Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Chicken Update #2

Justin has been working long and hard to get our chicken coop done. I am so proud of him and the hard work he has been putting in over the past month. More on that later though. I plan to do a long post about the coop and its features soon enough! When the coop was move-in ready, Justin and I loaded the chicks into a dog kennel to transfer them across the yard from the brooder to the coop. They were packed in, but only for about 3 minutes.
Here they are in their fresh, clean, new space. They are no longer fuzzy chicks! I like to say they’re in their awkward teenage stage—not quite chicks, not quite full grown.
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We quickly realized that the poo makes for a very slippery surface after I almost busted my butt changing out their water one day and bought pine shavings to create traction. Much better and it cuts down on the smells too!
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For fun we put our yard cat, referred to as “Kitty Kitty”, in the coop for a few minutes while we were out there one day. I thought she would be amazed by the chickens, but she was surprisingly scared of them. She cowered away from them. I suppose 24 chickens pecking and clucking around can be overwhelming!
Justin is the chicken whisperer. We want the chickens to be handled and used to us being around in case we need to treat them for diseases or injuries. They are still mostly skittish despite us handling them every day.
Justin finally fenced in the run and the chicks now have full reign of their domain. They seem to eat all at the same time despite having food and water available on demand 24/7!
We have really good neighbors and an especially nice mail man. We found a note from him in our mailbox one day saying he saw a fox coming out of our back yard near the coop. We have had concerns about foxes in the area and took precautions to make it difficult for them to get into the coop and run. I was on the back porch one morning drinking my tea and it casually walked through the back yard, stopping to stare at the cats and me with no fear. That same morning, I went to check on the chickens and it was sitting next to the coop, splayed out like a dog. Again, it had no fear of me even when I shot out with my pistol. We now have a neighborhood watch going on. Neighbors and friends are sending me texts and emails every time they see it. We might have to have a fox hunt soon enough!
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