Sunday, June 29, 2008

New Afternoon Chicky Digs

DSr helped me corner off a section of the garden for the chickies. Can't leave them out there at night, but they can hang out during the day when there's a person to check on them every hour or so. It is about 12 ft x 12 ft, so that gives them some space to stretch their wings. They'll have to come inside at night, though, as it still is pretty cool at night for them. Still, if they can be outside for 5-8 hours a day, that will be good for them.
Hard to tell, but the lead chicky to the right had a piece of tomato and the others were giving chase. (By the way, don't forget, you can click on the picture to see a full sized view)
This is the little lame girl taking a nap in the sun. I think she likes the sand - it's easier for her to balance on when she hops around on one foot. She's pretty good at the hop-fly-a-foot-hop method of getting around, though, and while everyone else was chasing eachother trying to steal tomato pieces from eachother, she quietly took her piece to a corner and ate in peace. She seems to be competing for food, water and a comfy spot to sleep without any trouble. Even if she never lays an egg, I don't see any reason she can't continue to remain as part of the flock.


MeadowLark said...

Just wandering through and found you via a search for "high desert" and "edible weeds" (sorry!!!!!)

Completely unrelated, High Desert Diva lives about 30 minutes from me and we've talked about doing a plant exchange. Small world!

Anyway, take care and keep gardening!

KMU said...

Well, there are a number of photos of weeds in my May 2008 posts, but mostly right now I am preoccupied with lots of babies. I don't think that any of the weeds are edible, though :-) Garlic and peas are done, tomatoes are bushing out and the first sunflower bloomed today - but these are the dog days of summer and there really won't be any real activity for another month when the squash starts coming into its own and more sunflowers bloom. It's a good time to have chickies.

MeadowLark said...

As far as chickys go, do you have a problem with hawks or other birds of prey?

KMU said...

Being that we are in a very rural area with a large state park within 2 minutes drive, we do have a lot of hawks out here. My mutt dog has "adopted" the chicks, however, and takes his naps next to the chicks (outside the wire). They also have the top half of a large dog "crate" to run under when they get scared (which on Day 1 Outside was every 10 seconds!). I thought about covering the top with chicken wire(which I may still do if they start flying out), but the temporary pen is not stable enough. By the time their permanet home is completed, they should be big enough to not be so tempting the the hawks and such.

Oddly enough, we have sea gulls here in the desert (there's a lake near by), and I am told that they are worse on the chicky population than the hawks - because they aren't afraid of people and people related things like dogs.

Somehow I ended up with 28 chicks (ordered 25; the hatchery sent 29. No idea why one died on the 2nd day, but everyone else is doing well, including the two I thought were not going to make it). I was going to advertise and give some away, or put some in the freezer later, but now I am attached to them all. So, as far as the "eating home grown chicken" part of self-sufficiency, well, I guess that isn't going to happen any time soon. Eggs, though. That will be good.