Sunday, January 31, 2010

chickens venture into snow

the chickens have been on a self imposed quarantine from the elements. that is, until today.

only the bravest venture beyond the snow shed of the coop.

these chickens take their job of spreading out the cow patties very seriously.

this one even came up to say good bye to the pigs.

our pigs are going to the local butcher on tuesday. mike, tabitha's father, brought his stock trailer and backed it up to their pen. i cobbled a step and opened that gate so they could get acquainted with the trailer.

they are really looking good.

they are so friendly that when you scratch their back they wiggle against your hand. it is so cute.

astrid is doing very nicely. her training is going better than we could hope. soon it will be over and we will be only be affirming her behavior.

she doesn't look that white against the snow. but really she is..

she is so alert and notices everything. she doesn't really bark as much as henry did but that might yet develop. i miss his incessant barking at the slightest thing.

she really likes her chickens. they are part of her pack.

the chickens are really laying the eggs. yesterday we got thirty two eggs and managed a formal count of the hens. we have forty four hens and one rooster.


Pablo said...

Life sounds good at the Pile. 32 eggs in one day.

eD said...

I have 10 chickens and I don't provide any light. I don't rely on them like you do. I have some Morans like you and various other breds. I live up in WA and with these short days, our Buff Orpington still lays an egg almost every day. We have two California Grays and between them, then lay an egg on most days.

You should consider a Buff Orpington if you don't already have one.

Wendy said...

Wow! That's a lot of eggs. I guess you guys are having lots of yummy quiche and scrambled eggs ;). Our chickens are laying one egg per day or so between the seven of them. The ducks have decided to take the winter off ;). So, between the ten birds we have, we get about one egg a day. I hoard them - for special dishes. I'll probably make some pumpkin bread today and use up a few.

Astrid is beautiful.

Merikay said...

Hello Karl and Tabitha. I found your blog a few months ago and went back to read the earlier posts. Yes, I have read all of Karl's 694 posts and all of Tabitha's posts since Rome was 2 months old.

I feel like I know you and am hoping the next few months bring you a new source of income and a successful spring planting.

I will continue to "lurk." I am more of a reader than a blogger.


Duane Keys said...

Our chickens have started picking up production recently too, guess it's that time of the year? :)

sheila said...

how did you teach Astrid to not play/chase chickens?

tabitha said...

eD- the birds that look like Marans are just barred rocks, but reading about Marans makes me want some. We have never had any Orpingtons, and may try some someday. I think you can tell by our mix that we like to try new breeds.

Duane- we went from averaging 1 egg a day (not all in one day...) to 36 today, in about 2 weeks! So while I was a skeptic about the light, I am no longer. it really helps signal spring to the birds! We are getting 82% lay, and the Wyandottes are probably most of the non-laying, as they are molting.

karl said...

merikay, welcome..


my guess is, her guarding instincts instead of hearding instincts are mostly due to the breed. one of the things that i do is make astrid wait until i say it is "ok" to eat. sometimes i make her wait with the food sitting there. once in while a cat or chicken might start to eat on her coveted awaiting food. she gets really anxious. after a moment, i'll shew them away and finally let her eat. she understand that her role is subordinate to me, the chickens and cats. we continually reinforce they are her pack. so far this these measures have worked on both henry and now seem to be working on astrid. the only other advice i have is never hit a GP, if that is the breed you have. they carry a grudge and once their respect for you is gone so is their cooperation. i imagine that is probably true of all intelligent breeds.

Beau said...

Goodness that's a bunch of eggs, and chickens! Think we may get a few this year- I like your coop.

tansy said...

our chickens are pumping up the volume on eggs too...i always see a drastic increase w/in a few weeks of the solstice. makes me hopefu; that spring IS coming again this year. :)

great photos! i love peeking into your bakyard!

Walter Jeffries said...

Looks like your fenced rock pillars are doing well. I see several in the background. I love the idea for using all those loose roundish rocks.

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