Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Hollywood Freeway Chickens have always had a lot of pluck -- latimes.com

Hollywood Freeway Chickens have always had a lot of pluck -- latimes.com

Posted using ShareThis

Holiday Photo Shoot...

with the chickens! Happening right now!

I have this cute idea for a Christmas / New Year's card, but need some chicken photos! Photos should be posted later today or tomorrow!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

They don't understand...


why dogs can be in the house and chickens cannot!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Easter NON-Egger



Lottie and Wanda are giving us a dependable two eggs per day, always in their little nesting box, but Maude is being a little b&*ch and refusing to lay eggs. She's also skittish and squawks like we're killing her when we have to pick her up. So, we're stuck with an Easter non-Egger. I mean, she's 7 months old, she should be laying by now! C'mon girl, earn your keep!


Friday, September 25, 2009

Susan Orlean on raising backyard chickens: newyorker.com

I read this article last night in my new issue of The New Yorker. It really captures so many of the great things about backyard chicken keeping, and also gives a shout out to the Eglu inventors. For those of you who are interested in taking the plunge into chicken keeping or just want to understand those that have, this is a must read!

We caught Wanda...

in the act!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

SECOND EGG!

Finally Lottie is earning her keep around here! Wanda has given us an egg a day for almost a month now, and Lottie decided to join her yesterday. I really hope our slacker easter egger Maude will get with the program soon.

Friday, August 28, 2009

EGG!



Egg alert!  I discovered it this morning while casually checking the nesting box. I'm pretty sure Wanda was the lovely lady who delivered this special treat.  So exciting!


Wednesday, August 19, 2009

No Eggs, but a Video!

Still anxiously awaiting my eggs, so until I can make that triumphant first egg post I will give you some more chicken eggcitement.  It seems like I never have my camera when they are at their funniest, but this will give you an idea of the weird little chicken noises they make when they are cruising around the yard.  I was cleaning out the garage and happened to drop some gift wrapping bows, which of course they had to come investigate. 

video

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Eggwatch

The ladies are just about 18 weeks old. This means they are ALMOST ready to start laying eggs. The general consensus seems to be that they will start laying when they are between 20-24 weeks old. (By general consensus I mean the opinions and wisdom of strangers off the internet, as we don't know anybody else who has chickens.)

This is both exciting (this is the reason we got the chickens in the first place!) and daunting. Chickens can apparently be a little wacky when it comes to their egg laying habits. First of all, I'm supposed to somehow train them to only lay eggs in their nest box. The nest box is the convenient little compartment on the side of their Eglu, where I can ideally just open the hatch from the outside and collect my egg. Sounds simple, right? 

However, I'm not sure how to train them to do this. They now free range around the backyard. I feel sorry for them if they have to stay in their cage all day long, so they are given free reign to flap their wings around our small urban plot. Although small, our yard does offer places for wily chickens to lay their eggs unnoticed, such as the two raised beds which house herbs and the rather large and overgrown pumpkin patch. The prospect of an Easter egg hunt every single day sounds really unappealing, so I'm just hoping they have some sort of instinct to pop those eggs out in the proper area.  I'll keep you posted. 

Friday, July 31, 2009

The Ladies

"The Ladies" is the term of endearment we use to refer to the chickens, AKA Maude, Lottie and Wanda.  We use this often, in sentences such as, "Did you feed the ladies?" and "The ladies are at the back door" and "The ladies are pooping on the picnic table." As you can see, the ladies are always up to something. 

Maybe because we're first timers when it comes to chickens, we find everything they do amusing and interesting.  They're great at parties, too. Stick a few city dwellers in front of chickens and they'll be entertained for hours. Somewhat less amusing is the large number of flies that their excrement attracts to our yard, but they more than make up for it with their antics. 

Their personalities have also started to come through. Wanda (left) is the food whore. She will come running all the way across the yard if she thinks you have something to feed her. Lottie (top right- we were having a moment) is the friendliest and smartest. In the hypothetical game of "Which One Would You Eat if you HAD To," Lottie gets saved every time.  Right now Maude (below) would be the bird of choice, and not just because she has whiskers and crazy orange eyes.  She's just a little...off, and kind of a pain in the ass bird. Every single day she manages to get herself stuck in the pumpkin patch, even though Wanda and Lottie manage to get out just as they got in - through the gap in the fence.  I have several scratches on my legs from having to crawl in there, catch her, and free her from her pumpkin prison. 

Don't worry, though, nobody's getting eaten. They're too amusing, even when they're being naughty. Besides, we haven't even gotten any eggs yet!  Egg watch begins August 15. 

Friday, July 3, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Hens Leave the House

Now that our girls are almost full grown, we decided it was time to let them out of the confines of their Eglu and run. I was very excited, as I had visions of them happily chasing each other around the yard, flapping their wings in freedom, and otherwise acting like 7 year olds at recess. However, chickens are, well, chicken. The first couple days they would hesitantly walked outside the run door, looked around, and run back inside. Lottie (black) and Wanda (yellow) circled the coop once and then laid down next to it. Maude refused to leave at all the second day. 
 
