Happy Peeps

January 2, 2012

Eat Your Quaker Oats!

This past summer, I caught several of my chickens pecking at a large piece of styrofoam insulation which had been removed from around our wooden hot tub as  it was dismantled. Horrified that they were ingesting this pink & white foam, I chased them away & removed the offending material, but this convinced me that chickens will eat anything, and therefore, can't be trusted to monitor their diet.

The only thing to do then, is to try to provide them with a variety of nutrients, especially in winter when there's not much to forage. Greens are super important, just as they are for you and me. I don't think they turn my eggs orange, but they DO contribute to their orange yolk color, which is why you don't see orangey yolks in your eggs from the store -- those hens are stuck in cages with their beaks nipped short and they don't get a diet containing fresh greens.  I have learned from others that you can hang a cabbage in the hen house and they will peck at it and it will provide them with greens for quite a while, so this week I will buy a cabbage for my girls!

Today, I made them some nice warm oatmeal with raisins - a first for them. They weren't sure what to make of it at first, but once they tried it, all of them were pushing to get into the bowl. Wilford Brimley would be proud!

I placed the oatmeal bowl in the tray containing their grit, which I leave out for them to eat when they feel the need. They can't properly digest things like chicken scratch without the grit.

So...Eat Your Quaker Oats!

January 1, 2012

2012 - Mild Winter

After worrying a bit this summer of how well our Girls would take to the snow drifts and frigid temps we have been known for in past years, I sit here writing this on January 1, 2012 with a high temperature today of 52 F!  January!  Temps in the fifties!  Needless to say, so far they are handling "Winter" just fine (though we do have a high wind warning, and snow may arrive by Tuesday). There was a day last week which was frigid for about 10-12 hrs.  It was 11 degrees and those Girls were NOT about to leave their cozy shack (and people call chickens stupid). Today though, they pranced about, playing with each other, running up and down over hill and dale. I took the time to snap a couple of shots.

Curious Gal

Our Silver Laced Wyandottes are good layers,
and the most daring & inquisitive of the flock too.
Oprah is so named for her bold nature and intelligence, and
that little bit of "bling".  I like to think she has
 chicken "life classes" in the hen house.

Fleet Feet
Unidentified black sex link hen running down the hill.