Monday, June 28, 2010

I no longer "rule the roost"

Well, for the last week or so, I've been letting the chicken roam about as they please in the backyard. They are (mostly) unsupervised during the day, though I check on them often. They are now 7 weeks old. I've decided that although I would be crushed if a predator attacked one of them, I'd be even more crushed if they weren't allowed to live their "chicken-lives to the fullest". Each day they wander further and further from their coop...and so does their poop :). But our backyard is fully enclosed in a 6-7 foot fence all the way around, so they can't get too far. At first I was trying to keep them out of the raised beds, but finally I gave up. Eventually, I'll probably buy some movable fencing and section them off in various places around the yard. But for now, they are ruling the roost and backyard for that matter.
They seem to like the partial shade and rolly pollies that are in the raised beds.
Here's (from left to right) Savannah (Welsummer), Buffy (Buff Orpington), and Lucy (Barred Rock). They enjoy eating carrot leaves.

A close up of Buffy (the Buff Orpington). She's the largest so far and is the least interested in me and what I'm doing.

Here is Goldilocks (Ameraucana). She and Savannah like to fly up onto the arm of my chair and hang out from time to time.

Here is Lucy (Barred Rock). She likes to always run up to me and see what I'm doing. She loves treats the most! Sometimes she will fly up onto my knee, but she's not a fan of being held.

This is Bella (Brahma). She the smallest of the flock and is almost solid black, except for a few white spots. She's a curious girl and often does her own thing. She will let me hold her most of the time without squawking.


Tatyana@MySecretGarden said...

Cute, cute, cute! They look SO comfortable in your beds!

Curbstone Valley Farm said...

Jackie, your girls are looking gorgeous! I still have Welsummer envy...maybe next time. Don't worry about Bella the Brahma...she may be small now, but eventually she'll tower over everyone else.

Our 'retired' hens live out in our vegetable garden. For the most part they stay out of the raised boxes, but unfortunately though, I've discovered they're not smart enough to avoid eating tomato leaves. They seem rather obsessed. A few won't hurt, but they're not the best thing for chickens to eat. Hopefully you can keep your girls distracted with carrot tops. I scooch mine down the hill in the orchard...nibbling on tomatoes is the one 'don't-you-dare' in our garden LOL...and besides...we need help to weed the orchard!

Anonymous said...

I'd be worried about leaving them out alone at that size, but I'm a worrier. We have eagles and hawks in the area. I let mine out when I can be in the yard. When they get bigger, I will probably let them out more by themselves.


Rosey said... tender!

I so wish for chickens. More than a cat now.

Jackie said...

Clare, thanks for letting me know that tomato leaves are bad for them. Fortunately, they don't seem to be interested in those. But beans and zucchini are another story. I seriously can't believe that they eat zucchini spiky!

Rosey, all I can say is "chickens rule"! They are more fun than I ever imagined.