Follow our adventures

Follow our adventures as we raise a tiny flock of chickens in suburban Bexley, Ohio.
Our chicken bloggers include Tami Taylor, a Welsummer, and Tyra, a Jersey Giant.
RIP, Betty, Joan, Sally & Peggy.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thanks, Ryan, for the egg wipes!

Who knew there was a wipe product that I didn't already know and love?
Ryan dug up these babies in Granville yesterday. And they compost!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Sealing the escape route

In an attempt (so far successful) to seal off Sally's escape routes from the run, we've created an elaborate cats-cradle lattice over the taller structures in the run.  Even after we clipped one of her wings, she was hopping up on to the coop and then hopping onto the fence in order to get out.  The last thing we need is a chicken on the loose, but we also didn't want to permanently affix anything to house.  This was our compromise, and for $3 in string, it seems to be working.
It strikes me that this might work well for bird-of-prey proofing a smaller run.

Rabbit hutch

This photo is the rabbit hutch up close.  Again, this was totally unnecessary, but for $60, it gives the ladies something else to do.  And the busier they are, the less they hassle Sally.  Sally, BTW, has finally settled in pretty well.  Joan is molting and I think the power vacuum in the middle of the ranks has made things slightly easier on Sal.  Peggy is still #1 chicken in our back yard and she doesn't let the others forget it.  She's not the nicest hen, but I guess someone's got to be the boss.

Notice Andrew's ingenious chicken ladder (a board with wine corks nailed in for traction).  The ladder/board that came with the hutch seemed too steep for the ladies to give it a try.  Truth-be-told, they could hop in without a ladder if they wanted.  But they didn't want.  And we're suckers.

Chicken Hooverville

The chickens are back, full-time, in the fenced run on the side of the house. Their Shangrila of summer, with the run of the back yard, is over. Frankly, I was getting sick of hosing chicken poop off the patio. And in looking ahead to the winter, when hosing isn't an option, this just seems more sensible. The chickens have adjusted well.
There's a lot going on in the run these days. We've added a rabbit hutch as a second get-out-of-the-rain option (totally unnecessary, but we found it on Craigslist for not-too-expensive). We put out an old
chair and a roosting bar as vertical options. They like the chair quite a bit and largely ignore the roosting bar. We hung that one measly CD to mesmerize them with its reflections - they've started to notice it exists. They're getting more kitchen scraps, too, mostly to assuage our guilt. All and all it's so much better & I'm cleaning the floors in the house a lot less often.

Watching the magical CD

Someone on BackYardChickens recommended CDs as entertainment for chickens.  Ours seem not-terribly interested.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New screen door

Chicken landscaping

The most fun for a chicken is kicking all the dirt out of a garden
bed. It takes them about half an hour to undo whatever tidying up we
do in the back yard.
We're having some people over for a cookout tomorrow night & I'm
trying to decide of it's even worth cleaning things up today. Probably
we need to wait until 10 minutes before people come.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sally gets the run of the yard for a little bit

Sally is on the loose, getting used to the back yard for an hour or so before a brief introduction of all the ladies. She's eating all the grass! This girl can not get enough grass. She's scratching things up like a chicken will & doesn't seem stressed...yet. I'm sure there'll be drama when all three of them get together.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Joan meets Sally

Here Joan, who is not happy about the arrival of Sally into the yard, tries to peck at her through the wire. We're hopeful that a few days of exposure to each other will smooth the feathers.

Our new lady

Peggy & Joan got a new pal today: Sally the Golden Laced Wyandotte.
Joan is a Wyandotte, too, but silver laced. So far P & J aren't too
happy about it, but Sally is safely behind wire in her own little
make-shift pen. We'll keep them apart but visible to each other for a
few days, or until Joan stops rushing the gate.
Sally comes to us from Karen's family in Bexley. They got 6 chicks
early in the summer & are ready now to pare that down by a few. We're
thankful to get a healthy pullet who was raised with a lot of
handling. I think she'll be a good chicken.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Everything is a-okay.

Long time no blog.
The ladies have made a miraculous recovery after deeply mourning Betty (okay, so they didn't seem to notice, but it does seem much quieter out there).
What is noticeable to the hens and anyone else who takes a deep whiff, is that it's time to clean the coop. That's on the agenda for this weekend! The non-stop rain has kept things too wet for much composting -- that's my theory anyway. Maybe we'll take some action packed photos documenting the coop clean up. I know you're all (that's you Andrew) on the edge of your seats.

Friday, April 15, 2011

RIP Betty

Betty died tonight. We had just gotten home & found her struggling. Andrew told her she was a good chicken & then she literally keeled over. Poor Betty. Rest in peace.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Betty is ailing

Betty has been struggling for a few days now. At first we thought she was egg-bound, but if that was the case she'd be nearly dead. We're giving her antibiotics in her water in the hope that it'll at the least make her comfortable, if not help her get better.
Keeping her quarantined has been tricky but we don't want to megadose all the girls just 'cause Betty is sick.
This is the not-fun part of chicken ownership.
I also need to call animal control to figure out the protocol for what to do with a dead hen - just in case. :(

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Some visitors from the south

The ladies were visited by Sam and Colin yesterday. Colin almost climbed inside the coop, but Sam discovered an egg! Both youngsters went home to Cincinnati with an egg and, from the looks on their faces, enjoyed the tasty treats our girls give us every day!

