Chicken Update: Month 2

Happy Tuesday, everyone! Instead of the zucchini cake recipe I was going to share today, I’ve decided to do a chicken update. To be honest, I’m a little green around the gills (if you know what I mean) and could stand a 24 hr. zucchini reprieve. So here goes.

Waaaay back in June I used some of my Mom Central grant money to purchase 6 baby chicks. Over the past two months, these baby chicks have morphed into nearly full-grown chickens.

June
July
August

Last month I reported on their progress and documented construction of their palatial chicken estate: The Chickominium. (Funding courtesy of Mom Central – many thanks & woohoo!)

The Chickominium

In early August, I described the chickens developing palates via the blog post Chicken Feed.

Chickens LOVE Zucchini!

Now that the chickens are 3 months old, they’re bigger, busier and HUNGRIER than ever. Chicken feed is fine, but they much prefer grazing for insects throughout the yard. First thing each morning, we let them out of their pen to free range.

When the chickens first started free ranging, I would be in and out of the house, checking on them every 10 minutes. Call me Mother Hen. But as time has worn on, the chickens have adapted and so have I. Rather than wander aimlessly, we’ve developed a routine. I let them out. They scurry to the closest bush, a jumbo honeysuckle right beside our rock wall. This is their home base of operations. When they’re not beneath the bush itself, they like to chill up on top of the wall.

From here they strike out around the yard. They stick strictly to the planted perimeters, where the perennials (and weeds) shelter and shade their activities.

Often when I go to look for them, it takes me a little while to track them down. Not because they’ve wandered off – no, rather because they’re so quiet and well-hidden in the overgrowth.

Where's Waldo? - I mean, the chickens?

I like nothing better than to watch them peck & scratch around, doing their chicken business. And since I’m the one that feeds/waters/and cleans their coop, they aren’t just used to me, they actually seek me out. I’m not joking. When I go out to the coop, if they’re somewhere near by, they hustle over to see if I bring treats. I spend most of my time in the kitchen, with the back door open. And while cooking, I often listen to music and sing. It’s become customary to see the chickens hanging out too.

Whenever I sit reading on the back porch, as I was doing when the earthquake struck last week, they sit beneath the table at my feet. I think of them as my chicken buddies.

The hens are now about 12 weeks old and should begin to lay somewhere between 18-22 weeks of age. So we should start seeing beautiful organic free-range eggs anywhere from mid-October to mid-November. I can hardly wait!

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22 Responses to Chicken Update: Month 2

  1. Sam @ Critics in My Kitchen says:

    Cool! My husband mentioned getting chickens a while ago but I think our yard is too small. That’s awesome, though! Keep us posted on the progress!

  2. christa says:

    christy, i love you and i love your life!
    and the cheeckens!

  3. Christy says:

    Hey Sam! Before moving we LONGED for chickens. But our yard in West Philly was a postage stamp. And after raccoons took out our bunny (the one night we forgot to lock her hutch), there was no way we were going to risk it. I joke, but seriously – one of the reasons for moving to Maine was to live our dream! Ahh, chickens. LOL

    I’ll definitely keep you posted!

  4. Christy says:

    Christa, I love you too!! The cheekens send their luuurve.

    XO

  5. Country Wife says:

    I’d hang out by the kitchen window if you were cooking, too! It’s fun having animals around, isn’t it?

  6. Tammy says:

    Better tweak your quiche recipes! You are going to have eggs galore. Wish I lived closer to you. Love me some fresh brown eggs. :-)

  7. Confessions of a Culinary Diva says:

    They are so cute! The eggs are going to be divine….

  8. I love those chickens sooooooo much. Have I already asked you if you’ve seen the movie Return to Oz? You MUST show it to your girls.

    I’m just dying for some artful chicken photos. Not that these aren’t beautiful, you know, but I want macro beaks and chicken feets.

  9. The Mom Chef ~ Taking on Magazines One Recipe at a Time says:

    I’m smiling ear to ear. We have 5 chickens and LOVE them. They do exactly as you say. As soon as I walk out the door, they’re all running to get to me as fast as they can in case I have a treat (and I usually do). Just so you know, I’ve been told to feed them pumpkin as soon as it’s ripe. It kills any intestinal worms they may have. We get 3-4 eggs from our five every day now, but I think there is one that hasn’t started laying at all yet. I can’t wait to read further updates!

  10. Ann says:

    Yay! I love the chicken update! GREAT pics and I KNOW you’ll be thrilled when that first egg *ahem* comes out!

  11. Christy says:

    CW, I can’t imagine my life w/out animals. I spend so much time caring for them, hanging out w/ them, loving them, I’d be so bored w/out them (and far cleaner!) LOL

    Tammy, I so wish you did too! I’d be borrowing your gorgeous pottery all the time. In exchange for eggs, of course!

    Oh Diva, I cannot wait!

    Katie, I have seriously tried to get better photos of the chickens but they are SO FAST. I need a faster camera (and fingers). You told me before about the movie, but we still haven’t seen it. Going to check the library & local video store and I’ll let you know. Thanks babe!

    Mom Chef – thanks so much for the heads-up re: pumpkin. I had no idea. I know they need to dust bathe to protect them from mites (which they do w/ abandon) but I’ll be adding pumpkin to their diet come fall. Which is not here yet, no it’s not, la la la la la la it’s gonna be summer another month oh yes i am in denial big time. LOL

    Ann, you’re too funny – love it. Yes, I am way psyched. Hopefully these chickens will accommodate and lay in the nest boxes so I don’t have to go scrambling through the bushes (literally..)

    Thanks for the great comments!!

  12. shambo says:

    The teenage chickens are adorable. I bet getting the first eggs will be super exciting.

  13. They really are pretty cute, Dishy!
    But… you posted this on Tuesday? I could have sworn I… oh boy. I think I need to get a rooster. A loud one! :)

  14. Tiffany says:

    What an awesome experience! Thanks for sharing their progress and I can’t wait till you start posting some egg recipes!

  15. Christy says:

    Thanks so much Shambo, Inky & Tiff.

    I can’t believe I’m writing this. One of our chickens disappeared this evening. We don’t know what happened. I heard a chicken commotion outside, ran to see what had happened and one of the 6 was gone. My husband was outside on the back deck but didn’t hear or see anything. So sad.

  16. I was very sorry to hear that, Dishy…
    I’m hoping she will still show up…
    :(

  17. Magic of Spice says:

    How fun they are!

  18. Kat @ Big Apple Little Kitchen says:

    How fun! I would love to own a few chickens some day. Guess I need to move out of NYC first!

  19. Christy says:

    Thanks Inky. Chicken #6 is long gone. We saw a hawk soar over 2 days ago. My husband said it looked well fed. :(

    Thanks Magic of Spice! And, Kat, the grass is always greener (or the sidewalk more sparkling) when viewed online. ;)

  20. Angela @ The Chicken Scoop says:

    I love how much you handle your chickens! We did that in the beginning but we soon learned we had a nasty rooster in our bunch. Now, I’m too afraid to hang around the chickens too much because he will attack. ::sigh:: he needs to go…
    ~Ang

  21. Christy says:

    Uuugh, a mean rooster just won’t do. Good luck dispatching him quickly.. to another farm, of course!

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE my chickens!! I try to hold, pet and pick them up daily. Not sure how much they enjoy it, but I figure they’ll get used to it eventually! LOL

  22. Pingback: The Daily Dish » Blog Archive » Chicken Update: Month 4

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