Productive Girls

The girls are still young — only 27 weeks — so these eggs are a bit undersized. But I think this is pretty fair production for six hens over a week. Got five of these today, three from the Ameraucanas.


First Ameraucana Egg

It looks like something made by Cadbury but it’s the first egg from one of the Ameraucana hens.

All the eggs so far have been small but that’s to be expected. The size will increase as the hens get closer to their first birthday.


New House and New Dust Bath for the Girls

Wednesday and Thursday I finished painting all the various parts of the new chicken coop I also started assembling it inside the coop.

Yesterday my son helped me move the heavy roof section in and get it installed. Final assembly was completed and the six nesting boxes were put in place. The girls had no idea what the house was; they just wanted to get to the nesting boxes. They avoided the hen door I created for them and instead tried to leap up into the nests through the big access doors I built to allow me to reach the nests, add food to their trough, etc. The big doors also make it very easy to clean the house once they’ve lived in it for a while. Titian and I tried to coax them inside. Nothing worked if the big doors were closed. Finally, we manually placed them on the second level shelf and closed the big doors.

This morning, I found them all still inside, happily on the two perches I built for them. But, they wouldn’t go out the small hen door; they had no problem jumping to the ground once I had the big doors open, though. I’m wondering what’s got them afraid of the small doorway.

Moving forward, I attached the latch on the big doors and cleared a spot for their dust baths. As I’m in there working, Marge cautiously crept in through the hen door. Intrigued I listened to her clucking around inside until I heard the telltale sounds of her settling into a nesting box. The need to nest overrode whatever fear she had of the house.

Tonight, I went out to check on them and found all the girls were outside the house. As I pondered what to do, Chowder went in of her own accord. No one followed her, though. Since it was getting dark, I put all the hens in through the hen door and Henna came right back out. She was clearly nervous about the opening. I steered her toward the hen door and she finally went inside.

I checked on things by carefully opening the big doors to peek in. Chowder was on the highest perch, middle of the stick. That’s the safest place to be. Roxie or Marge was on the second level but not on a perch. The others were on the bottom deck, away from the hen door. I think the bars I installed above the hen door may be scaring them. Tomorrow I will take out the big section and see if that makes them go in and out more easily. 


The Girls in Slow Motion

I was taking a video of the girls with my iPhone and I accidentally switched it over to SLO-MO mode. It took me several minutes and multiple views of the result before I realized what I had done.

I find it very easy to watch this. The deliberate movements of the chickens are so easy to see when viewed like this. I may take more videos like this in the future.  A happy mistake.
Ed Rovera