Spring Time Sunshine

Thanks to the Spring sun we have finally got the chicken run and new lawn finished!

Unfortunately the Spring weather also started the inevitable battles between the two cockerels remaining from last years hatch and the confinement to the run escalated the problem. This meant that the Faverolle boy was dispatched, with hubby learning the broom method from me as an 8 month bump gets in the way somewhat.

The ladies are actually coping with confinement very well. The only time they were “imprisoned” before they screeched at the fencing and generally made so much fuss I gave in and let them have all the garden back. I’m guessing the fact the ex-barns are getting on a bit means they are happy in a smaller run, as long as they get their daily treats and dust baths of course.

The run itself was built to keep the chickens in and not Mr Fox out. Although we do have foxes around here (in fact it is best to assume that in rural and urban areas alike a fox wont be too far away) we opt for getting them locked up before dusk and a little later in the mornings to avoid the main fox attack times as opposed to full fox proofing of the garden.

The fact that it was made just to keep the ladies in meant we were able to use up all the various weld mesh mesh we had lying around of different thicknesses. The result is a slightly higgledy-piggledy run, with a fair few cable ties thrown along the joins, but a functional run nonetheless.

The lawn needs a little while to green up and a few spots may need going over with grass seed again once it is established, but I am overall very happy with the progress and looking forwards to the summer sun with a nice green lawn and also the chickens not managing to get at my potatoes/tomatoes/plants quite as easily.

I’ve been making a start on the seedlings and this year have made the sensible choice of one for me one the ducks/chooks when it comes to tomatoes and lettuces! The ducks in particular love fresh chopped tomatoes and it is an excellent way on enticing any flighty bird to you for a fuss.

The chickens are fond of whole lettuce or cabbage heads to peck at so am making sure they will have plenty too, and with them being confined to a run it is a very good idea to add extra greens as well as items to keep them entertained to avoid any aggression problems through boredom.

With the baby soon to arrive there wont be any hatching this year here, although we are going to get two new point of lay girls to add to the chicken flock as we are only getting an egg every few days between them due to the oaps’ age, the legbar girl Meep-Meep only laying 2-3 a week and the little deformed Orpington girl Cheesy Poof struggling to lay with her hip displacement. I’m thinking of hybrids and am going to make sure I take a set amount of money to stop my two new ladies quickly turning into more!

Posted in My Chicken Diary
4 comments on “Spring Time Sunshine
  1. Carl Goss says:

    Just wanted to express my thanks for all the advice, fun and interesting poultry stuff you’ve covered here and in your newsletters. Our stock has dwindled to two Belgium Bantams and one large unidentified bruiser, largely through old age I’m glad to say, having experienced the trial of the fox taking four several years ago. We’re about to increase stock again as the egg count is down to one a day.. from all three! We would like to get chicks, but not sure from where at the moment. Anyway talking of chicks and new arrivals, can I wish you and Gary all the very best for the coming excitement.. and sleepless nights! Have fun.
    Carl from Ipswich

  2. Gemma Watt says:

    Hi, I’m new to your lovely blog and just started looking into keeping backyard chickens. Can you tell me how old meep-meep is? Just interested in how many years of good laying you get from an average laying hen. Thanks, Gemma

  3. Rich and Teresa says:

    Hi Cara and Gary.
    What an excellent blog site you have here! Very funny and informative! :@) my partner and I are just about to embark on our first chicken keeping adventure and will be in a position in the next couple of weeks to collect our babies, cant wait! Nearly finished the house and run and we’re just waiting for the concrete for the base of their run to go off before installing it all on top. She has set her heart on getting sussex’s and preferably at about 8 ish weeks of age as they can then have plenty of time to get used to us handling them and for them to get settled into their new hotel before they start to lay. The house itself turned out to be quite a bit bigger than i had invisaged, as these things can often do, and the run is fairly huge too but thats not a problem as during the day when we’re all at work they can be safe in there, then come the afternoon they can have free rein of the garden which is also a fair size, so i think all in all they should be pretty content!
    I noticed that you have cats? We also have two cats and were wondering how all yours got on together? Out two boys are very inquisitive especially the little one who has on occasion managed to bring down the odd magpi or three, so we will have to keep a very close eye on him, but i’ve heard that chickens can hold their own with most other animals. Have you had any dramas in this respect?
    take care, rich and teresa.

  4. Cara says:

    @Rich and Teresa: Domestic cats don’t usually present any threat to chickens – in fact most of ours are scared stiff of them!

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