Tag / run

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Dolly the Magic Chicken

The past few days, I have taken Dolly from “Camp Broody” over to the larger coop and run with the rest of her family.  I reunite them first thing in the morning and with their late afternoon snack.  After ten minutes, I wait until Dolly enters the coop, I quickly close the door, open the coop and return her to the brooder.  I then return to the main coop and reopen the door. Usually when I go to retrieve Dolly, she is alone in the coop. The thing that makes me laugh is how the other chickens react.  Once I reopen the coop door, there is no Dolly.  At first, they didn’t notice, now they do.  When I return, I find them waiting outside of the closed coop door.  When I open it, they shoulder each other out of the way to be line leader.  They go in, take a quick look around and then realize Dolly is gone.  Hmmm……she disappeared.

Everytime Dolly goes over for her visit, there is some mild pecking that occurs, especially with the larger girls, Tilly, Oyster Cracker and Sunshine.  Interestingly enough, the Silkies are now content with their pecking order arrangements.  Tilly and Oyster Cracker sometimes can be so mean, especially if they are in the mood to lay an egg.  They both yell and kick out the Silkies from the coop.  Once they have settled into their preferred nesting boxes, the Silkies are then allowed back inside.  Typically, the little ones linger outside the coop door, stealing glimpses and wait until the coast is clear to enter. 

Today was not like any other day.  It is a crispy sunny chilly 18 degree F morning.  I went on with my usual am rountine, then grabbed Dolly for her visit. Today, Oyster Cracker had to lay an egg.  So, Dolly spent a little more time in the run.  After Oyster Cracker had settled into her nesting box, Dolly and Meesha went inside the coop.  I quickly closed the door, grabbed Dolly, returned her to the brooder and reopened the coop door. Once again, the others entered the coop and found she disappeared.

Today, there were two witnesses to the magic act.  I wonder if Oyster Cracker and Meesha will reveal how Dolly performs her disappearing act to the others?  I’d like to think they won’t and have decided to become the magician’s assistants.

Chickens Stories from Our Nest

Runny Egg

Late this morning when I went out to collect the eggs, I found 2 eggs in the nesting boxes.  After collecting those two eggs, I looked out into the run to see all the chickens.  In the middle of the run was the smallest little Silkie egg you ever have seen.  It was being trampled on by the chickens.  I had to retrieve it.

I went into the garage and grabbed a small child’s bamboo rake.  With the gentlest outstretching of my arm and the rake, I slowly rolled the egg to safety.  I think that one of the new Silkies laid it.  It is very tiny and has a small streak of blood on the side.  I have seen this before, when when the other chickens laid their first eggs.  I think that it is Autumn.  I saw her sitting in the nesting box early this morning.  I did not disturb her but I wonder if one of the bigger hens kicked her out or if she got confused.

I have heard of this before, chickens laying their eggs outside of the nesting boxes.  I just hope they don’t get in the habit of laying “runny eggs”.

Chickens Coop Care Seasonal Care Stories from Our Nest

First Snow

Snow covered coop and run

Last night it snowed.  We awoke to a beautiful winter wonderland.  I brought a broom out and dusted off the blanket of snow that covered the run.  It slid off with ease.  When I let the chickens out this morning they were curious about the white visitor from the sky.  They looked out at the end of the run and then returned to eating the scratch that I had just strewn across the run.  Covered and dry, they went along with their daily business.  I quickly peeked into the coop, and it was dry as a bone.  The snow should continue for the next three days.  I wonder if the chickens will even notice?

Chickens Coop Care Seasonal Care Stories from Our Nest

Colder Days, Planning for Winter

This will be my first Winter with the girls.  Cape Cod doesn’t get too cold, but it has really gotten me to thinking about the coop and run set up as well as freezing waterers and nasty weather ahead.  As a hobbist chicken raiser, we are not doing this on a very large scale.   Our maximum flock size will mostlikely be about 12 girls, 6 of those being bantams.  It is difficult to even find small feeders and waterers that are not hobbist size for adult chickens and most smaller versions are for little chicks.

My coop is 3’x4′ and the run is 6’x9′.  I am currently using the plastic Little Giant 3 pound feeder.  I have placed it upon 2 bricks elevating it above the pine shavings in the coop.  The waterer is outside in the run.  That too is a Little Giant 2 gallon galvanized metal waterer. 

That being said, I am now looking into making the winter easy for the girls and for me too.  There are numerous options from heated pet bowls, plastic waterers with an area to plug and extension cord into, as well as a metal heater base for the waterers to sit upon.  The reviews are mixed on all choices.  Thus, here in lies the difficulties.  I guess this conversation will have to be continued…