Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fall Critters

Our four youngest hens, the 2 Barred Plymouth Rocks and the 2 Silver Laced Wyandottes, have started to lay eggs. Right now you can really tell the difference from the other 5 veterans, as the new eggs are quite a bit smaller and a pale tan. They grow up so quickly...
With the new laying activity, we added a second roost in the coop, to give more space and privacy to the hens. Before a few of them would roost in the nesting boxes at night and dirty them.
Chickens can be quite nosey, at least our flock is. As I was removing the old bedding in their coop and adding fresh straw, they promptly surrounded me and proceeded to scatter their new bedding all around their yard before I could get the new stuff in their coop. It was a neat pile until they showed up. Before they came to "help" me, they were helping Zachary in his wood shop, crawling all over his wood and playing in the sawdust. Some days, chicken tenders sound so good.

Zach from The Green Gardner recently asked us how we winter our chickens. Well we haven't yet. This winter will be our first winter with chickens. We haven't finalized any plans yet, but we are figuring on keeping them where they are. Their coop is currently not insulated, but we will be adding some insulation. From the reading we have done, the main thing is to make sure they have free flowing water at all times, and have their shelter at least warm enough so their feet and combs don't freeze. If it works out well, we plan to keep them free range through the winter months. We don't give them much feed at all, as they feed themselves free range, but as the snow comes, their diet will be mostly from chicken feed supplied by us. We may add a wind break around the coop and yard to cut down on drafts. We do have a plan B in case things aren't working out. We would create an area for them in the dairy barn, where calves are currently housed.
It been a while since the sheep made it to the blog, and with will all this talk about fiber lately, they need make an appearance.
The gang. Tippy the goat, Ricky, Sammy, and Fred. Tippy is a honorary sheep. :-) All very woolly already, just in time for winter.
Fred, ready for the snow.
Sammy. He is a Merino/Corriedale/Southdown cross. Sooo soft. He will be a year old this winter.


flowrgirl1 said...

They are looking good. Can't wait to have my own.

Justin said...

Mmm... fresh eggs sound delightful! Much better than chicken tenders, though that certainly made me laugh! :) And love the pictures of your sweet sheep!

Julie said...

And that last comment was from me, Julie, not Justin, but I'm thinking you guessed that! :)