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.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

chickens and eggs

fresh eggs IMG_7005 We are doing some renovations upstairs of our new house where there's a good view of my chicken coop. The construction crew tells me they've seem a big red tailed hawk fly down and perch on my chicken coop a couple of times.

Of all places! Can't he perch on some bird feeder or a random small tree?!! He might as well put in his order for a chicken lunch!

The red tails out here are BIG! I've been impressed. They must be better fed than the ones in more urban Belmont. Stronger and better fed.... and able to carry off large chickens for lunch....

Usually, I let me hens run free an hour or so in the afternoon sun. After this conversation with the construction guys, I only let them out briefly today when I could watch them carefully. The problem was, it was such a nice day and the girls really wanted to run for a while. After 20 min, I started trying to get them back into their coop and it took me a good 20 min. They did NOT want to go.

So, the eggs in the picture above are what the hens lay in about 5 days now. Since all 3 hens are laying, finally, I usually get 6 brown eggs per week from Penny (Black Australorp), 5 blue/green eggs per week from Ginger (Auracana), and 3 giant pink eggs a week from Bertha (Light Brahma). Bertha has just started to lay. So that's 14 egg a week. Plenty for us, and we're giving some away to anyone who leaves a car with open windows on the driveway ;-) Tomorrow I'm planning to make mushroom quiche, and then, Friday for guests, I'll make some deviled eggs of all different sizes.

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Blogger Cathy Miller said...

We have Cooper's Hawks and Redtails at the Jersey Shore. I always let my 3 hens out around 2 in the afternoon for some free ranging time. When it gets dark, they go back into their house all by themselves. The hawks aren't interested in hens. However, I did see one grab one of my koi fish yesterday. All the fish are now hiding at the bottom of the pond but are so big and brightly colored that they are simply sushi to the hawks.

April 03, 2014 7:29 AM

Anonymous Amy said...

Put Skippy on the job! He should keep all the bad guys away.

April 03, 2014 5:30 PM

Blogger kathy said...

A friend of mine had a red tailed hawk drag off a full grown chicken off last fall. Our red tails are pretty big up here. Everyone protects their hens from the hawks here. I'm planning to build a light weight, movable chicken wire run for them to get some extra foraging time this summer.

April 03, 2014 6:08 PM

Blogger M Graham said...

Yeah, be careful! We only lost one chicken to a hawk but she was a standard size hen.

April 03, 2014 9:37 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did you heat the chicken coop in the winter?

April 06, 2014 5:44 AM

Blogger kathy said...

I had a ceramic bulb in the coop and turned it on when temps went below about 15 or 20*F. It was a really cold winter here.

April 07, 2014 11:20 AM


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