This was frustrating. I was offering these chickens the world of my backyard - bugs! dirt! grass! - and all they wanted was the comfort of their run. They've slowly come around, but unfortunately the place they honed in on was the pumpkin patch. We let them have a few days of freedom in the patch, but they were destroying the leaves, so we are going to fence in the patch to keep them out. The fence has been bought and will hopefully get put up today, so until then the hens are in lockdown. 

The funniest thing the "ladies" do is take a dirt bath. They dig a hole in the soft dirt of the pumpkin patch, roll themselves around until they are completely covered in dirt, and then just wallow there like pigs in mud.  Here is a video of Wanda and Maude demonstrating this wacky behavior:


Thursday, June 11, 2009

One month later...

and they're big girls now!  Check out the pics from today:




Monday, May 11, 2009

They've left the Nest!

Yesterday we moved the chicks from our house to theirs. They still can't (or won't) hop up or down the ladder, so one of us has to crawl into the run (an amusing site as the entrance is maybe 20" x 20" and flush with the ground) to put them in and out. Here are some pics of the girls (and other interested parties) in their first hour of outdoor time:


Monday, May 4, 2009

Shake Your Tailfeather


Lottie, Wanda and Maude are three weeks old today. They're growing up so fast! I can't believe how their feathers are coming in! I still have them in their box in the house, as every chicken guide has different advice as to when they can go outside for the first time. I've read everything from two weeks to six weeks, so I figure I'll split the difference and put them outside during the day once they're four weeks old. 

Overall they're kind of flighty and not the cuddliest of pets, but they are very entertaining and they should be great fun to watch once they can free range in the yard. They're much calmer about us having our hands in the cage now, and they love to eat from our fingers, but they've taken to shrieking and violently flapping their wings when we pick them up. Hopefully when we can feed more treats they will be more amenable to our attentions.  

Friday, April 24, 2009

Feathered Friends

The little chicks are getting grown up, as all three have begun to sport a lot of new feather growth! Maude is still the largest, but Lottie is definitely the most athletic. She's the only one that flies up on to the roosting pole I put in their habitat. I also added a plush dog toy that looks like a hedgehog, and they all like clustering around it. What can I say, they're funny little creatures!



Monday, April 20, 2009

Yogurt is a Chick's Best Friend

I've spent the past few days trying to get the chicks more accustomed to me. They were pretty easy to handle the first couple of days, but they've gained in both size and agility seemingly overnight. Their cute, whisper-like peeps have morphed into full out shrieks every time I stick my hand in their cage. That was, until I discovered the allure of plain yogurt. I picked up this tip from the Backyard Chickens forum, and it has opened up a new world of friendship between me and my feathered friends. They still aren't too keen on being picked up, but they seem to have grown less afraid of my hand in their cage. I'm met with only a medium level of dramatic wing flapping and screeching now. 

They are growing amazingly fast.  Lottie and Wanda seem to be growing at the same rate, but Maude is a lot larger and has the most feathers. (Maude is on the left, Lottie is to the right.) Their personalities are also beginning to take shape. Lottie is the most athletic. She likes madly launching herself off the top of the feeder. Wanda is a drama queen. Her shrieks are the loudest and she runs around in circles shrieking when you try and pick her up, but she is the first to come eat yogurt off my fingers. Maude is the most laid back. At first, we thought she might be "special" due to her staid nature, but I think this is just how she rolls.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Three Hot Chicks

That's right, I picked up three hot chicks at the post office today. Before you get the wrong idea, these were my day old baby chickens I ordered from My Pet Chicken. I got the phone call around 10:45 this morning, and drove to the post office shortly thereafter.  I waited patiently while they went to retrieve my package, and I was handed the box to the left.  The vigorous peeping emitting from my box got some curious stares!  I hurriedly took them to the car so I could get them home and out of the box ASAP! 

After a short drive home I was able to open up the box and take out the cute little chicks. All of them seemed to be fine, and I placed them in their toasty container with food and water.

They seemed a little scared and skittish at first, but they soon began exploring. The yellow one likes to get INTO the food container. She barely fits now, so I have a feeling I'll be rescuing her from a half in/half out posture very shortly! Luckily the container slides apart easily into two pieces.
They are very amusing to watch, and their peeps are actually quite nice and soothing! 

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The Chick's in the Mail

We have received confirmation of our chick order from My Pet Chicken! We will be receiving three chicks total - one buff orpington, one plymouth rock barred, and one easter egger through the U.S. Mail.  Below are pics from the website of what they should look like.  They can't control the color of the easter egger as it is a "mutt," so ours may be a different color.  I'm so excited!  They are shipping the week of April 13, so I will be sure to post pics as soon as they arrive.


Plymouth Rock Barred

Easter Egger


Buff Orpington

Friday, March 6, 2009

The Eglu has Arrived!

We picked up the Eglu on Sunday at the Greyhound Station downtown. We were a little worried the boxes wouldn't fit into the CRV, but they JUST fit.

      

The assembly actually wasn't that bad, and now we are ready for our chicks!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009