Tag Archives: urban chicken farming

Hot new black chick in the house

hotblackchick

Her name is Lucy (pictured). She’s about 48 hours old.

She chirps a lot.

She chirps very loudly.

Today I was home alone with her, and our new puppy, Emma. I was in the back room. I heard some noise in the living room, and I sat at my desk trying to determine what it might have been. And then I thought: It’s probably Emma. She’s probably . . .

TRYING TO EAT THE CHICKS.

I dashed into the living room. Emma looked guilty.

I put her in the back yard. Holly told me she has seen Emma licking her chops as Lucy chirps away.

Right now everything is quiet. The living room is awash in a red glow from the heat lamp. There are two new chicks in the house. I don’t know the other girl’s name for sure, but I think it might be Bill.

Chicks are too cute.

Bill

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Four Browns And a Green

9-7-2009 043, originally uploaded by tim_elhajj.

This afternoon I found our first few eggs.

They were secreted above the nesting box, where no chickens are allowed to go, but where they all seem to go anyhow. I am raising scofflaw, renegade chickens. This is God paying me back for a childhood of rebellion.

We have five eggs, but can’t be sure that all four chickens are laying. The green one is definitely from one of the Americana’s, either Quack or Kathy. We suspect the other four brown ones are all from Shirley. Bob is supposed to lay big white eggs, so we figure she has not yet made her contribution.

Very soon now: four hens a laying.

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Chicken in the Middle

6-24-2009 078

Aaron and Dad playing football in the backyard–the defensive line is a bunch of chickens. (Yuk, yuk!)

Chickens can be amusing, but this positive attribute is largely offset by the fact that they are disgusting, smelly, nasty creatures. Mine haven’t started to lay eggs yet, so my feelings may change, but I doubt it. I’m not that big on eggs.

Our neighbors, who have chickens, too (What is this?), suggested that when we feed the chickens table scraps, we say something like, “Here chick, chick, chick! Here chick, chick, chick!” This trains the birds to respond to your voice. The problem is that now, whenever we say “Here chick, chick, chick!,” our dog comes racing out back for the table scraps. 

Pace is our biggest chicken.

If you don’t give him some of the scraps, he looks at you with the saddest eyes. Nothing for me? Again?

The chickens like to sleep in the alcove over the nesting box, instead of going inside the nesting box (where it is safer) to spend the night. This means I have to pick them up and put them in the nesting box at night.

There is no good way to grab a chicken.

Chickens don’t have a scruff, like cats or dogs. If you grab one of the legs, they squawk and flap their wings. I find it best to just bat them off the top ledge and then scold them.

Soon I am going to do a post on chicken coop construction.

I bought the plans from one Dennis J Harrison-Noonan, who I have yet to pay (sorry Dennis!) and for whom I have promised to do a review of my experience  using the plans. I’ve added a few improvements (hopefully) to the design, and it turned out better than I expected.

Stay tuned.

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Urban Chicken Farming

5-17-2009 006

It started about three or four years ago: Holly suggested we raise chickens. I scoffed. But in the last year or so, Holly got Kennedy on board and now here we are with a chicken coop in the backyard.

When we first got the chicks at Easter, they were mighty cute. They were just two days old and would wander around in the tank under the heat lamp, occasionally nodding off and tilting over, like little junkies in the park.

Now they’ve more than quadrupled in size. Holly says some of them might get twice as big as they are now. The tank we’ve been keeping them in is too small. They squawk and whistle and battle one another.

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Holly says they need the heat lamp for eight weeks—early June. Despite this, I built the coop over the last two weekends, and we’ve been putting them inside it during the day. I’m waiting for the material for the coop roof to be delivered, so for now there is no roof on the coop.

You have to hope a hawk doesn’t swoop down and grab one the peeps.

5-17-2009 003

More pictures on flickr.

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