Thursday, October 20, 2011

new girls

Laying hens are pretty easy to care for. They love a few things: sunshine, grass, bugs, worms, dirt. A dark place, in private, to lay their eggs.

Yesterday I visited a family that had purchased laying hen peepers in March from Tractor Supply. They have fed and watered, provided rocks and oyster shell since the birds arrived at their home. After 8 months and no eggs the family had enough, and the prospect of feeding 20 hens all winter with no eggs prompted them to offer the birds to me.

When I arrived, I saw a flock of beautiful, healthy birds. Living in a shed with no light..their small yard in the shade of a large old tree, no light in their shed. We loaded the girls into a dog crate and brought them home.

Homer installed them into a Row Toe Tiller, his design for keeping the area between our vegetable rows clear. Even though their chicken yard had no grass and was mostly mud, these girls knew just what to do when they went into their pen! Birds love dirt helps them clean themselves. They love to eat grass and most favorite of all scratch in the ground, and they all got right to it.

Here they are in the pen:

and here you can see the scratching and eating action:

and if you listen, you can even hear them purring, not too different than a happy cat..these birds were well loved and cared for, hand raised and gentle, just missing out on sunshine, grass and dirt. We expect eggs in the next 7 long as the sun shines! We will keep them away from our full flock for at least a month, just to make certain their health is fine.

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