Thursday, September 15, 2011
We are trying something new today. Letting the chickens free range in the back yard. Now you might think that this is a fine idea for chickens. If you live in the Midwest or keep a coop in the suburbs of a large city, this might not be a problem. Here in Alaska though, many chickens fall victim to bears while in their coop! Letting them wander about offers the chickens a buffet of grass, yarrow and nettles, sure, but their wandering could provide a buffet for predators! I was feeling sorry for them in their pen - they pecked the enclosed area clear of grass and leaves in the first few days! It may be that we extend the enclosure. The chickens are fairly well trained to go into the coop at night, and I think that they will stick close to their pen.
I thought you might get a chuckle out of the chicken's names. They have been named by the children:
Goldilocks - gold Auracana
Victor- the rooster that we originally named Violet
High Flier - middle sized Rhode Island (R.I) hen
Cinderella - smallest R.I. hen
Ms. Hawkins - white Auracana hen
Lucy - only Golden Wyndotte hen
Buck and Jack - Wyndotte Roosters
Percy - R.I. with lightest coloring
Toby - R.I. with yellow on her back
April -smallest R.I. hen
Shiloh - R.I. hen
Ninja - grey Auracana
One of the hens likes to sit on her eggs. I think it is Percy. She is not quite what I would call "broody", but she will probably sit very well in the spring. I suspect she is the hen laying 2 eggs a day, since I find her sitting on two almost every day. She refuses to let the boys move her and I have to go out to the coop and take her out of the nesting box. Prior to the nesting boxes being installed, she was laying in a corner. When I mucked out the coop, I found two more eggs buried in the layers of hay! She is going to make a good mother hen.
(Above, Callen making hot dog buns)
(Liam and Verity in the crib; Eddie reading to his brother and sister)
There is so much going on around here. I'll be back soon with some good stories and pictures (that actually . Hang in there, fall is nearly finished!