Yet another chicken update

Yes, another chicken update. The chickens have been confined for the household’s sake. They still have plenty of room to roam, but I have made a chicken corral in part of the yard where they are now confined. The first couple of days we had escape artists (friggin’ Fifi & Frida) as they flew over the fencing so I had to resort to clipping their wings.  Which was not as traumatic as I recalled.

They seem used to it now and are back to laying eggs at their normal rate.  Fifi has been the most productive and here is a close up of her eggs to prove it.  Unfortunately the picture doesn’t do the brilliant sea-green color justice but they are amazing.  And tasty.  And absolutely worth it!

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One Egg, Two Egg

Brown Egg, Green Egg.

The first two!  Woo Hoo!  Whitney called me today while I was at work and told me that something was wrong.  She said that the chickens had been making the most horrendous sounds for the better part of the morning (Oh man, I should have recorded Whitney’s impersonation when she reenacted the sounds later on that night).  At my prompting she got closer to investigate and she exclaimed, “I think they’re laying EGGS!!!  I see something tan where Britany is sitting!”  A huge grin came across my face and I started beaming like a proud chicken-father.  I’m such a jackass!  Ha!

And so it was so.  But the chickens, in their haste to become productive members of the family could not wait any longer for my procrastinating ass.  They have no nesting box to lay in, (I haven’t found the time to build one) so they laid in the next best thing…  The compost pile.  Yup.  The compost pile.  Dug themselves a nice little depository and went to work…  Right into the decomposing vegetable scraps, trimmings and leaves.  Eggs a la compost.  Sounds appetizing huh?

Well none the less we have eggage!  First task this weekend is to complete some minor modifications to the chicken coop and build said nesting box.  The Ameraucuana, Fifi, laid the green one and Britany laid the brown one.  They are both not “usual” size eggs and unfortunately you can’t see the difference as well through pictures.  Fifi’s egg is a beautiful mossy green and in all shapes and appearances looks pretty normal.  Just smaller than a “normal” large chicken egg.  Britany’s on the other hand is the prerequisite Rhodie brown, but in shape it is extremely skinny and long and not really egg-shaped at all but rather quite oblong (I’m telling you, these pictures just don’t capture it!).  Size comparison below to a normal chicken egg (Much wider and taller than the homegrown).

White egg, green egg, brown egg.  Now the hard decision of what to make with the first eggs?

Chicken update… Yeah me!

I can tell the Rhodies apart!  Finally the poor chickens will no longer have to suffer the humiliation and obscurity of not being able to be told apart.  A couple of days ago, I noticed their combs and waddles changed color and have stayed like that ever since.  One of them has a big, bright red comb and waddles and the other has smaller, more of a pinky/rose color.  The one with the pink comb is already named, Britany, but I have to come up with another name for ‘Chicken One’.  Actually Whitney and I came up with the best name ever…  But we forgot it.  =(   So the biggest, fluffiest, chicken; who actually likes to be held and petted, is still without a name.  No way to treat a favorite!  The Ameracuana (FiFi, short for Phoenix because of her kickass plummage) is a complete bitch (What happenend to her?!).  She is the top chicken and she lets it be known constantly.  She even pecks at Nate sometimes.  If she doesn’t earn her keep by producing enough eggs…  She will be the first on the chopping block.  Literally. 

Oh and still no eggs…  Since egg production requires massive amounts of energy, I think that the girls are trying to keep warm and in tip top shape since it has been so damn cold lately.  So I guess I am going to have to keep waiting…

Chicken 'One' hopefully named so only for the time being. Notice the full, red comb and waddles.

 

And Britany with the pink, smaller comb and waddles.

 

Chicken update

Woo Hoo!  They are officially four months old. And they still dont have names.  (-_-)  The whole naming thing has been hampered because I can’t tell the two Rhodies apart to save my life.  Maybe they can just be called “Number One”, “Number Two”, etc.   They do need names though, I read an article a while ago about how naming cows increases their milk production.  So it can’t hurt for the chickens and their egg laying. 

They have gone through their pre egg-laying moult and they are looking bigger and fluffier than ever.  They are eating almost twice as much food in one day compared to about a week ago.  Whenever I go outside they follow me around hoping that I have some corn or some other treat to feed them.  Another month and we will be having eggs!  I’m definitely excited.  Need to build them a nest box, the store that I get my chicken stuff from, Elverta Feed Pet & Tack  has them, but I have scrap wood around and am going to build them one this weekend.  The lady there also suggested that I just find an old nightstand and pull out the top drawer and leave the bottom one in and they would nest there.  This seems like a good idea, but I don’t want something so bulky in my coop, but clean up would be easier- just pull out the drawer and dump into the compost heap!

There has been some occasional aggressive behavior to solidify the pecking order.  They fly up a foot or two into the air and then dive bomb one another and puff out their feathers.  It is pretty comical to watch and Nate tries to stay out of the way as much as possible.  Nate and them are getting along just fine, he watches over his “girls” and this is all despite Nate being a big, bad, Pit Bull.  Ha!  Such a stereotype and misconception.  

Eating their corn cobs

Eating their corn cobs

The Ameraucana looking mean as hell

The Ameraucana looking mean as hell, but she is the most friendly out of them all.