Wednesday 19 April 2023

Chickens! and other things.

The other day Romeo decided to flap up on top of his coop for a better view. From there he figured out he could flap over the closest edge. Kelly decided to follow him and when I went out to give them lunch there was a "bawkbawk" from behind me under the deck. They followed me back in the fence and haven't tried to jailbreak again. Romeo still sits on the coop but I think they really disliked being trapped away from the rest of the flock.

This past weekend I moved their coop to the side of the house, partially to give them some fresh grass, partially to block them from the winds of the week. They've been settling in nicely. 

There was a bunch of squabbling their first three days here but I got that sorted out. Seeing that something was wrong and that they were hounding me and shooing each other away form the food, I weighed the pellets. Turns out, the information I found online about feeding wasn't accurate for my local pellets and they weren't getting enough food. It was not 1/2 cup = 1/4 lb like many others, and after doing some math, the chickens are now getting plenty of food to go around.

Kelly still isn't laying but I did get a look at her vent and she's not ill or anything.  She may just be too young and so not laying just yet. The other three are churning out eggs like nothing. Over Monday the 10th through Sunday the 16th, they laid 23 eggs which is an egg a day for all three of the layers plus an additional 2 bonus eggs. Hugslut double checked online and apparently extra eggs is a thing that can happen with young hens so it's possible that we have two or more youngsters in our flock of 4 but we definitely have 3+ eggs every day for now and that's been really nice. 

In addition to breakfast sandwiches, carrot cake, and such, we had quiche for dinner tonight. The eggs are great and neither of us can explain HOW they're different but since we started getting fresh eggs from a neighbour, and then started getting our own, they are very different from the grocery store eggs. We were already buying the free-range omega3 fancy eggs for like $7.50 a doz, but eggs so fresh they were laid two days ago? No comparison really. I mean they're still EGGS... but they're fresh and bright and eggy? It's like the difference between the huge boring strawberries and the lil juicy ones.

Now onto something that isn't chickens. :-) The weather is starting to warm up a bit. It's been about +5C to +10C all week and the daffodils are just straining and waiting for the very best time to bloom. The pussywillows have lil fuzzy nubbins on them and when the sun is out it is really nice outside. 

Mini soil blocks.
Half lightly covered to see what works best.
Approx. garden corners.
On the right is the garlic/etc.

I've got the seeds started for the onions, leeks, lettuce and spinach in mini soil blocks. Everything else in the garden this year is going to be sown directly. I'm still putting up the garden fence but there's still some time. Can't really start anything outside here until mid or late may if you want to avoid frosts.

Growing sprouts has been a great way to have something fresh and crunchy on sandwiches. On the right is alfalfa and on the left is lentils. Normally it's not a good idea to eat dried beans or lentils that are raw, but sprouting makes enzymes break down the seeds into easier to digest compounds just like cooking does. The lentils were sprouted specifically for the chickens. It's nice to be able to give them something they really enjoy that's actually good for them and also is really inexpensive. That whole jar will be two days worth of high protien treats and it started as just 1/4 cup of dried lentils from the grocery store. 

And with that I'm back to talking about chickens again... lol
Oh well. Here, look at them!

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