Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Article: Backyard Chickens Chapter 3

Will Cash holding Willa the chicken

It's official: the backyard chickens are in the backyard!

While they were lovely creatures to have sharing our home... eventually they got pretty darn dusty, and it was time for them to go.

Chickens love "scratch": grass, weeds, and branches
The chickens are about 8 weeks old now, and are about the size of footballs. They still chirp rather than cluck or coo... which is cute. They are pretty self-sufficient, needing only fresh water and plenty of food.

The chickens absolutely love snacking on grass, weeds, shrubs, and just about anything else that's green and within their reach. As we weed the garden we throw most of the payload into the chicken yard.

A note of caution: We have lots of poppies in the yard, some of which need to be thinned. But I've read that poppies are bad for chickens... so we've composted the poppies instead.

Rita: "you talkin' to me?"
We've had a few neighborhood cats that have come into the yard and stirred up the flock. I believe I've built a secure chicken yard from all predators, but let's just say that the cats are not welcome here.

Still about 4 months to go before we'll see eggs—which is a good thing since I haven't extended the chicken coop to include laying boxes!

More to come soon.

2 comments:

  1. Yikes! Those chickens are starting to look scary to me. I believe that I am interested in them only for the fresh-egg thing. That probably means that I'm objectifying your chickens, and I feel suitably bad about that.

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  2. Hey Diane!

    They're still reasonably cute, but yes, chickens begin to show their dinosaur pedigree as they grow up.

    Don't feel bad... I can't wait to tuck into the first omelet once they start laying!

    -Derek

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