Fun and Games with Chickens

This post originally started with a little egg experiment however I've moved things around a little because our Harriett laid her very first egg today.  She was so proud.  After I collected her egg I went back outside with my i-pad for a photo and she jumped right up on the perch as if to say 'ahem, would you like a photo of me?  I'm ready.'

I'm proud of you too Harriett.

Yep, she is very clever indeed.  Now we just need to work on her landings.  She still comes flying out of the coop most mornings with feathers, wings, legs all over the place.  Dainty?  Oh no, not at all.  Love it though and wouldn't have it any other way, she's beautiful.

The traditional weigh in.


We now have four out of the five laying.  Candy is in no hurry whatsoever and well good on her.

These chooks of ours are teaching us so much on top of books and the internet.  One book we are really enjoying at the moment comes from the library called 'A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens'.

Our daughter gave the Rubber Egg Experiment a go.  She placed a raw egg in a cup of vinegar for two days.  The vinegar depleted the shell of calcium and we were left with a shell-less egg.  We were all amazed.

It was quite strong and very rubbery.


You can also place a chicken bone in vinegar which will soften.  Whilst it's soft you then tie a knot in the bone and let it dry and harden.  We will give this a try next.

Our daughter has also made one of the treats from the book which our chickens loved.  She spread peanut butter over a toilet roll and then rolled it through some scratch mix.  We hung it up in the run and the chickens were kept entertained for hours.

A fun little treat.

Didn't take long before curiosity got the better of them.

After just two hours.

Treats are certainly rare but I think once in a while for a bit of entertainment is fine.

Each morning they have their pellets for breakfast and then mid morning I either scatter grass and weeds I've collected from around the yard, veggie scraps from the day before and sometimes little piles of lucerne to scratch through.  Every few days they also have crushed eggshells mid morning.  Their main mid morning snack though would definitely be the greens I collect.  They hear me pulling them up and run up and down the run in anticipation.  They love them.  I also put them into little piles which gives them something else to do as I've read they don't like piles much.


Annie and Candy having a bit of a standoff.

Busy, busy girls.
 
Another option for mid morning instead of greens is pinata.  I remember their very first one which was a cabbage and it was a huge success.  Since then they have also had a cauliflower pinata.  I managed a photo at the very beginning however there was no trace of the cauliflower later except a teeny piece of core.  Another successful pinata and a good dose of veggies.

Oh the poor cauliflower - it was completely demolished.


Pinata seems to be one of their favourite forms of entertainment.  I like it too as they eat the whole veggie.  Broccoli pinata was also a success.

Candy was onto it straight away.

Another success.

I had only just been reading about giving chickens a whole pumpkin cut in half when I saw half a butternut pumpkin marked down as it was a little soft.  I placed it face down on a baking tray, baked for about 30 minutes and then gave it to the chickens.  They certainly enjoyed that one too.  Next time I may try using raw pumpkin and see how they go.


I was happy with that price.

They like their pumpkin.
 
Kitchen scraps are always gathered in a container and when I cook wholemeal pasta or brown rice for the chickens I mix the kitchen scraps through.  Sometimes I just scatter them on the ground too.


Chopped up kitchen scraps.

Pasta and veggies.


The pasta and rice dishes are always served just before their bed time.  Something warm and filling.  I always mix it up and give them as much variety as I can.  Some nights they have warm porridge with sunflower seeds.  Other nights it may be a scratch mix with grit or cracked corn. 

I really want to work on getting them a lot more little creepy crawlies to eat.  They have dried mealworms every now and then however I would like to see a lot more bug eating from around the yard.

So much happens in our very own backyard these days.  It really has come alive and I love being out there.  It's impossible to go out to the clothesline for the washing now without getting sidetracked by either Samson, the chickens or veggies.  I could easily spend a whole day out there and be kept busy.  Wouldn't have it any other way.










6 comments

  1. Goodness me, Kylie...your chooks are very well looked after. As I am still waiting for my new chook cage and run ours are let out in the morning until it gets dark so they have the run of the place. I have my veggie garden fenced off so they can't get in there otherwise they would demolish it in five minutes :-)

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    1. I would love to be able to free range our chooks. Just don't want to risk it with Samson, you just never know. Your chooks must be so happy having the run of the yard.

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  2. What spoilt girls Kylie! I love the toilet roll idea, and must try it. Your girls are just beautiful, and their little personalities are coming out.

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    1. Such big personalities. I still love watching your clip of 'Why I talk to my chickens.' I've shown the whole family. If your library has the book it has some great little ideas.

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  3. I always love reading your chook stories, Kylie. They are very entertaining, aren't they?

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    1. I'm so happy you're enjoying them. They are too entertaining at times as I keep getting sidetracked - in a good way of course.

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