Chickens Grow Quickly

I brought these chicks home February 21.

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By last week they had outgrown their dog crate and needed to get out into the chicken house. I left them in the crate in the chicken house for a few days, hoping that would help the big chickens accept them. I checked on them the first night out of the crate and saw them roosting on top of it. IMG_8770

I took the dog crate out today because they are now roosting on the perches. Here are their two-month-old portraits.IMG_8862

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I need to find some names. So far this is White Chicken.

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Black Chicken.

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Brown Chicken.

They are actually fairly tame since I’ve been handling them since the first day. Brown Chicken was very interested in my phone and kept pecking at it.

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Free Range Chickens

The other day when I was feeding the chickens one of them walked out the door of the chicken house. I decided to leave the door open and let them all out. My chickens have lived in a chicken house for years because a neighbor complained about them tearing up her garden. Now I realize that this was many years ago which meant it was a completely different batch of chickens. (And that batch of chickens gave new meaning to the term free range–they had a lot of traveling to do to get to that neighbor’s place when I have a perfectly good barnyard full of bugs here.) Those chickens also used to roost on my feeders, making a big mess that I was not sorry to get rid of.  So that batch of chickens set the chicken-housing standard here….with one exception that I’ll get to later.

When Goldie (the tamest of the current batch and the only one with a name) walked out the door I had a revelation. If I could get them to go to the sheep part of the barn and eat bugs and maggots they would definitely earn a soft spot in my heart and I wouldn’t have to spend as much on chicken food.

Guess which one is Goldie?

Somebody was not happy about this. Rusty was already having a tough morning with the hot air balloons overhead. Now the chickens were in the wrong place and he didn’t know what to do. Read Rusty’s blog for his opinion about this.

I wasn’t sure if the chickens had found their way under the gate into the barn. Yesterday I made sure to entice them that way with a few bits of grain. I did the same today and watched as they scratched into old hay and manure. I watched closely and was satisfied to see them go for the wiggly maggots under the straw. Good chickens.

I think that Rusty might be happier about the whole thing tonight. When I closed the door on the chicken house one chicken was missing. I saw her on the other side of a fence and she didn’t know how to get back.

Feeling better about the whole thing now, Rusty?

I was just rereading this for errors and realized that I hadn’t yet explained the one exception to the chicken-house chickens. We used to have 2 banties who were loose in the barn. There is one left. This is an OLD chicken. She was around during the years when my daughter had her horses and cows here and she left for college in 2006. Every year she starts laying in the hay and I put her eggs in a rubber tub so that I can move her if I have to move the hay.

Don’t get excited about babies. There is no rooster.