Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Nesting Boxes

I didn't know that my husband was a carpenter, but he surprised me and built fabulous nesting boxes for our chicken coop! I'm so excited for this stage to be completed. Next is windows, vents, siding, and paint.

We lined the inside with linoleum that comes out for easy cleaning.

There are two roosting poles and a ledge at the boxes for them to fly to. We keep the brooder on the front of the coop out of bombing range. :)

Friday, May 28, 2010

Miette Part Deux

Yesterday morning I went to check on the baby chicks and found only 3 there. The little Silver Laced Wyandotte was gone without a trace. Somehow, I'm guessing the weasel, dug a hole that I couldn't really see into the run and climbed into the coop and chick-napped my little Miette! I was heartbroken over thinking of my little chick being eaten but went to the feed store after work and picked up a new SLW. I again named her Miette and figured this may be the best way to go about it. All GLW's are Suzette, and SLW's are Miette and so forth. At this rate I won't be able to come up with new names all the time!
When Bobby got home from work I told him that we needed to secure the chicks better. We moved a big heavy fire screen over the brooder. I can hardly lift it, so I doubt any animal will be able to push it off. Bobby then measured all the gaps in the coop around the bottom perimeter so that he could board them up.
We are new to this whole chicken thing, and having to learn things the hard way, but we're getting there. This morning when I checked, all my chicks were safe and sound! :D

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sweet Suzette

Last night a cat got into our coop and now we can't find my sweet little Golden Laced Wyandotte, Suzette. We looked all night for her, but to no avail. The cat was found in the coop laying next to the month old chicks. The larger chickens were scattered with Fifi all the way across the creek and in the neighbor's back yard. I guess we are very lucky that the entire coop wasn't wiped out. I cried and cried and felt so badly for my poor little bird. This morning I decided the only thing to mend my heart was to get a new GLW. When I went to the feed store the only ones they had were 4 days old. I bought one anyway and put her in the brooder with the "hen pecked" month old chicks. They immediately attacked her, so out they came. I gave them back to the feed store and got 3 more 4 day old chicks. A Silver Laced Wyandotte, A Silver Laced Crested Polish and a White Crested Polish. It's kinda a bummer to be starting all over with brand new chicks again, but they are so darling and my heart feels a little lighter. Now to choose some more French names...
The White Crested Polish

Golden Laced Wyandotte
Silver Laced Crested Polish
Silver Laced Wyandotte

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Ellis' Big Girl Bed!

This week we were given a very nice gift from one of my mother's friends, a canopy bed! It looks so nice in her room and she loves it! However, we are going to need to get a railing because she has fallen out of bed twice now. oops.

The New Chicks

I went to the feed store today to buy a new light bulb for the chicken coop since the other once burnt out yesterday. While there we saw a large bucket of Bantam chicks, many that were very badly hen pecked. I was looking at the poor little darlings when the owner came up to me and offered that I take them home for free. She said it looked bad to have them there. My heart broke and we are now the owners of 9 chickens. I believe that there are two Silkies and a Frizzle. I still need to think up names for them. I also can't wait until I get a new camera. These shots are hard to see. :(
The black that you see is the medication I have put on them to help heal them faster.
This time, rather than having them inside, I put the brooder in the coop. At night all the chickens will need to share the warm lamp. I'm going to put a framed screen over the brooder so that the big chickens can't get in there.

Friday, May 14, 2010

We still need to cut windows and vents, put on the siding and paint it, but it's good enough to house the chickens now.
We still have the heat lamp inside and two roosting poles.
This is the sliding door that Bobby made. We can pull open the door from the outside. The rope loops around another handle and keeps it in place.
We have the food and water mounted using plant hangers. I like this better than a chain from the ceiling.
Some sort of ground squirrel or mole is getting in at night to steal food, so I think we'll have to move the food indoors at night.
He's a smart little fellow. Bobby used the cement blocks to block off his access to dig and he just dug a hole through the garden bed instead. That must be some good chicken food!
The chickens are getting pretty big now! Still not full grown.
Cici and Rosey our Barred Rock and Rhode Island Red.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Coop Pictures

We have the coop more put together than the pictures show. As you can see, our chickies were getting bigger and making a HUGE mess, so they had to be moved outside. The coop is enclosed with the heat lamp in it so that they can still keep warm. I'll post some more pictures soon. I broke my camera and dealing with the video camera isn't nearly as convenient.

The Coop

It's slowly coming together! Today Bobby made a pulley system for the door to the coop so that we can open and close it from the outside. We put some nesting poles inside and one outside. We got a 2 gallon feeder and waterer and hung them from hooks suspended from the side of the coop.
The ladies are getting quite a bit bigger and today we allowed them to free range throughout the back yard. It was very entertaining to watch then peck at the grass and find little slugs and insects. They seemed genuinely happy! I was also very pleased to see that when they seemed to have their fill of the great outdoors that they all came back to the coop on their own.
We really have grown quite attached to our little pullets. Pictures soon to come!