It’s been a while since I did an update on the chickens, they are now nearly 6 weeks old. They are looking more like adult birds, there is no sign of their earlier yellow plumage!
The girls are slowly developing a bit of a crest on the top of their heads, they should have a bit of red on them eventually. The Delaware chickens are a beautiful Heritage Breed, you can see a bit of their grey feathers on the tail, wings and neck. We are still a month or two away from them beginning to lay their brown eggs, meanwhile we are having fun watching them eat bugs in the yard.
They eat any sort of bugs and are tremendously quick at catching them. The chickens will dig the bugs out of the ground with their sharp feet and swallow them in one gulp. They tend to play follow the leader and waddle about after the one that we affectionately call The General.
They do eat weeds as well, although I haven’t let them wander around the garden too much, we have so many predators here that it makes me a bit nervous. I have heard that chickens will eat every weed in your garden, so we will be exploring that angle as we go along!
The chicken tractor is complete! I think it looks more like a Chalet, don’t you? Next step is to paint it, humm, can’t decide on colors? I am leaning towards red, white or grey.
We started with a plan for the tractor that we purchased on the internet (check out my previous posting on Week 3 ), but we made so many revisions to it, I guess you could say it is our own design. Some of the revisions we made included adding chicken wire to the bottom to keep predators out, extra doors for easy access to the eggs, and wheels that can be popped underneath to make moving the tractor around the yard easier. It is very heavy! We have invested about $250.00 in this project, it should last a long time, although we will have to make more modifications before winter sets in.
The tractor is 10 feet long and has two stories, one for roosting and one open space underneath. They are connected by a chicken run that can be pulled up at night for security. This design can accommodate 6 chickens, we only have 5 at this time but there’s room for one more!
The side of the roof has a removable door.
This is the roosting area. We also added some pine shavings for cozy nest building. You can buy pine shavings in your local pet store, it’s the same bedding used for rabbits and other small animals. When the pine bedding needs cleaning, it can be composted along with the chicken poo and new bedding will be added to the coop.
The girls seem to like their new environment! We are now confident that they are safe from predators. Let the egg laying begin!
Off to buy paint!
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