Chicken update

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by gcvmom, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Here's my babies... all grown up at nearly 5 months old! No eggs yet, though. I imagine they'll be laying soon.
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    How cute! Butterscotch is such a pretty hair would look great in that shade of red. I can just see Martin the hair god's expression when I bring in a picture of a chicken and say, "I want it THAT color this time!"
  3. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    aren't they just purdy? So, I'm assuming they are all hens? You got to keep them all? Getting any eggs, yet?

    They really are nice colors, especially the brownies.
  4. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

  5. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Yup, Loth -- all hens. No eggs yet. I thought for sure we'd have some by Valentine's day, but I guess not. Maybe as the weather warms up and the days get longer...

    They are definitely more chicken-like than Herbert was. Not nearly as eager to be held, and they prefer eachother's company. They only time they come running to me is if they see I've got treats in hand!
  6. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    *sniff* They are all grown up! Those reds are such a wonderful color and the blacks are purty too! I just can't believe how fast they grow!
  7. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Great pics!!
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    They grow amazingly fast!

    Yes, the reds are very striking, aren't they? Supposedly we'll get brown eggs from them. The feathers on the blacks have an irridescent green and sometimes blue, depending on how the light hits them. Very pretty. The blacks seem to be a bit smarter than the reds, but they are more slight in their build. The reds probably outweigh the blacks 2:1.

    The local hawk(s) have already discovered them and have been seen just hovering above our yard, no doubt pondering how they can get at them when they're in their run (an 8-foot mesh cube)! We do let them out for short periods to roam the yard when we're outside. I think they have the safety in numbers advantage that Herbert never did. Four pairs of eyes are much better at spotting danger than just one!
  9. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    They will look out for one another.

    Interesting how they eat just about everything else, but they've left your gazanias alone... I think I'll have to plant some gazanias in our backyard, our chooks kick everything else to dust.

    You should be getting eggs any day now. If you want to speed things up, get some solar-powered lights and make sure they can shine into the henhouse at night. My dad said that chooks will lay as long as they get 17 hours of light a day, total. They should continue to pay through their first year, then they slow down and stop laying once daylight hours get shorter again. Commercial farmers tend to cull their layers at the end of their first year, so they don't have to 'carry' them over an unproductive winter. The alternative is lights, but rather than have lights blazing all the time, simply extending the day will do the trick without being too hard on the chooks. The chook feed is usually plenty fortified to keep them well-nourished so they don't suffer for keeping on laying. I usually add extra calcium though, by drying eggshells in the oven, grnding them up and putting the ground shell back into the feed or into the coop. And the manure they produce - I've got gardeners all round the village coming to us for it. The local commjunity garden is well-nourished courtesy of our chooks. All the grass clippings go into the chookhouse to make a deep litter bed that composts down to something wonderful for the garden.

    If you keep hand-feeding the chooks, they will be more willing to be handled on those times when you need to (wing clipping, claw clipping, any first aid needed). It's good to handle them so you can get acloser feel for how they're doing. A hen can lose a lot of condition and you mightn't notice, because flock birds hide any health problems for as lnog as they can. So if you pick up the hens, feel their 'drumsticks' to make sure they're well-muscled.

    They look in marvellous condition. You're doing a good job.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911

    Well just yesterday they were so tiny - and now look at them!!!!!!! BEAUTIFUL CHICKENS.

    And you say they won't lay eggs yet? Hmmmm Maybe you should play some mood music for them? And put some burgundy lace curtains in the hen house, and some soft lighting. You know - nesting "stuff".

    Perhaps someone could loan you a rooster to strut around for a day or two? Like that Foghorn Leghorn does.

    Thanks for sharing - I shall now retire Herberts picture and replace it with the Fab Feathered Four.
  11. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Marg, they actually DO nibble the ganzanias -- but since they're not roaming free all day it's only for short periods of time. They also eat the pomegranate leaves now that they're budding out... and I've caught them nibbling the calla lily leaves (say THAT three times fast!). Their favorite place to be is either under the grape arbor digging in the leaves for bugs and wallowing in the dirt for a bath, or under a photinia bush where they've made another dirt bath bowl. I just love watching them kick up the dirt and roll around in it :) As for the eggs, I'm too lazy to mess with a light to speed up production, so when they come, they come. We don't eat a lot of eggs anyway... I imagine we may eat more once the fresh ones are on hand, but I know I'll be giving them away to friends and neighbors, too.

    Star, I just don't understand why pine shavings in an old plastic bin doesn't put them in "the mood"! Maybe I should make a ROUND nesting bed with a faux fur throw on it and plug a lava lamp in the coop -- I could pipe in some Barry White to further enhance the atmosphere... :p