Monday, July 17, 2006

Chicken Update T+6 Weeks: New Digs

The chicken run I had built next to the house was proving to be both problematic and too confining. It got blasted by the afternoon sun and there was no good way to shade the chickens. So we decided to give them their freedom and experiment with letting them roam free. We tried just putting their cage in the back yard inside the fence but the dogs were a little too interested in the birds (Lucy would go up to the cage and bark and Forrest was a little too intent on cornering one).

CIMG3846So we moved their cage to the back of the yard and I put up a makeshift fence to keep the dogs out. The chickens are not themselves confined by the enclosure--it would take a lot more work to build a fully-encosed chicken run. As long as the chickens do not prove to be either a nuisance or at too much risk of predation there's no reason to not let them roam around.

I'm finding I really like having the chickens around. They're facinating to watch and it gives me pleasure to see them roaming about, clearly having chicken-style fun.

So far the biggest issue we've had is that they like to come hang out under the bench on the back porch in the afternoons. My solution was to put down cardboard and some newspaper to catch their mess.

CIMG3844The chickens are now about seven weeks old and starting to look like proper hens, although they have a lot of growing to do yet. They probably won't start laying until late in the fall.

Finally, here is a little video I took of the chickens taking a dust bath:


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