So we were harvesting vegetables out of the garden when our neighbor called and said they had boy scouts on their property looking for arrow heads to earn a badge. She asked if they could come by to see the chickens so they could collect an agriculture badge. Of course we said “SURE! Come on over!”
So much excitement! Everyone wanted to touch a chicken so hubby held one while everyone took a turn petting. We explained how chickens lay eggs and that they don’t need a rooster to do it. We told them that chickens can lay lots of different colors of eggs and no, we don’t paint those colors on! We told them they lay an egg every 24 to 36 hours.
We showed them the inside of the coop and the new high tech nesting boxes and they were impressed at how happy the girls were just hanging out inside. They laughed when I explained that the Tajma Coop was meant to be roomy and cozy! And then I had to explain that all the feathers on the ground were from the girls molting like they do in the fall to get their new winter feathers. Each kid asked for a feather to add to their collection or to attach to their badge.
After the kids started to walk away the adults grilled us on how we treat the girls. “Do you let your chickens free range?” “Are you sure you have enough space for those chickens?” “How do you sell the eggs?”
We answered all the questions honestly and of course our girls get all the things they are supposed to get, plus a little more petting than most!
We were surprised a couplet days later to get this card from them. All the kids signed the card and on the inside they wrote…..Thank you for letting our cub scouts come over and visit your chickens. We all had a blast. We were so grateful for all the time you spent with them. Letting them pet one was the highlight of their visit.
The girls were happy for the visit too. The kids all pulled a few weeds and fed them through their fence! A Win Win for all!
This batch of new chicks are amazing. I always heard that Rhode Island Red chickens were different in personality but they are SO much different than the other breeds we had. They are more brave, inquisitive, and very assertive. They are so pushy I can’t even tell you how difficult it is to go into the coop, feed and water them, and just get back out. They are completely under foot, pulling on you and pecking at every spot that looks interesting on your clothes. They want to play all the time!
Here are some of the recent firsts for the littles that made us laugh.
First coop clean out:
I wasn’t aware at first but did you know that young chicks go through 8 moltings before they get their final adult feathers? Well this batch of chicks has been shedding and growing new feathers it seems like forever! They are eating twice as much food as the older ladies and that means twice as much poop! Since they have been refusing to go outside in the run it’s all stacking up inside and stinking! So I finally changed out the bedding and dumped a brand new bale of pine shavings in the middle of the floor. They didn’t even give me a chance to grab my camera! They were all over it, tearing it down! Remember dust bathing girl? Trying to dust bath without any dirt? When the chips came out she plopped herself down and started to bathe with the chips! That was funny enough but then the other littles started to pull the pine shavings off of her! Then another little joined in with her! You have to see the video:
Trying to Get the Littles Outside:
You didn’t see them all but I took 5 videos trying to get the littles to go outside, but they wouldn’t even venture off the chicken ladder! For brave girls they certainly took a long time finally getting outside! They were 10 weeks old when I finally shoved them out! And of course they enjoyed themselves. Funny enough they haven’t gone out since. Check them out:
When we moved the littles into the coop they insisted on laying on top of each other in a pile in the corner of the floor at night. They should be roosting! Stupidly they picked the corner underneath the hanging feeder full of food which is right in front of the drafty chicken door. They couldn’t stand up without hitting the feeder and knocking food on the floor. We left a new poop deck shelf on the wall and put their training perch on top but they had no interest. At 12 weeks old we finally started to see poop under the perch on top of the poop deck! (It’s sad to see how excited we get about poop). So now we know it’s time to put up the roost! What an exciting day! The littles are turning into big girls at 3 months of age and they have huge feet! Although we had to pick the girls up and put them on the roost to get them started they seem to be getting the hang of it! Check it out. Oh…..and they are having a good time pulling, tugging and pecking like always!
The chicks are 8 weeks old and getting big! Still scared of everything though. It was a beautiful day. One of the nicest days we’ve had this year so I took the time to clean out the chicken run. Not only did I rake out everything I also removed all their old toys. Wanted to make everything extra specially clean! They will get all new toys.
Since it was such a nice day I figured the littles might like their first try outside! I opened the chicken door and didn’t really get the reaction I was hoping for.
Watch what the littles do when I open the door to their chicken run on their YouTube channel. Spoiler alert, some walk out the door but none of them touch the ground!