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Chickens, a Beach Umbrella, and HOT Grits

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Adding More Chickens and Pulling Weeds for the Hens.

NEWBIES:1 Rhode Island Red (Brandy)1 Buff Orrington (Blondie)1 Americans (Ugly Betty)1 Sex Linked ISA Brown (Brownie)

OLDIES:1 Barred (Plymouth) Rock (Barack of Course)1 White Cornish X (Biden) Comet Bantam (Buffy)

1 Seabright Bantam (Bitchy) Dinner

So, much to Hubby’s disgust, I added 4 more chickens. One that lays green eggs (when she gets around to it), one fluffy Buff Orpington, a Rhode Island Red who is shiner that I thought, feathers could be, and one ISA Brown who lays ginormous eggs.

These new girls are outside chickens. My most tender of hearts fear that they will get colds and die (before I have a chance to dress them for dinner). They LIVE (so far) huddled together on a carefully placed old tree branch, fluffed out, heads tucked and virtually immobile (I’ve checked with a flashlight well after midnight). The last few days of driving rain wasn’t even enough to force them to the coop.

In a lame Greenhorn attempt to at least keep some of the rain off, I set up last summers beach umbrella. Which TOTALLY freaked them out. I put out some special kitchen scraps and warmed corn grits in bowls around the umbrella pole and under the umbrella, and at least while they were eating they were out of the rain. It looks rather like the old restored carousel out in St. Augustine. Bright umbrella, colorful birds circling around. I really ought to get a picture before we build the bigger coop.

If you look up the word bedraggled in the dictionary, there will be an image of my 4 rain soaked scrawny birds, standing on one foot, so close together they look attached.

Bringing new chickens into a flock (even a small one) is most interesting and entertaining. The “old” birds totally dominate the “new” ones, then ignore them with a sort of chicken distain

The Bantam chases the newbies around the perimeter of the run, and there are more than a few loose feathers scattered around. Although I’m happy to report that there has been no blood letting.

The Barred Rock mostly just runs at them to make them scatter. The White Cornish guards the feed pan. When I put down a second pan, she struts back and forth between the dishes trying to keep the new birds from eating. So I scattered some weed greens everywhere, moved the perches, shifted the little coop around, and generally confused the hell out of ‘em.

But it worked.

Today, I’m off to the feed and seed store for more chicken scratch grains. You feed the scratch at the end of the day and the high calorie corn and seeds helps to keep them warm through the night. It’s time to get another bag of crushed oyster shell, and I think I’ll look at the pre-made nest boxes. You’re supposed to have 1 box per 3 to 4 hens. And, well, um, it makes me a little ashamed to pick up eggs that have just been laid on the ground. Not that it bothers the Chickens in the least. Oh, yeah, a sack of rye grass seed too. Grows crazy in the cold, and brings a bit of green to the yard. The rain soaked ground is PERFECT for laying Rye Grass. 

Since I seem to be able to keep chickens alive, it's time to think about Pygmy Milk Goats.

 

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Faith Carr is an old, retired political activist. Started backyard farming for REAL in 2006. And for the first time we ate out of the gardens for all 12 months. The mission now is to get as many people growing food as possible. Raised beds, (more...)
 

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