Wow, I am really excited to report that we have now been chicken owners for over 2 weeks. There have been mainly highs, the low being the super-strong wind gusts that blew the coop over, but thankfully only made a mess and didn’t hurt any of our girls.
So here are the crew, hanging out on the perch we made them. The shed came with a wide tin “laying shelf” which was beloved by the chickens because of the height, but hopeless because it was smooth and flat and held the poop for them to sit in. Ick. So we put in a bracket to replace it, and attached the timber to perch on. They loved it immediately, and have no trouble getting up and down. Helped by the seriously dense amount of wood shavings/sawdust, and feathers on the floor to cushion the landing.
Here is the boss chook, Naomi. She is apparently a couple of weeks older than the other girls, she has been bigger from the start. Just this last day or two she has seriously started to grow her wattles and her face is really reddening up, so hopefully there is some egg laying in her future. Especially if the weather holds warm for a bit longer.
Naomi also has those incredibly rich coloured eyes. Different to the other 3 chickens. She is also a lot crankier the last couple of days…. feeling hormonal perhaps? 😉
Here is Rebekah. She is the only one that appears to be a purebred Light Sussex, as she has a straight comb and less black on the front of her neck. All the others have full black collars, rose combs, and lots more black and grey all over. Rebekah seems to be being picked on a bit at the moment, I’m trying to make sure she gets a fair share of the treats.
The other 2, Rahab who is the pushy one always first in line for food, and Ruth who is timid and more easily startled out of them all didn’t feel like posing. But you can see them, 2nd and 4th along in the group shot. There is almost nothing to choose between the two of them in looks, we can only tell who is who by personality, which is chalk and cheese.
I need to take their green bands off (from the breeder) and put some larger ones on, as they are starting to fit a little snugly. DH has requested coloured ones, so that he has a hope of telling them apart. Although the more time he spends with them, the more he is beginning to learn their personalities!
In the spirit of Tom Good (from The Good Life, that awesome TV show from the 70’s) I have even come up with a rather cheap way to give them their daily scratching greens! We have empty vacant building lots all around us. They have been undisturbed for a long time, and have a marvellous crop of green lush weeds. I know for sure that no-one has bothered to spray them or anything, they are lucky to get mowed once every 6 months, and they are just perfect for chickens! 5 minutes with my garden fork, and the bucket is overflowing, including all the bugs and critters that come along with them, and then the girls go mad! Here’s all 4 of them tucking into the one weed – it was bigger than a dinnerplate!
So everything seems to be going well so far. The girls have settled into our lives, and our new routines regarding feeding, caring for them, as well as just hanging out and enjoying them, have been established. All we need now, pretty please Naomi, are some eggs?!?