Thursday, May 6

Eggs and Entertainment

Last Saturday we finished off the interior chicken coop area and introduced 6 Rhode Island Red/leghorn mixes to their new home. They are 6 months old and already laying.
They have been tearing up my grass with their chicken dancing ever since.

My grandpa made the nest boxes for us from pine and the hens really seem to enjoy them.

We also moved the chicks to their own small pen inside the shed. The shed is very large and has two "rooms". One room is where we have the coop for the hens that has the old chicken doors to their outside pen. The chicks are in the other room in a pen that gives them lots of room but they cannot go outside or interact with the older hens. They seem happy and we have additional peeping to keep them company - there is a robin’s nest in the rafters.

So I now have 18 little entertaining girls in my big old shed. The comets are growing bigger by the day. They have all of their feathers now - all different in colors and markings. They are going to make a beautiful flock. The older girls are slowly showing me their personalities and I am learning to tell them apart. They are already laying and we have already accumulated over a dozen eggs since they have been here.

And I already have come to love 'egg checking time', which comes several times a day. It is exciting for me - like getting a present. I am greeted with a chorus of squawking and clucking in the morning when I go out to open the little chicken door and they come pouring out into the grass, excited to start another day. Then I check the food and water for both the ladies and the chicks. And then it is egg time and I look for my present. A sometimes warm, perfectly shaped, light brown egg waiting for me in the nest box. The ladies squawk at me like they know I am taking away their property.

Do they miss their eggs? Do they come back to the next box if they don't see me take the eggs and wonder where they went?

But I still say 'thank you ladies' and go back to the house and add the latest gifts to my collection in the fridge.

Even with all my reservations about additional responsibility, I am very happy that we decided to get the chickens.

Eggs and Entertainment.

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