Friday, April 1, 2016

The Backyard Chicken Series: Part 4-Housing the Hens+The Big Suprise

If you are behind on this series, check out parts 1, 2 and 3.

Did you like the "housing the hens"? Becuase I did. Housing your little hens for the first month or so can be a little complicated depending on where you live and what you have available. We live in a 4-plex currently (soon to change maybe...?), but our landlord is awesome and so it wasn't a big deal to him that we needed to have the chicks inside our home for about a month or so. We have used multiple boxes to give them the needed space as they have grown---and they sure do grow FAST. Still as cute as from the beginning though.

The larger box on the left is the one they lived in for about a week or two. They were still so small and so it worked fine. Great memories of them passing out in that little box, necks stretched out, legs straight out backs, wings out, laying right flat on their tummies! Nature is so so beautiful and brings so much happiness when it is happy itself.
You might think this is messy, but this is after just a day :) We clean it daily.

This is what we moved them into when they started to get some feathers in. They were already so much bigger! Plus, they were sick of being in the light, even if it was the dark infrared one. They really loved this one the best I think, because they felt like they had two rooms as options ha ha. The warm room with the light on, and the cooler room with the light off. They loved sleeping in the room with the light off of them ( No wondering why).

This is the last box they lived in. They were in here for about a week, and currently still sleep in it at night because it is still pretty close to freezing sometimes at night. They haven't fully got their head feathers in so I don't want them being outside yet (because I'm overprotective). Now, with them being inside at night, we also don't have the light on anymore so they will be getting used to the cooler night temperatures.This box was a bit bigger than the other two combined. Most importantly we were able to tape the flaps up because the chicks were starting to fly out of the box. As you can see, even with the flaps up we needed to put lids on top (plastic bin lids and cooling racks from the kitchen so the heat would still go in and not melt the lids) because they started to even fly out of those high walls! They definitely get itchy to be outside.
(update:they are sleeping outside now! such big chickies)

Side note: Some people may say, oh you don't have to get this nice light or that nice coop or this and that or grab them nicely or give them good food or keep them that warm. And it's true. You don't have to do anything special or nice or considerate for them. God made them durable animals, and they can survive pretty rough stuff. But, if you  do treat them nice and be considerate, and develop a respect for them and for their fulfilling 100% of their measure of creation, they will love you. And nothing is more beautiful than a part of mother nature loving you, because it makes you feel complete.

Okay, now the business is done, time for the big surprise.
We bought straight run chickens, which means there is 90% possibility they are females and a 10% chance they are not. After we noticed our lovely little yYang (Barred Rock chicken) bossing all the other little chicks around and getting on top of anything high that it could, we have concluded that she is actually a he! WE HAVE A ROOSTER! We originally didn't want one because we obviously wouldn't be allowed to keep him. But, now that we MIGHT be moving to somewhere new...we might get to keep that little buddy :) Time will tell. But we sure love him and all his protectiveness over his little women hens.