Thursday, April 15, 2010

Chicken update

We are in the middle of week 2 with our city hens... still no letter from the city, but the eggs are rolling in.

Here are the first two eggs we got, we have averaged 1 egg per day for the first week. Our three hens lay eggs in 3 subtlety different colors. The Auracana lays pale green eggs, one lays true white eggs, and the other one lays buff or beige colored eggs. In the bright sun, all the eggs just look white, but upon closer inspection, there are definitely three different colors.

The hens have all settled in nicely. At first we were having serious issues with the black and white hens picking on the orange hen, but that seems to have stopped. The first two days (before the run was built) the white hen especially would get her feathers all ruffled up and charge after the orange hen and peck at her. There was never any blood, but I got very tired of breaking up the fights. The poor orange hen would just huddle into a corner and wait for the abuse to stop.

Almost as soon as the hens got access to the open run, the fighting stopped. I"m guessing they were bored in the small coop and also vying for space. The larger run has lots of grass and dirt for scratching as well as piles of mulch for the girls to dig through.

The chickens seem to be afternoon layers, at least almost every egg we have found has been late in the day--even if I check all day long. I was home all day yesterday, sitting in our home office with the window open so I heard every little squawk and peep these girls made during the day. Mostly, they are very quiet birds. Around 4 pm, it sounded like someone was tap dancing on a wood floor and I went outside to see the orange hen in the nest box, scratching hard on the wood. I checked, no egg. At about 5 I left to pick up the kids from school with one last check of the coop for eggs, nothing. I got home 20 minutes later and hubby had collected 2 eggs, I guess they decided to lay eggs the second the van left the driveway.

Our friends chickens have also started to lay eggs, they went 1 week without a single egg. They suspected that the hens were in revolt because they were being terrorized by their lab and their 2 year old son--both would run around the coop to get a better view of the birds. Now the hens have realized that neither is a threat to them and started laying.

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