Sunday, April 26, 2015

News from the Peeps - Week 10!!

Hi Third Graders!

Do you notice anything strange about this picture?? Look close, look really close ...

We woke up Sunday morning and they were GONE! Who?? The GIRLS!! They're ALL gone!! Just us boys hanging out in the garage coop now.

Nope, can't see any of the girls from up here! Meanwhile, check out how big we are getting!!

Now it's all combs and wattles, and a whole bunch of crowing!! So where are the girls anyway??

We're out here boys, right outside the window! We have our own outside coop & run now! It was a bit of a rough night on Saturday night ... someone came in the dark (we couldn't see who it was because we're night blind) and took us away. We woke up Sunday morning and we were in these strange new surroundings ...

It took us a little while to pluck-up-the-courage (get it, pluck up ...) to explore our new living space. The coop is very cozy, with a couple of roosting bars and a floor of fresh hay. Outside in the run there was a nice bed of weeds to start munching on, some dirt to take a bath in, and plenty of food and water. I think we're gonna love it here!

One of the pullets checks out the view from the roost!

Weeds, food, water, dirt ... what more could a girl ask for?!
EGG-UCATION - some people think that keeping chickens will increase pests (like rodents) and bugs and flies. Truth is that rodents (like mice) are frequently found near where people live, and if you leave pet food where they can get to it, then it might become a problem. But they might also be a snack as chickens have been known to eat mice! Some breeds are really good mouse catchers! Chickens also eat lots of insects and insect larva, such as flies and maggots, most beetle grubs, ticks, even stink bugs! They'll dig them up or chase the flying ones! Funny thing is, chickens leave most of the beneficial insects alone (like pollinators and insect predators.) They're pretty smart!

May the flock be with you!

Cock-a-doodle-cheep, cheep from your Peeps!

Sunday, April 19, 2015

News from the Peeps - Week 9!

Hi third graders!

Look at how much we have grown in just the last two weeks! The cockerels among us really stand out now, and many more of us are crowing, but it's not loud enough to wake anyone up - YET! We are now about half way to our full adult size - which should be reached around the end of June. Can you imagine that our combs (on top of our head) and wattles (hanging from our chin) are going to get bigger still?!

Henrietta the Pullet
Henry the Cockerel

We take turns flying to the highest spot in the coop (an old wall heater) and watching the flock from up high - this spot is about 4 feet off the ground!

When Mrs. P comes into the coop and sits quietly in the corner we are still a little timid, but a few of us will pluck up enough courage (get it?!) to fly up to her knee for a few moments to check out the view.

In the next week or so, we will move outside - the girls/pullets into a coop & run. The "coop" part is the "house" where we will roost at night and lay eggs in the day. The "run" is the fence-protected outside "yard" in which to scratch and play, and run around. The boys/cockerels will move into chicken tractors - they are a portable "cages" that can be moved around the yard, giving them an opportunity to feed more on the pasture (grass, weeds, bugs & grit)

EGG-UCATION - Did you know that 10 chickens poop less than a medium-sized dog? Our poop can be composted and used to fertilize the garden, but you can't do that with dog poop. And we make a lot less noise (at least the hens do!) How many of your pets give you breakfast (eggs) and help your garden grow??

Hens do not need roosters to lay eggs. A hen lays most of her eggs in the first two years, and then slows down in her egg production, laying less often, but the eggs may get a little larger. A hen can live around eight years, but after about 4 years she may not be laying more than half-a-dozen eggs a year, or even one egg a year (usually in spring!)

Marigold, Midnight, and their sisters Fancy Nancy and Cleopatra, now each lay about 6 eggs per week! That's around two dozen eggs each week in total. One of them has recently been laying double-yolkers ... check it out!

Left is a double-yolker, right is a regular sized egg.
Inside there are two yolks ...

Double-yolker eggs do not make good eggs for hatching, as there would not be enough room in the egg for two chicks to develop properly.

How many of your pets provide your breakfast?! YUM!

That's it for this week! We'll "cluck-in" again in two weeks, unless there is some really "eggs-citing" news to share before then!

May the flock be with you!

Cock-a-doodle-cheep, cheep from your Peeps!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

News from the Peeps - Week 7!

Hi Third Graders!

We hope you had a great Easter! Did you dye or decorate any white-shelled eggs? Those white eggs were probably laid by White Leghorns ... that's our family!!

So what do you think of our new brooder coop? Pretty cool huh?! We love all the space we have to run around and flap our wings. I think all the extra space is helping us grow even faster! We even have a dust bath (a dish pan filled with sand) and some roost bars.

The cockerels combs and wattles are getting quite large and turning from pink to bright red. And, you know how we didn't have tailfeathers for the first few weeks? Well, now our tailfeathers are longer than the pullets!! When we're fully grown, our tailfeathers will curve like a rainbow. The girls' tailfeathers will stick straight out when they are full grown.

The big news this week is ... drum roll please ... the first cockerel has started to crow! Check it out below ... be really quiet, and don't blink or you'll miss it!

We're still a little nervous around people, but if you sit quietly in the coop with us, we'll come up and check you out. Just don't move quick, or we'll run away in a frenzy!

See how handsome us cockerels are?      I think us pullets are prettier!        

We love it when the sun shines through the big window into our garage-coop. But as nice as it is in here, we can't wait to live outside ... we should have some new coops to move into in a couple of weeks! One for the boys, and one for the girls.

That's it for this week. May the flock be with you!

Cheep, cheep from your Peeps!