Tuesday, November 26, 2013

The "Bad" Egg

For the past few weeks Lou, Fitz, and Bill have been laying their eggs in the same nest, in the lower right hand box.  For the past two days, one of them (or all of them?) has pushed one of the golf balls out of the nest, far out of the nest.  I've read that chickens will push an egg out of the nest if it is deemed "bad."  It was surprising to see a golf ball out of the nest since the chickens have spent a lot of time cozying the golf balls into little circles with their eggs and then sitting on them. 

Well, I decided to get scientific and try an experiment.  After they all laid their eggs today, I mixed up all eight of the golf balls in the four nesting boxes.  The "bad" one is now in the upper left hand box.  I'll report back on this scientific experiment soon.

In the meantime, see this.
 
 

Foraging

video

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Reminders

Even though the birds are getting along famously these days, Fitz still likes to give the others little reminders of who is really in charge (besides the humans).  Follow these photos for the play-by-play.

The birds were casually scratching and pecking.
Fitz needed her own space and pecked Bruiser.   
 
Then she does an evil chicken laugh.  (just kidding)  But she did give Bruiser the evil chicken eye!
 
And Bruiser quickly found a new place to scratch and peck.
 
 
 

Pretty Birds

Papa Hen followed the chickens around the yard today playing with the settings on our new camera.  Good thing he had the Red Door Coop chickens for models.  They are far less demanding than other models.  What do they want for their work?  A little scratch, straw, and maybe a piece of spinach here and there.     

Pretty Bill.
 Pretty Bruiser.
 Pretty Fitz.
 Pretty Lou.
 
 
 

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Free At Last

The chickens haven't been out to free range in the yard for awhile.  So it was a special treat this morning when I left the door open for them.  They took some tentative steps out into the snow.  
Look at Bruiser's chicken foot in the next photo.  She's hesitant about placing it down in the cold snow! 
And here's the lot of them again, munching on some green grass poking up from the snow. 
So far, the Red Door Coop chickens are friends with Winter. 
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Morning Celebration

A friend asked to HEAR what the chickens sound like so I decided to share what it is like in the early morning in the coop.  Following is a short video from 6:30 this morning when I was out for morning chores.
video

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Chickens Like Pumpkin

Fitz, Bill, Lou, and Bruiser were very happy that we had a Halloween clean-up session this morning.  For us, it was a good way to kill time on a morning that we couldn't sleep because we turned the clocks back.  For the chickens, it was a good way to get yet another treat!  (don't miss the video!)
 
video

Luxury

And for once, it is not a chicken luxury.  It's a luxury for the Papa and Mama Hen.  On the advice of chicken owning friends, we purchased an automatic chicken door that will open in the morning to let the birds out and close in evening after the birds have gone to bed.  Papa Hen installed it last week and for us it was instant luxury.
It doesn't look fancy at all, and that's where it is deceiving.  Because it is, in fact, fancy.  Using a simple magnet, we set the door to open in the morning when it is time for the chickens to descend from the roost and go about their day doing chicken things.  We use the same magnet to set the door to close at night.  Are you wondering about a wander-risk chicken like Bill who might not get into the coop and get locked out?  Well, worry no more!  After being closed for 10 minutes, the door automatically opens to allow the wander-risk chickens to get inside.  Then the door closes again for the night.  And simple as that, Papa and Mama Hen have less chores to do.  Pure luxury!

The device is powered by a battery that is powered by a solar panel.  Clever, huh!