Chook Watch

enclosure

After two weekends of some hard work, we completed construction today of a larger enclosure for our chickens. We’re both really tired but happy.

The Girls have been patient in their coop for the last week, making do with limited space and so you can imagine both our, and their excitement today when finally we opened the coop and let them out to stretch their wings and get up to all sorts of chickeny activities. This is the space they’ll have for wandering around when we’re home and can supervise.

For me there were two highlights.

First, the chance to go in there with them and just hang out. It was one of the moments i’ve been waiting for (the other is obviously the first egg – but that’s some weeks off yet). I can’t tell you how much I was enjoying myself in this moment. To have them milling around me (later they fed from hand) was just lovely. I think it’s going to be so good for me to have their comforting and friendly clucking and to be able to get so close with them. I confess I’m falling for them in a big way.

me and the girls

To my Girls, I’m now The Lady with the Food. I’m sure of it. They’ll be sitting quietly and then, upon hearing or seeing me approach, there’s much flapping and excited clucking. I like to think we have an understanding. They entertain us and (eventually) provide us with eggs. I, in turn, bring them food and keep them safe from neighbourhood cats. It’s simple really.

Two other thrills are hearing Alice say ‘Cockadoodledoo!’ when she sees them and, as of today, watching them do something I’d only before reading about. Dust bathing. This is how they clean themselves, apparently. Finding a patch of dirt and dousing themselves in it with astounding enthusiasm. We found them engrossing and they had us in fits of laughter. Who knew birds flapping their wings in a pile of dirt could be so entertaining! If you look up near the green bucket, you can see some dirt flying.

dust bathing

So far, having chickens has turned out to be a lot less scary than I thought. I did a lot of reading beforehand and the literature advises of all the things that can go wrong. I suppose those warnings built up in my mind and I worried a little about the unknown, but in reality of course, all the possibly bad things can’t and won’t happen all at once so I’ve relaxed now and am just enjoying getting to know them. It’s our new TV! Pull up a chair, grab a drink and just watch. It’s not going to wear thin for quite a long time.

Bells

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21 thoughts on “Chook Watch

  1. Are yours golden sexlinks? They look like my babies – well, they’re probably about the same age as yours – but they are my youngest girls (hatched sometime around the 1st of July).

    I’ll just warn you now to watch your footing as you walk wherever they’ve been dust bathing – little depressions soon become serious dips in the ground and if your foot finds one of them… yeah. Not pretty! BUT – they are hilarious, aren’t they? I call my girls “therapy” – if I’m stressed I just walk out the kitchen door to the chicken yard, let myself in. All of the girls will look up the moment they hear the kitchen door opening and come running – from no matter how far away they are. They’re always so happy to see me! 🙂

    If you ever need help with your girls – we’re several years in with ours – and have a pretty diverse flock. I’ve got some helps on my “chicken blog” too – http://knownbyname.wordpress.com if you need them. Including how to clip wings! 🙂 Chances are your girls are heavy a breed enough that you won’t have to worry about it… now if they were Blue Andalusians, you’d be pulling out your sharpest scissors and doing some wing clipping! 🙂

  2. I know 3 people here in Northern California that have chickens. My daughter started a few years back, I learned so much from her blog and visiting the chickens. They have eggs regularly. She did get busted by the Cith though for having too many, so they had to find homes for some and now have 7. I enjoy reading your blog.

  3. Pingback: Attracting Birds With A Window Fowl Feeder | Buy Pet Supplies

  4. I do admire you for getting down and dirty with the chickens! I love watching birds, but am afraid of them up close –perhaps I saw Hitchcock’s “The Birds” at a tender age? At any rate, I’m enjoying them vicariously!

  5. Your chooks are in a 5-star accommodation – looks great. I had chooks when I was young but did not realise that my mum was raising them for the dinner table & not for eggs.

  6. We had chickens when I was a teen in Idaho, and I honestly don’t remember them doing the dust bathing thing, but they were quite entertaining. And so soft! You will love having fresh eggs–haul out those angelfood cake recipes because your cholesterol won’t stand all the whole eggs. ;^)

  7. I’d like to have chickens some day. And goats. My sister had some hens that ate insects, including ticks. *Very* useful to set loose in the yard in these parts!

    Grace says “cock-doodle-do” too. It’s really cute!

  8. Fresh, live entertainment is far preferable to the canned variety. In a few years, the novelty may wear off, but as long as you keep them as pets, the charm never stales.

  9. We have chicken talkback once a month after Peter Cundall on the radio!! I have learned a little bit about chickens and though you say they are lovely they still scare the willies out of me.
    I am glad they recognise you as The Lady With The Food. I can see the dust of the dust bath and I hope I may one day hear Alice cockadoodledooing.

  10. Chooks are a lot more friendly and trainable than people realise. They really are good company, its so great to see you enjoying them. They can’t really fly more than a foot or two off the ground, so you wont need to clip them, I don’t think. Bring on the eggs!

  11. My grandparents had chickens that roamed free. They would return to their house to lay and sleep. The rare skunk would raid for eggs. The farm dogs would chase off most varmints.
    Sometimes I miss being a child!

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