Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Probably to tear up the yard on the other side.

The arrows show where lovely billows of Sweet Woodruff once flourished.

Here’s a nice before/after of my once-beautiful white Bleeding Heart:

Now you see it!

Now you don't.

Regardless of the destruction, I still like my chickens. We’ve settled into a routine that we can all live with.

I wake up about a half hour after sunrise and open the coop(click to see photos of the coop and run) and I also water and feed them. They stay confined to the coop/run until about 2 hours before sunset when I let them have free run in the yard. This gives them some time to stretch out and flap about and gives them LESS time to tear up things any further.

Another part of their charm is that they’ll follow me until they realize that I don’t have a treat for them. Their current favorite is anything with yogurt or cottage cheese.

Two tablespoons of cottage cheese are gone in less than a minute.

The sweetest thing is that they put themselves back in the coop when the sun goes down. Though, a couple of nights now, they’ve decided to bed down on the back deck railing.

But...we like it here.

Sleepy chickens are my favorite!

I love how they stick together.

They’re calm during this time and will even let themselves be petted. It was tempting to let them stay there. However, reality (the possibility of their being snacks for owls, skunks and raccoons OR toys for neighborhood thug-cats) goaded us into picking up one of them and taking her to the coop. Within thirty seconds the others had flown over and were scuttling into the coop willingly. I love they way they stick together.

Batman and I still chuckle over thoughts of those days when we’d decided to give them some free time in the morning and then we’d herd them back into the run in the afternoon…back when we were noobs! It’s just so much nicer when they go in when they’re ready.

I’ve since learned that 2-4 hours of freedom is plenty. The good folks at Backyard Chickens have been a valuable resource as well as Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens.

My little ladies are 19 weeks old and we’ve expected to start getting eggs any day now. Yesterday I wandered the yard checking for any egg that may have been laid on the sly and got very excited to discover one. Turned out it was a nearly perfectly egg-shaped rock.

The wait continues.

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17 comments on “Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

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  11. Becky says:

    Ugh, they love to dig, don’t they? They have almost completely dug out my knock-out roses. They like to take dirt baths in there. But they’re still so much fun. Wouldn’t trade them for the world!

  12. Shirin says:

    I’m still totally baffled. Why choose 4 chickens over one perfectly marvelous bleeding heart? I guess my heart doesn’t bleed over chickens. Maybe I’m the one that’s “cuckoo”.

  13. Stephanie (Just Me) says:

    Hmm, I don’t know. We’ve never had a combless one.

  14. Did you know that Batman is very similar to Bantam? I suggest a name change when the girls start “putting out”.

    Heh heh.

    They are ADORABLE up on that fence!!! Love the pics!!!

    • knittinpeace says:

      “putting out” HAR.

      They make me smile when they roost on the railing. They’re actually there again this evening. Turkeys. So much for my bragging on how they put themselves to bed.

  15. Stephanie (Just Me) says:

    Our pullets are the same age, and one of the five is laying. We think we know which one it is. When their combs get bright red, they’re about ready to start.

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