Friday, October 23, 2015

Chicken Adventure Update

It supposedly rained today. I did see a few drops and the ground was at least moist for a change but I don't think we got any actual real rain.

I spent most of the day sitting on the covered porch and watching the chickens and sheep. I did manage to take out one more load of manure into the hay field so I could at least say I did something worth while.

Things seem to be taking on a familiar and comfortable routine with the chickens now. We haven't lost a bird in about two months and the remaining ones appear to have finally figured out they need to stay out the back side of the barn.

I finally admitted defeat in getting most of the hens to lay in the nest box I built although a couple of them seem happy with that location. I took some extra round feeder pans we had laying around that are about 15 inches in diameter and maybe 5 inches deep. Filled them with old hay and started placing them around on the hay bales and stuff. The hens that were laying in the bales now appear to be happy to use these feed pans.

We are getting about five eggs a day now.

Rocky walks around here like he is king of the world too. About every 10 minutes or so he decides it's his right to mate with a hen but the ones who don't like him always try and keep the barn between them so he will leave em alone. Occasionally though Rocky will go searching for a particular hen. That's about the only drama I see now in chicken land as a few of the hens just don't want him messing with them.

The last Red Sexlink hen we have however seems to be especially delicate when it comes to Rocky's attentions and will almost pass out after he is done with her. We started keeping her in a large dog crate now at night so Rocky can't get to her when in the coop. She seems much happier and healthier since we did that. That poor hen also has had her beak rounded off by her previous owner so she can't defend herself from the other hens. She has pretty much become her own little loner flock and prefers hanging out with people over chickens.

We even seem to have put a stop to a couple of the hens trying to roost on top of the coop stall and started feeding cracked corn every evening which get's all the chickens into the coop without fail. They really like that corn.

As far as free range goes some of the hens are definitely free ranging. I saw one halfway down the hay field this afternoon at least 100 yards away. Eventually they are going to get too far out and we are going to lose one, it's only a matter of time, but so far between the sheep and the horses only the one Redtailed hawk is brave enough to get that close to the barn or out in the open field.

It's really amusing to see the hens run whenever that big Redtail flies over but so far she has only taken an interest in the hens that one time. We also have another hawk that patrols and sends the chickens running but I think he is only a Coopers or Shined hawk as he is much smaller than that Redtail. He never pays a bit of attention to the chickens but they still run when they see him.

So the chicken drama appears to be mostly over now and egg production has been increasing. Inf act we are now to the point we are getting more eggs than we know what to do with.

I wish I had added chickens to the place years ago now.

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!


  1. I think you enjoy watching your chickens as much as we do ours! We sit out by the chicken corral whenever we have free time and to relax or what ever. We just enjoy watching them. They are for sure entertaining!

    I have two broody girls right now. I wound up dividing the 7 bantam eggs I had given the first broody girl Esmeralda, she is a bantam herself. The second hen to go broody just a couple days ago is goldy a full size hen. I gave her 4 of the seven eggs. She kicked Esmeralda out of the box and took all the eggs to sit on for herself. Esmeralda had managed to get one back to sit on. ROFL... since I gave each a few now they seem happy to leave each others eggs alone. ROFL. Never a dull moment with chickens.

    It was to late to give goldy her own pile. The eggs should hatch around first of November if they are going to. Otherwise I would have given Goldy a new pile all her own. Instead she will have to just help Emseralda with the 7 bantam eggs. One good thing though that will give two Momma chickens protecting the chicks and thats a plus!

    1. Texan - I enjoy watching all of the critters from time to time. Except the pain in the ass horses anyway :)

      None of these hens have appeared to want to go broody yet but I thought that was more of a Spring time thing? I would like to hatch out some chicks here at some point and I am really hoping one or two of the barred rock hens go broody with eggs fertilized by the barred rock rooster.

  2. We don't have much chicken drama even after moving the young pullets in with the main flock. The young roosters are still in their own coop and fenced in area, happy as they can be until next month when they go to the big roost in the root cellar. I plowed the garden and the chickens are all new so had never seen that before and were afraid of the tractor but soon got use to it. So I need a new exhaust, it sounds like an old propeller plane taking off of an aircraft carrier when I throw the throttle open to make a plowing run in our heavy damp clay. People on craigslist are starting to offer free roosters and always to a good home, not sure why they have to add that. We have a good home and a good supply of canned rooster and broth which makes for a good home.

    1. Sf - LOL I see that good home thing all the time too. I been thinking about butchering some roosters when/if I get any. There is a place not far from here that will do it for you from live to frozen for justa few bucks. I been thinking that is looking pretty good to me :)

  3. Hey PP! I'm in your neck of the woods, sort of. Visiting the family here in Gainesville, we had a small sprinkle here and there.

    1. LW - Wow that waaaaaaaay down there. Iowa is much closer to me than that part of the state. It's some really pretty country down there though!!!!

  4. Unfortunately, due to the amount of fox & a few Redtail hawks in our area, we can't let our chickens wander the yard anymore. I built them a 20x30 run, and they seem to like it, but I liked it better when they patrolled the yard and dug thru the landscaping. When they were able to dig in the landscaping, we never got mice in the house. Without them in ther, we get a mouse now and then.

    1. 3 RnC - Well we will see if this place stays predator free like it has been. The trouble is the dog will chase the chickens if they make too much noise or get too close to him too but in turn he keeps all the other predators except the hawk away. I have even seen him run barking after the hawk when it flies too low.

      I can tell ya the bugs and mice in the barn have disappeared since we got the chickens.


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