Our cornish crosses had their first outside adventure this week. It was time to change their litter so we took them out into our enclosed garden to wait while we (that is, Bill) made their home all fresh and clean. (I had to stand guard over the chickens and protect them from hawks. Or something.)
Being the lazy, unmotivated beasts that they are...all 15 chickens huddled together in one small part of the garden and just stood there. Eventually a few started pecking and investigating the dirt - and, of course, they pooed - but it was rather non-eventful.
They are cute though!
But they also appear a bit silly as they are growing feathers and shedding their down. It seems an awkward phase like adolescence.
It was a lovely day for chopping down trees. We removed this mulberry, which was pushing up the foundation of our garage.
Side note - isn't our garage h.o.t.??
We also chopped up this black locust as, apparently black locust leaves are poisonous to chickens and this tree happened to have the bad luck of living near our future chicken pen.
Despite the thorns growing from the branches, twigs and trunk of this tree, we are quiet enamored with black locust and plan to do whatever we can to help them grow in non-chicken areas of our property. Locust burns hot in our wood stove and this good-sized tree is only 20-25 years old.
This sort of wood pile (we have 6 scattered around), I'm not so in love with:
Sugar spent her day smelling the flowers:
Our radishes are growing!
And some random knitting...fingerless gloves from super soft alpaca my mom picked up at Rhinebeck:
Our chickens are a week old today. They've all made it and seem to be growing well, though one barred rock seems to have epilepsy (we have named him Chicken Caesar). His attacks are getting less severe, but we're not really sure what to do with him/her yet. We don't want to breed Caesar, which will be easy to control if he's actually a hen, but not so much if he is a rooster. To be honest, I don't really want to eat a chicken that has seizures either....
We have noticed a real difference in the breeds. The barred rocks are running around, scratching at the bedding, flapping their wings and being curious when we change their water and food.
On the other hand, the broilers (Cornish Crosses) don't really do anything. Seriously. They do...nothing. They lay on their bellies, eat and poop. Notice all the poop:
I changed their litter about 12 hours before this photo was taken and I washed their food tray this morning, because they poop on that too. I think they freak Bill out. He says they are unnatural.
They are also much bigger. They feel like actual chicken when you pick them up while the barred rocks feel like baby birds.
In further proof of the broiler's laziness...I put this one in the barred rock box to take photos. He was in the box for less than 30 seconds with all the chickens he hasn't seen for days, in a new, exciting environment and he did this:
Plop! The barred rocks were fascinated with him, but he just wanted to lay in a blob. They are growing fast, though and already need a bigger home. Bill is working on getting some electricity out to our garage so we can move them out there. With all their pooping it takes a lot of work to keep the smell away.