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!