August 26th, 2009
Once again I am renaming the small garden area on the side of the house.
Back when Winifred, our sweet Belgian Malinois, was still with us, we called it Winnie’s Poop Garden. It was not a place where you wanted to spend your free time.
Last year, desperate for more vegetable growing space, I planted tomatoes and cucumbers there and dubbed it the Other Veggie Garden.
This year, the Palazzo di Pollo and the auxiliary chicken coop, the Eglu, now reside in that area. And since I was dividing what seemed like hundreds of hostas this spring, I began transplanting them into the shaded area beside the coops. Naturally, I added more hostas as I fell in love with them during visits to garden centers. I called it the Hosta Garden, but just as easily could have called it the Slug Garden, since the slugs and snails moved in to partake of the expansive hosta buffet—their fav.
Now that the baby chicks are old enough for some supervised walkabout time, I am calling this the Chicken Garden. This is where the big chickens and little chickens are currently engaged in their nightly meet-and-greet leading up to the merge of the two tribes.
You cannot just toss little chickens in with big chickens because they will be pecked on and could be injured. It is best for chickens to get to know each other a bit, work out their differences in relative safety and begin establishing the new pecking order prior to being thrust under the same roof. Using the Eglu as the temporary home for new chickens allows the chickens to see each other but not co-mingle until they are ready. This also allows us to ensure that the new chickens are disease- and pest-free before introducing them into the flock.
Now that the Polish and Easter egg chickens are about 11 weeks old, it’s just a matter of days before we attempt the big move. Until then, they peck and scratch in the Chicken Garden under close supervision. After all, we don’t want a repeat of the incident that took Johnny Cash.
I SWEAR I am still gardening. I have the photos to prove it. More soon.
You can see the whole chicken photo album here. Click on the photo for a larger image. There are more photos in the albums from the photos sign at the top of this page.
Posted In: Chickens
August 2nd, 2009
If you’re not scratching for food or running from predators intent on having chicken for dinner, you’re stuck in a coop or enduring the elements.
During a ferocious downpour just a while ago, the poor chickens had to take what little cover they could get from the ramp that leads into their coop. Yes, they could have gone into the coop, but only one hen chose the easy way out.
Until just before I snapped this photo, T. Boone Chickens, my fearless rooster, was standing in the downpour at the edge of the run guarding both flocks—the older hens you see here and the six baby chicks that are in a parallel run. T. Boone spends the better part of his days eyeballing the two groups of girls.
He takes his job very seriously. Really, it’s rather endearing. Even Harry and Ben, who usually only have mean things to say about T. Boone because of his, uh, technique with the hens, grudgingly admit that he is making an effort to be useful.
The baby chicks are growing quickly. I’ll be doing another photo shoot of the glamour girls soon to show how their fancy head feathers are coming in. Until then…
Posted In: Chickens