Thursday, July 21, 2011

Some free-range fun from last night.

Only three eggs today. I sure hope this heat subsides soon. It was more than 100º in the coop today.


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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A five-egg day.

Found four eggs around lunch time today and one more after I got home from work.

The five eggs from today. Three of them, including the baby egg were in the nest boxes, one was on the floor in front of the roosts and one was in the usual spot on the floor behind the feeder.


Today's eggs with a quarter and a store-bought medium egg for size comparison.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A little egg update and some new videos.

We gotten a total of 15 eggs so far, with yesterday's total of 3 being the most in a day so far. I'm sure the heat isn't helping the others start with their egg production. Despite it still being 95º this evening, Sarah and I spent a little time outside with the chickens as they free-ranged. Oh, and I got a screen door added to the coop on Sunday so I can give the coop a little more ventilation during the day, since 100º is in the forecast this week.




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Mr. Cogburn thinks he's the King Cock.



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Sarah taking it easy as the chickens feed around her.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The first eggs have arrived!

I've been keeping an eye on the nest boxes in the morning, but don't always peak around the corner where the feeder and waterer are hanging. I went back there this evening to shake the feeder and voilà, there were two brown eggs in the back of the coop. They should be from the Golden Comets, which they say can start laying around 18 weeks. Today is exactly 18 weeks since the chicks were shipped. Being the first ones, they're kind of small, but should get to be large eggs in time.



The spot on the floor where I found them.





Compared to a large white egg we had in the fridge.


Next to a few large white eggs.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Lost one of the Brown Leghorns tonight.

I always let the dogs out and bring them in prior to letting the chickens free-range in the evening. When I let them out tonight, I didn't know two leghorns had flown over the run. When I let the dogs back in, I noticed some feathers in the water bowl after Jack, our Lhasa Apso mix, got a drink. Yep, found one of the leghorns in the backyard by the corner of the deck. Another had flown over the yard fence to escape. She stuck close to the coop after coming back in. Only 3 white egg layers now.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Perch added to nest boxes.

I added the perch to the front of the nest boxes today to make it easier to get in and out of the boxes.



Saturday, June 25, 2011

The nest boxes are in. Let the egg laying begin.

The chickens will be 16-weeks-old tomorrow, so I figured I better get some nest boxes in before they start laying and get in the habit of laying them on the floor. Although, if they feel like laying on the floor, the boxes won't matter. Chickens have a mind of their own. I think they turned out pretty good, but I just about screwed up and couldn't get the assembled unit into the part of the coop where I installed it. One of those "Oh Sh#&" moments.




It was threatening rain today, so I worked on the covered front porch.


I used 1/2-inch plywood for the bottom, sides and back.


Here's the tight fit. If I hadn't been able to get it in, I could have removed a couple of the strips holding the chicken wire on, and it would have went in for sure.


Adding the partitions to make three separate boxes. I used the same thin plywood for the partitions, the roof and the front lip, that I used on the inside walls of the coop.


Next the roof.


The finished product. Although, I will add some type of perch in front to make it easier for them to get in and out.

Friday, June 24, 2011

A little quality free-range time with the girls and guy.

The family is out of town, so I spent the evening with the chickens after cutting grass. Caught Mr. Cogburn crowing a couple times and a Barred Rock pecking my toes in this video.


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Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our sales flyer.

I commissioned Isaac to use his artistic ability to come up with some illustrations for a sales flyer that I'll take to the office and give to anyone else interested in purchasing eggs once they start laying. He did Foghorn Leghorn and drew a rendition of our coop. I printed out the sales info and we're ready to start selling.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

The girls have started free-ranging.

About all I've done on the coop recently is painting the outside. The red is all finished except the clerestory wall. I've primed all the fascia boards white and need to get white stain on them too. Once I finish painting the trim boards, I'll get the trim pieces on and some hardware cloth over the windows. Meanwhile, here's some recent photos and videos of the girls and guy. Since they're now used to their coop and know where their secure roost area is, I've started letting them out of the run into the fenced portion of the backyard to free-range for a couple of hours in the evenings. Close to 8 p.m., most of them head for the coop and any that don't are easily run in with just a little encouragement.

6/11/11 - Enjoying some leftover watermelon.





6/6/11 - The first evening I let them free-range.



6/9/11 - They're getting a little braver, venturing onto the tree that I still need to cut up.


6/12/11 - Since letting the chickens free-range in the evening, one Brown Leghorn has flown up on the fence around the backyard, but none of them have flown out yet. When she took off from here, she touched the top of the run fence with her feet and then landed inside the run.


6/16/11 - They like eating the walnut leaves. I hope they're not bad for them.



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6/6/11 - This was the first time I let the chickens out of the run to
free-range in the evening.


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6/18/11 - This is the chicken eating the Dobsonfly.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

All-you-can-eat buffet.

I was able to collect a bag of Cicadas today for the chickens. Sarah enjoys throwing the Cicadas to the chickens and that adds up to some fun times in the coop.

Here's some more info on the current Cicada hatch.


This first video is the bag of Cicadas.


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And here's Sarah feeding the chickens.


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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A few of the chickens have discovered the roosts.

When I went to close the pop door this evening, I discovered Mr. Cogburn on the top roost with one of the Brown Leghorn ladies. Another Brown Leghorn and a Golden Comet also checked out the perches. Most of the them still huddled in the corner though.


Surprise!





Mr. Cogburn along with another Brown Leghorn and a Golden Comet.







Another Brown Leghorn checks out the lower roost.





Friday, May 13, 2011

Hallelujah and praise the Lord, the chickens are in the coop.

The chicks tried out their new run yesterday, but blogger was down for maintenance, so I couldn't update. This evening after work, I got the coop entry door installed, so Isaac helped me take the chicks out to their run again. Rain was in the forecast, so I added a tarp to the top of the run to shed some of the water and to provide shade when it warms up again. As dusk approached, Kelly and I moved the girls and guy inside the coop so they could get used to it before bedtime. The door is on, but I don't have hardware cloth over the windows, so hopefully nothing attempts to climb in a window before I make them more predator-proof.


5/12/11-The chicks try out the run for the first time since attaching it to the coop.



A celery leaf and tomato salad for the chicks.







5/13/11-I put the tarp on the run before moving the chicks out there today. As soon as I got ready to start on the entry door, it started raining.



While I was working on the entry door, a Brown Leghorn was the first to come in to check out the new digs. This was before I place the step outside the door to help them up. The funny thing is, of the three breeds we have, the Leghorns are supposed to be the most skittish, but that didn't stop her from investigating.

The Brown Leghorn checks out the inside as another one looks on.

The next one to check out the inside was a Barred Plymouth Rock.



The door is installed. I liked doing that about as much as I like making rafters.

Kelly visiting with the chicks after the rain stopped.



After locking them all inside, they wanted nothing but to go back out. They all piled up by the pop door.

I had to force them back into the feed/waterer area so I knew for sure they would find them.

Chickapoo has become quite handsome.



Three of the Golden Comets.