Sunday, 1 March 2009

The first day of the rest of their lives

The alarm went off at 5.30am, so that I could get up to sort the chickens out, but it was still dark!! I dozed for another half an hour, then got up. Grabbed a coffee, the chicken feeder full of food, the water feeder, full up and of course shadow, complete with an egg box!! lol. Off we went down the garden to the chicken coop, set the feeders down in place and opened the chicken house door. There was one hen with her back to us right by the door, they were all very quiet. I am now convinced they were all still asleep.

Kellie and I sat on the bale of straw and watched and waited for the chickens to emerge from the house. We didn't have to wait long, one by one they filed out and down the little ramp, where they started pecking around in the straw. All but two hens came out of the house and for quite a few hours those two stayed in the house with the occasional scuffle going on in the house. I think they were fighting over one of the nestboxes...the one at the back, it seems they both wanted to sit in that particular one!! Throughout the day we have been in and out of the coop, the bale of straw is no longer available for sitting on by us!! The hens have been jumping on and off it all day and also building nests with it. Late morning we had to go food shopping, so left the chickens to get on with it, but before we left Kellie made big nest out of what was left of the bale, saying to the hens 'you can lay an egg in there'. Funnily enough, when we got back one of the hens had laid an egg in the nest lol. Today, in total we have had five eggs, there may be a couple in the hen house, I don't know. We had a couple in the nestboxes, one in the house and two in the coop in the straw.

You learn something new every day!! I didn't know that when a hen lays an egg the shell is still soft until it 'dries'. Hence why one of our eggs has my finger dent in the end!!

Grant came home from his Dads' three hours early today as he was eager to see the hens. He came down with me when we put the hens to bed around 6.15pm. It was just getting dark then, its a good job we put them to bed when we did as by 6.30 it was pitch black out there.

Kellie was so tired today she fell asleep on the sofa around 5pm and we put her to bed not long afterwards, its been a busy weekend for her and being up at the crack of dawn this morning has left her knackered.

We have two wooden seats and a little table that fits in the middle round our apple tree. It is right under the bird feeders and is constantly being bombarded with bird poo. Today I turned it round to face the hens :o) Here I sat for about an hour tonight with a G&T watching them going about their business. Another sanding and painting job for me I think, it's looking very shabby! I noticed a couple of hens have peck marks on their bumper bits, hope they don't get too vicious with each other! I wonder what tomorrow will bring.....

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