Life With Chickens

LeAnn posted this blog on Monday, July 5th, 2010 at 11:09 pm

We are approaching our third week of chicken ownership, and things appear to be going quite well. In two weeks we have gotten a dozen and a half of eggs from three laying hens.

I have found out that the chickens adore homemade biscuits and that they are quite fond of apple cores and sprigs of clover. They also like their “scratch grain” and seem to prefer that over the chicken feed. They have managed to excavate a dust bathing area, too, which presents a challenge in keeping their water fresh and clean. I no more than put out fresh water, and one of them will take a dust bath, fluff up her feathers, and there goes the fresh water.

Sunday afternoon, I went outside with the camera to get pictures of them. Laverne and Shirley, who are young chickens and will not start laying until this fall, are Buff Orpingtons. They like to hang out together and spend  a lot of their time in the hen house, especially when it is hot and humid. I think they feel safer in there and more comfortable. The older chickens like to push them around.

Shirley did venture outside for a while, though, while  I was taking pictures. Mostly, I think, because my big black tom cat, Rocky, had jumped into the hen house while I was taking pictures. The sight of a big black cat in the hen house caused quite a stir for Laverne and Shirley.

The two young Buff Orpingtons also seem to have more of an affinity for people than the others. As soon as I open the hen house door, they are on the alert and coming toward me to see what treat I might have for them, clucking and cooing. Laverne and Shirley are constantly clucking and cooing and spend a lot of their time talking to each other — and to me, too, when they think I have a treat for them.

The cats like to sit and watch the chickens, but the chickens pretty much ignore the cats. They seem to know the kitties cannot get into their run and do not pay much attention to them.

Gingersnap is the Americauana. She lays lovely blue-green eggs. We thought about calling her Ginger, because of her color, but she’s rather mean and likes to push Laverne and Shirley around, so we thought Gingersnap would be a more fitting name.

Betty White is the flock leader. We decided to call her Betty White because of the white ear patches. She is not necessarily so mean to the other chickens, but they definitely get out of her way. All she has to do is give them “the look” and they all defer to her.

Bluebell is the black and white Hamburg. We decided on Bluebell because she has blue ear patches. She lays little white eggs. So does Betty White.

We have already had one raccoon try to get into the chicken house. One evening, after sunset, Randy and I were sitting outside when we heard a strange noise, a kind of a thumping and twanging sound.

Randy went to the hen house and chased away a very large raccoon who was trying to get in through the screen. Randy had made a guard of plywood that he places over the screen at night. We had left it off that night because it was hot, and we wanted to get some air circulation in the hen house. Since then, my husband has modified the guard with bolts and wing nuts so we don’t have to get out the electric drill to screw on the plywood. (sigh)

LeAnn R. Ralph

Tagged : , , , , ,

Previous Blog Posting:

Next Blog Posting:
Privacy Policy: Any information you provide to Rural Route 2 will be kept strictly confidential and will not be not given to any third parties. Telephone number is requested in case LeAnn needs to contact you about your order. E-mail address is requested so LeAnn can confirm your order.