Saturday, March 19, 2011


The Easter chicks have arrived at the TSC. So cute. Remember when our girls were as tiny? 
Now's the time to start thinking about gettin' a little flock of your own!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Girls gone wild

The ladies explored the back yard for the first time today. At first they were too scared to even cross the threshold from their run to the wide-open back yard, but Andrew carried Betty out to the middle of the yard and soon the other two followed. They seemed to enjoy themselves. Chickens don’t really have so many moves, so they were just doing their old scratch and scrape, but in a new locale. It was pretty cute, nonetheless. And the sun was shining and it was warm enough to be outside without a coat. After about 15 minutes they headed back to the compost heap. They had work to do.

Farmer Drew with Betty

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Amazing Chicken Head

A former student (thanks, Sam!) sent me this video demonstrating the amazing ability that chickens have to keep their heads stable when the rest of their body is on the move. It's kind of fantastic. Indeed, it makes me want to run right out now and try this with our girls.

Maybe if we get it together technologically, we will post a video of Peggy, Betty, and Joan doing this newest version of the chicken dance.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The chicken dance

There may be nothing as cute as a big fat chicken running at full speed. Voluptuous Betty likes to move -- but when she gets going, it's still just a power-walk. One foot is always on the ground. Often two feet are on the ground. Betty & I have a lot in common.

We had some more coop-visitors this past weekend. Kevin & Dori are considering some chickens of their own. Dori brought the most delicious vegan fig bars (seriously, the MOST delicious) that Andrew & I have been enjoying since Sunday. Get your own at the Clintonville Co-op where Dori sells her baked goods (or ogle the treats online). We're not sharing.

Also, we were finally able to share our egg-bounty with our immediate neighbor. We only had 6, but it felt good to share. We'll have to toss a treat to his dog Rocky, too, as Rocky has been on raccoon patrol since he came to live next door!

Finally, are you all excited about the new & improved Bexley Farmers Market that's only two and a half months from its opening day!? I know where I'm going to be from 4-7, Thursday, May 19th! Spread the word. Link to it on Facebook. It's going to be awesome.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More eggs!

Not only are the hens surviving the ice storm and the cold weather, but their egg production is up. Joan--always reliable Joan--has given us an egg every day for the last 8 days, but this morning there was an egg from one of the other girls as well. I retrieved Joan's egg this cold morning, and then, about an hour later, there was a second egg in the coop. It's nearly indistinguishable from the eggs that Joan has been giving us. Is it Peggy? Is it Betty? In the words of the authors of so many terrible philosophy papers, "Who's to say?"

Monday, January 31, 2011

Chicken visitors

In the past month we've had a bunch of neighbors calling on the chickens. I can't say the ladies are terribly gracious hosts, but they're fun to watch. Some of our visitors have been interested in getting a few chickens of their own so they're stopping by to see our set-up. Some are just curious to meet 'em.

Todd & Erin from the Local Matters Storytelling Project came by to get the skinny on the Bexley Ordinance process & to hear about how the chickens fit into our lives. That was fun. I feel like I could talk about chickens all day.

Speaking of chickens: We've also been letting them free-range a bit in the dog run which seems to take the edge off of their crankiness. They seem so happy when they're just scratching around. I could learn a thing or two.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

From cloaca to plate in less than 10 yards

We finally cooked up our eggs. Joan has been a champ--giving up an offering each of the last three mornings. Her eggs are about 2/3 the size of what you'd get in a grocery store, so we waited until we got a few, and then scrambled them up for "eggs in the basket".

Jessica blew out the eggs, so we have three eggshells for our scrapbook.

Jessica thinks I look like a PSA for eating a healthy breakfast. I think that she is enjoying her eggs a whole lot more than I am!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

OMG! An egg!

This morning we got our first egg & it's beautiful! And tiny! And perfect. Clearly we have highly intelligent chickens.  Andrew suspects this is Joan's because she was clucking with pride this morning.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We're legal

On Friday Amy Jennings, the Animal Control Officer of Bexley, stopped by to do the 'coop inspection' and sign the permit paper work. 
The inspection took 1 minute. She's just checking to see that the coop exists, that the chickens are living in humane conditions & counting them, as far as I know. The permit is our name, address, phone number, number of chickens, and a signature. That's it. Very simple. Columbus could learn a thing or two.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The lights are back on at Chicken Manor

Andrew figured out the extension cord situation in time for another cold, cold night. As an added bonus the extra light just might coax an egg out of these ladies.

Trouble in the coop

The freezing temperatures prompted us to hang a bulb in the coop over night. The ladies seem to like that, except then we blew out the extension cord. So now the electric water bowl is out of commission.
The snapshot is through the screen on the window 'cause it's too cold to go outside in pjs.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Lost their appetite?

The ladies seem to have lost their appetite. They've been eating about 1/5th of what had become their piggy norm. They're still all over the scraps we give them, but barely touch their food. What gives? Any chicken-folk out there that can set our minds at ease? Or do we have anorexic hens!?