Two Chickens Become Four Chickens!


| 6/1/2011 10:45:40 AM


Tags: chickens, local food, Cam Mather,


 

If you’ve been waiting for an update on our chickens, you might be surprised to find out that our chicken population here at Sunflower Farm has doubled! We started out with two chickens but we’ve already added two more! I decided that I probably should have ordered 3 to begin with rather than 2. One of the books that we’ve read on the subject suggested that if you only have two birds and you lose one, the remaining bird would be rather lonely. The coop is big enough for a couple more, so I figured if I was going to the effort of ordering one, I might as well make it two.

Michelle and I are really enjoying getting to know our chickens. They are very cute and lots of fun to watch. I have discovered that chickens are the biggest carnivores on the planet. My daughter the anthropologist tells me that they are direct descendents of dinosaurs. They actually move just like the “raptors” in the movie “Jurassic Park.” Remember in the movie when the kids are trapped in the kitchen and there are a couple of raptors prowling around looking for them? Well Henny and Penny do exactly the same thing. And their feet are just the raptors in the movie! Scary.

When I’m weeding the garden I inevitably find bugs and other creatures that I don’t want around my vegetable plants. I find grubs, cut worms, June Bugs, Click Beetle Larvae and lots of other nasty critters. Usually I just squish them on the spot. I used to drown them but it wasn’t always convenient to have a bucket of water with me, so I learned to just squish them. Now I collect them in a plastic container and take them over to the chicken coop. Henny (Henrietta) and Penny (Penelope) come running when they see me coming and the second the grubs hit the grass, they snap them up! Seriously, I’m afraid I’m going to lose a finger one of these days. So much for cute, cuddly little grain eaters.

Now whenever I walk anywhere near the pen, Henny and Penny bolt over to me with that “Give us more of them grubs!” look in their eyes. They gather around my feet and are happy to peck away at my boots just in case there are some bugs on them. It makes it a little hard to walk through the pen.
 

The other day I was splitting some older oak logs. They had been on the ground for several years and they had massive ant nests in them. So I took them over and tossed them in to the chicken pen. The chickens went crazy! Periodically I’d go over and knock a bunch more ants out of them and it was like the All You Can Eat Buffet at a Chinese Restaurant when college students eat for half price. A feeding frenzy.

ann fenner
9/30/2012 10:37:44 PM

When my husband and I moved from Little Rock to Timbo, Arkansas, my husband thought it would be a good idea to have some chickens. A local farmer donated a wall from his old barn that had nesting boxes, so we built a chicken yard. We put a chicken wire fence to about 10 or 12 ft. We didn't know how high chickens could fly. We really didn't know anything at all about chickens except that they laid eggs. I went down to the pen every morning to let our girls and one rooster out. Everything was going along well, until a neighbor gave us 2 more roosters. We quickly learned not to put them all in the pen together. So we picked one rooster to be in the pen and put the other two outside. We lost one of our hens and noticed that our fence had been dug under. So we dug down a foot and buried more chicken wire and reinforced it with heavy rocks. We also had to cover our pen with chicken wire to keep out the chicken hawks. They made off with a couple of our chicks. I usually went down to the pen in mid-afternoon to check for eggs. We had 6 hens and I usually had a several nice eggs. One day I went down and checked the nesting boxes and no eggs. In the last box I checked there were pieces of broken eggshell in the nest. I suspected a snake. So I went in the house and raided our son's easter basket. I borrowed six eggs and put 1 in each box. Next morning I checked out the plastic eggs. One box only had half a an egg. After that NO more snakes. My neighbor across the road let her hens range everywhere. Every night her chickens would come to my house and roost in the tall pine trees outside my second story window and my 2 outside roosters would protect them. I really enjoyed my chickens but I never realized they had so many predators, snakes, hawks, eagles, coyotes, wild dogs and wild cats.





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