This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

my new chickens

This is Ginger, my Araucana chicken. She will lay blue/green eggs! ginger - an araucana chicken IMG_5433

And this is Penny, a Black Australorp. She is supposed to be very easygoing, a very good layer of dark brown eggs, and will have black feathers with green highlights. penny -  a black australorp chicken IMG_5448

And last, but not least, Bertha, a Light Brahma. She will be BIG and hardy, and beautiful and will lay a few light brown eggs now and then. bertha - light brahma chicken IMG_5447

All three are between 18 and 22 weeks old. Pullets. Right now all are the same size, about as big as a large pigeon. When full grown, Ginger will be 5-6 lbs, Penny will be 6-7 lbs, and Bertha will be huge: 10-14 pounds! I am looking forward to their eggs.

Suzie keeps an eye out over the flock. I'm working on training the two dogs that these are pets. Copy (2) of IMG_5462



Blogger Connie said...

They're so beautiful. I am curious to see how they get on through the winter. I wonder if they'll spend much of the day huddled inside.

November 23, 2013 12:49 PM

Blogger Lara said...

You have chickens! Wonderful!!

November 23, 2013 1:56 PM

Blogger Pam said...

Boy, you are having fun! I'll be interested to see how your chickens do, whether one breed is easier or preferable than the others. Nice coops!

November 23, 2013 5:56 PM

Blogger kathy said...

They spend the nights huddled together already. They seem to vie for space next to Bertha. Right now Ginger, the smallest, is snuggled into the middle position.

Its going down to the 20's tonight with an unusual fall cold snap, so I have a heat light on and may leave it on all night.

For a few nights, I tried throwing a tarp over the coop to reduce draft, but the humidity went up so high that I removed it. Chickens add a lot of moisture to the system....

The girls had their first experience of free foraging in our yard this afternoon. As a novice chicken keeper, I was wondering how easy it would be to get them back in their coop. They wandered and scratched close to the coop for about an hour. I did some raking while they did their thing. Then on their own, Ginger and Penny went back into to coop to nap. Poor Bertha couldn't quite figure out how to get back in (OMG!). So I herded her gently with the rake. Pretty easy, and she was happy to be back with her flock.

For now, I'm keeping the dogs in the house when the chickens are out. Later, I'll see if oil and water can mix.

November 23, 2013 7:32 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hope you'll blog about the dog/chicken training process. I'm hoping to get chickens in the New Year and have a mini schnauzer who probably won't try to EAT the chickens, but will almost certainly want to chase them. A lot.

November 23, 2013 8:33 PM

Blogger kathy said...

I'll certainly blog about the dogs and chickens, but I think a lot will be specific to the dog breed and the chickens and their yard.

Today I let the hens out free in the yard with the dogs in the house, because I had no idea how easy it would be to herd 3 chickens back into the coop. Yesterday I let the hens out in a pen as I had no idea how flighty they were. My conclusion so far: the hens are very manageable, and are gradually getting more used to me. They tend to stay near the coop and that's where they tend to run if there is a threat - like me with a rake. So far, so good.

November 23, 2013 9:22 PM

Blogger Goneferal inidaho said...

It looks like you have a really nice coop. I love the chicken idea and hope that we can have some one day. (don't tell my husband, but I already have a spot for them picked out).

November 24, 2013 1:10 AM

Blogger kathy said...

That's so cool goneferal. I won't tell!

November 24, 2013 10:34 PM


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