|Custom 'Chicken Ritz' by Peter Karsten|
I have really enjoyed the hens being near the house this winter. They are now more comfortable with me and come running when I go outside, so adorable!! I have discovered dry, Black Soldier Fly Larvae that are high calcium and desirable treats for backyard chickens. Two of the older hens now eat these special treats from my hand!
I had a larger, custom hen house built by Peter Karsten, he named it the 'Chicken Ritz'. This gives the hens much more floor space than the tiny portable house used in the garden.
|New paint job!|
|Olive Egger chicks at 1 week|
|'Peeps' at 4 weeks|
They love a hanging broccoli crown (tether ball style), or a few leaves of romaine lettuce or garden kale in their cage. As a team they aggressively devour it in no time. They have a small sand box for dust bathing and I give up trying to keep their area clean. I remove the mess and put in clean bedding, sand and feed, soon as those little chicken feet reach all that clean, they are scratching it everywhere ... not to mention the poop that goes along with all the food consumption!!
|Escapees!! Peeps, Two Step and Sylvester at 5 weeks|
At 5 weeks they are aggressive with food and treats and fly on top of the cage at every opportunity. I turned by back to fill the feeder, only to find 3 of them sitting on top of the enclosure! It seems their tails have grown overnight and Sylvester has feathers completely covering his outer legs and now has feathers growing out of his center toes. His little red comb looks like a tiny jagged saw blade. So I am quite sure there are 3 girls and 1 boy in my Olive Egger brood.
In a few more weeks ... or once they are fully feathered and no longer using the infrared brooder light, they will get moved into the Chicken Ritz and kept inside for a while to acclimatize to new surroundings.
This is the other side of the Ritz, with a double nest box and lid to collect eggs from outside of the house. And yes, that is a 'chicken window' in the door! I was surprised to find Peter had added this adorable feature. The house is raised 20" off the ground on 8" square cedar posts. This allows the birds to be outside but still sheltered from our 'Wet Coast' weather. It also gives them a place to dust bath. We are working on the chicken yard when the weather is dry. With rain today I finally had a minute to sit at the computer to send news of the chicks just in time for Easter!
Until next time ... Happy Easter, Bon Appétit ...stay healthy, be safe, wear a mask and take good care!