Tag / Dolly

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Humpty Love

I knew that at some point it would begin.  This morning was strange.  Maybe love was in the air.  Yesterday, Chocolate decided to crow like crazy in the morning.  He was non-stop for about 20 minutes.  That had never happened before.  I just kept thinking, I can’t let you out until eight.  So, after about 10 minutes, I decided to put some scratch in the coop as a distraction.  It bought me about 10 minutes of time and he was at it again.  Finally eight arrived and I let them out.  He flew out of the coop like a crazy man!  He was going all over the place, excited and dancing.  I had never seen this side of him before.  Before going in, I checked the nesting boxes and discovered a silkie egg.  This was the first time I had found an egg that was laid early in the morning before I let them out for the day.  Interesting;  was all that commotion because of the egg?  The egg was the only thing new in the coop.

This morning, I heard nothing, no squawking or crowing.  It was strangely quiet.  Something was different.  So, as I usually do, after letting them out, I filled up the food and the waterers and started to observe and say good morning to the flock.  There was Chocolate.  He greeted every hen in the run.  Typically they do not give him the time of day.  I think sometimes, they think of him like a bad blind date.  However, when he got to Dolly, one of our new lavender silkies,  she saw something in him the other girls had yet to discover.  He did his little rooster dance and then she squatted down.  He climbed on top!  It only lasted a matter of 5 seconds but he did it.  He tried once more and she allowed him again. 

Nature is so incredible.  I’ve now thought that she is the one laying eggs.  So somehow, nature has just taken it’s course.  When the kids see it, they will want to know what is going on.  I’ve given some thought about that.  Since they were really little, they have witnessed our neighbor’s dogs, animals at the zoo and even at the pet store doing what comes natural.  As all toddlers are curious, we just called it “humpty love” for the sake of escaping details.  I can’t wait to hear what they will tell me when they see the chickens having humpty love!

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Cocktail Conversations

Our first three eggs

So, over the past four days, someone has laid 3 eggs!  I still think that they are from Dolly, but I cannot be entirely sure, as I have only caught her in action once.  Today, I thought alot about the eggs.  I am really proud that the dream of having eggs from organically fed chickens has come true.  In a previous blog, I talked about how chickens can create friendships and are terrific icebreakers. (See Chicken Bonding October 23, 2010)  As the holidays are quickly approaching, I thought that I would share some interesting, unique and bizarre facts about eggs.  Not only will you impress those around you, but it might even help you get things started during your next cocktail party.

Interesting Egg Facts
A hen lays an egg approximately every 25 hours.
A hen is born with over 4000 eggs in her body.
It takes 21 days for a chicken egg to hatch.
A bantam (tiny) hen can sit on about 24 eggs all at once or about 10 standard size eggs.
Hens need about 14 hours of daylight to lay eggs.
Chicken eggs come in all shades of brown, white, blue, green and rose.
Hens do not need a rooster to lay eggs.
Chickens lay the highest number of eggs in their lifetime between 18 weeks and 2 years of age.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Updates from the Coop

Well it has now been about a week since Dolly, Autumn and Meesha were introduced to the flock.  The transition has been surprisingly smooth.  They are quickly reestablishing a new pecking order.  I think that Feathers is the happiest.  She is no longer at the bottom of the order.  She is even doing a little pecking herself.  When I do notice the pecking, it is rather gentle, much like a reminder.

Chocolate is thrilled.  He is no longer as bossy to the girls and he seems to be content.  He now has seven girls to harrass at any given time.  He has shown off his rooster dance to every girl.  However, none seem the slightest bit interested.  Instead, they just go about their business.  As far as I know, he has not tried to hop on anyone’s back yet.

Tilly still is head hen.  I’m glad.  She is maternal-like to the new girls.  It is nice to see.  She will peck them now and then but it is usually to say, “Hey I’m standing here at the water.  I will not move but you are welcome to stand next to me.”

We have also had 2 silkie eggs laid.  I scooped another one out this morning.  I think it is Dolly that is laying.  I am hoping that she will influence the others to lay soon.  They should start anyday now.  It is really just a waiting game.

Finally, tomorrow night is the Barnstable Agricultural Commission meeting regarding rooster regulations for the town of Barnstable.  I have done my best to rally together all the chicken owners that I know.  We are sure to attend.  I am thinking that I will mostly observe at first and try and gauge people’s postitions on the matter.  Wish me luck!

Chickens Eggs Stories from Our Nest

Our First Egg

Our first egg

I went out to the coop this morning and this is what I found, a small Silkie Bantam egg!   I think that Dolly laid it because I saw her sitting in the nesting box this morning.  I am very excited!  The egg is absolutely adorable and about half the size of a regular egg.  I can’t wait to check for more tomorrow.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

New Chicks on the Block

I found a local woman who is selling Silkie pullets and she lives about 5 minutes away from me. Ironically, our paths have crossed before but I did not know that she had chickens!   This past Spring, she ordered straight runs of various colors of Silkies.  They were born in May making them about 4 weeks older than my current flock.   I had been thinking of adding to the flock since we had to re-home Peanut and Chocolate turned out to be another rooster.  I wanted to have more hens.  Plus, Chocolate is really starting to assert his dominance over my existing pullets.

So after I picked up my son at school yesterday, we journeyed over to her home.  My friend also wanted a few Silkies so within a matter of 15 minutes, my car had 2 boxes of little Silkies.  Last night while my flock was fast asleep, I decided I would integrate the new pullets.  I quickly gave them a dusting of diatomaceous earth and then I brushed them with a dryer sheet.  Yeah, I know it sounds weird.  I thought that I could try and make the new girls smell like their human family.  Some people even spray them with their perfume.  Perhaps, it would make their transition and acceptance easier.  I did not want to have any horror stories like you find on the internet.

This morning, I waited until 7:30 am to go outside.  It seemed like I was waiting forever.  I opened up the coop.  Immediately, Chocolate was the first to dart out.  Then the rest of the old flock followed by 2 of the new girls.  The third remained in the the coop and eventually came out into the run with some gentle coaxing.  Overall, I was pleased.  No one was dead, bleeding or missing hoards of feathers.  In order to spend more time outside, I cleaned out the coop.  It needed it anyway.  Overall, there was some mild pecking but nothing that I would not expect.  I also gave them yogurt this morning and filled their treat ball, all attempts to distract from the newcomers.

So, you ask, who is new?  Well they are lilac or lavender in color with some black streaks.  I would like to introduce to you, Dolly, Autumn and Meesha.