Whew, noticed I have not posted for over a month! You will see by the pictures though my husband and I have been busy. The garden has been planted, and with all the rain we have had, it has really grown. We have squash, beans, corn, okra, tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes. This picture was taken about a week ago, and already the beans are ready to be staked and run up a tee pee.
My three hens have returned after a 3-4 week absence (I thought the possums had surely gotten them) with 23 new chicks. Thelma and Louise are below. Emma was no where to be found for the picture taking.
My hen Rosa (in the picture below) has been with me for 2 years. She is the only hen who has survived for this long. I raised her in the kitchen until she was old enough to go out. We have had a total of at least 10 hens and 5-6 roosters, but since they are free range, they tend to “disappear”, either by way of hawks or possums.
Poor Rosa, due to my ignorance, was without any eggs of her own. I saw 7 eggs laying out in the yard and thought my hens had laid them all in one day. (That was my first mistake, I only had 4 hens, and I don’t think they would have laid 2 eggs a piece that day.) At any rate, I placed them in the refrigerator before noticing that Rosa had built a cozy nest in the clean out space in our chimney outside and they had rolled out onto the ground. After realizing my mistake, I placed two refrigerator eggs under her. She didn’t know the difference. I then obtained 3 eggs from a friend who has Buff Orphington hens. (Rosa is a banty Buff Orphington) Gently placed under her, she continued her vigil. Eggs are supposed to hatch after about 21 days. All my other hens paraded their chicks by Rosa daily. She continued to sit, and sit and sit. After 4 weeks I was just about to take them from her, and discovered she two baby chicks just hatched out.
My plans are to now build a chicken pen to house my chickens. I have heard that if you keep them in for about 2 weeks, they will return each night after free ranging all day. That is my goal so that they won’t roost in different trees, across our busy road etc. Also, I don’t have to search high and low for eggs. Hopefully they will lay in their hen box.