Several of you asked about the chickens. Well, as you can see, they’re growing, but not crowing (yet . . . I think there are a couple of roosters in there). Those sweet baby chicks from a mere three weeks ago have morphed into ugly ducklings half clad in feathers on their wings and bodies, while gentle fluff remains on top of their heads. Poor babies. They remind me of human children in that stage before adulthood when arms and legs are too long, and acne abounds.
They are fast moving and flying all about their cage, but they are ugly little clucks. Before long, they will be covered with feathers. At this stage, I still don’t know all the breeds, because I bought an assortment of brown egg layers. Alex, the yellow chick held in a previous post by Bear, is now a stripey black and white. We tried to catch her, but she was too fast. We also probably have some Black Stars and Red Stars because they are sex-link chickens and easy for the hatchery to identify as females.
In the past, we raised many breeds, but so far, I can’t identify any in this group. Once they completely feather out, I should know. Til then, your guess is as good as mine.
Kathy from Cold Climate Gardening, who also raises chickens, mentioned my hawk and how he would also enjoy a chicken dinner to go with his squirrel. She asked how we protect our chickens from hawks and other predators. As you can see, Bill built a beautiful cage for these babies. It is eight feet long by four feet wide and two feet high. He used standard eight foot, two by fours. He then covered the cage on all four sides and the top in four foot wide sections of chicken wire. All of these supplies are standard sizes. It is sturdy and stout with a hinged door for easy human access while foiling predators. While the chicks are at their most vulnerable stage, the cage is in the garage. With the nice weather, I open the garage door to let in natural light.
Their permanent home is within our barn, originally built to house horses. It has six stalls, and two are used for chickens. There are two runs, so that we can actually have two flocks at once, or provide the chickens with more running room. The roof of the runs is covered in chicken wire. Once they are adults, we’ll let them meander throughout the property in front of the house. At full size, they are too much for a hawk to grab, and snakes can’t eat them. However, snakes are always on the lookout for their eggs.
You see, everyone and everything likes chicken.