Thursday, September 25, 2014

Chicken wanderings, and night alerts

Did you know that smoke detectors fail to false positives? I was reminded of that last night around 2 in the morning. Just another adventure in day to day life. On the topic of adventures the chickens have progressed from living in their coop, to going out into the run, and last night we gave them their first 30 minutes out of the run free wandering. Good lord can they tear up ground fast. They're also far more interested in putting things in their mouth than figuring out whether they're good to eat.  This is particularly relevant to making sure there's no random plastic around on the ground, they will eat it.

A pecking order has definitely shaken out in the chickens already. We have a head chicken in charge, her sergeant, the rest of the Cinnamon Queens, Mr. Bond the Australorps, and finally our lone Rhode Island Red. She actually is probably smarter than the other chickens, and ends up off on her own. I'm not sure how long she'll survive with that behavior, but she certainly figured out the Best eating spot available promptly.

Behind the run we have a pile of half rotted wood that didn't get picked up for burning before it soaked over a winter, and mysteriously it's full of bugs. While the rest of the chickens went around the gravel driveway pecking and scratching, she tore into the wood pile and ate her fill. No one joined her. Their loss. The only thing she didn't eat was when we presented her with a tomato horn worm we found feeding on the dead tomato plants. They'll figure out they're delicious eventually.

Getting them back in the coop was quite a process, so we'll probably be working on getting them to come when called before letting them go walkabout again. That said, the chickens are producing quite a number of eggs which is a good thing. We're going to be selling our excess for $5 a dozen, $7.50 for 18 to defray our feed costs. I didn't realize just how costly organic feed is. That's going to be particularly relevant in the winter when we can't let them roam and eat everything they can find. For now though, the bugs, grass, and everything else is a smorgasbord for the chickens.

 Sorry about the short post for today, but I didn't sleep well last night. Next week we'll be having a lot more to share I think because we have friends coming by to help out on Saturday again which we greatly appreciate as we try to get too much done in too little time.

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