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Friday, July 1, 2011

Keeping Backyard Chickens

So, remember when I mentioned that I was planning to introduce you to the girls? Here they are! (So far, they all look like girls, but I have no idea when they start to look like boys if they are a rooster-time will tell.)

I don't have many pictures of them when we first got them, as it was during the 'camera in the shop' era. The chart below will have to suffice-it is pretty much exactly how they looked. They were 1 day old when we got them. We got 7 chicks. I wanted 6, so I figured we should get 7 in case of a casualty.

We of course had to name them, and needed a chart to keep all of their names straight. (Well, some of us needed a chart.)



It is now 5 weeks later, and here are the girls now. Their adult feathers are in, and they look much different than they did as chicks, so there is a bit of 'discussion' as to who is who at this point. We need a new chart!

The names as I currently see them:
Lightning (as in McQueen!)


Chirp
 Brownie
 Strike or Streak, depending on who you ask...

OK. That is all I've got for now. We also have Peepster, Henrietta, and someone else?

We (well, some of us) have been wanting to get chickens for a while now, and we finally took the plunge. I am so glad we did. So far, it has been really fun. Squirrel & Dozer are big fans, and the girls are really fun. Our four legged friend is not a big fan, so we need to come up with a solution for that. (Any suggestions?)


Now, the big wait will be until they are five or six months old, when our first eggs should come. Now, that will be exciting!

A couple of things I learned so far:

I had planned to let them free range, and had visions of them eating all of the yucky bugs out of our garden. But, I didn't realize that if you let them in your garden, you should wait 120 days before harvesting food, due to the possibility of salmonella contamination. So, no bug picking until after the garden has been harvested.

They don't do well in wet areas, so that leaves out most of our yard (at one time of the year or another). So, we have to find a better spot for them. Now they are in front of our clothesline in this pretty cute coop we got on Craigslist. We put wheel on the coop and the original plan was to move it around the yard. Now, we are unsure if we would like a designated area. We will figure it out as we go, as usual...
 

Do you have any good chicken advice for us newbies?

I am going off duty for a week or so, but I may be able to do a post or two while away. If not, I will see you again here the week of July 10th. Have a happy week!

2 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing the fun news. The girls look like loads of fun. My sister had chickens for several years. The colored eggs were her favorite. Happy 4th!

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  2. Those are some good looking chickens, I really like brownie, it a cute name. Also I love your pup, Im a huge fan of german shepherds, they are beautiful dogs.

    Hopefully he lightens up some around the chickens.

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