predators (i.e. Lucky) won't be able to get in right away, giving me time to rescue them. I keep an eye on them while I'm doing some weeding, but it's hard to concentrate on yard work when they are so cute and fun to watch. Tonight I took a book and sat in the pen with them for almost 2 hours. By the end they were walking all around me, pecking at my toenails and clothes, and acting much more comfortable with me than they ever have. Of course, then I had to pick them up and put them in the box to take them back inside, and there was a lot of panicky squawking involved, but I hope that won't have ruined what we accomplished tonight. :)

Monday, July 4, 2011
Wow, chickens grow fast!
Got the coop secured and the girls have spent the past couple of nights out there. Heather helped me clean up the old shed on the side of the garage, and we put up hardware cloth over the window, cut a couple of vents (need a couple more, though), and -this is what we are most proud of- built a door out of scraps.

The girls were curious...


There's still work to be done- a couple more vents, a pop door, and the nesting boxes. For right now, though, they seem pretty comfy in the pine shavings. The shed is about 6 feet by 8, and they are so tiny in all that space.
The cost so far:
Hardware cloth $17.97 @ Lowes
Roofing nails $2.98 @ Lowes
Various hardware and stuff $12 @ ReStore
Wood scraps and screws that I already had
Total: $32.95

July 11, 2011
Ordered some chicken nipples (hee hee) from a guy on ebay. They came on Saturday, so this evening after work I cleaned up an old 5-gallon bucket and installed an awesome new waterer in the coop. I honestly thought it would take some time for the girls to learn how to drink from it, because I don't think they've ever seen anything like it. But it literally took them less than 30 seconds to figure it out. Charlotte marched right up to it and pecked at the nipple, and Trix and Jemima were right behind her. I am very impressed with their obviously superior intelligence!

July 25, 2011
Added 2 ducks to my little flock on Friday. My vet found them in her yard, and put them in with her chickens for a few days while she tried to find out whose they were, but no on in the neighborhood seemed to know. She didn't want to keep them, so offered them to me. I am incapable of turning away animals in need of a home, so they are now ensconced with the chickens in the coop (and around the yard). We think they are Khaki Campbells, and I've named them Gloria and Fiona. They are terrified of me.
My camera is broken (just the display screen, so I can't see what I'm taking pictures of until I download them) but I will try to get some pictures up soon. Now I just need to figure out a good feeding/watering method in the coop (they have a kiddie pool to play in when they're free ranging in the yard- also, they are eating snails!! Woo Hoo!!!).

October 22, 2011
First egg!!! I was getting worried because I figured they would have started laying a couple of weeks ago. Also, I think it's a duck egg, so I am still a little worried about the chickens. But I have an egg! and it's a beaut!