Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chicken RV

First, I just have to share the latest photo of the baby chick born yesterday.  Is that not just the cutest thing you've ever seen?

Bon Bon and her baby chick
And now...if you recall, Jake ordered 55 chicks this spring to start his egg business.  They arrived looking like the newborn chick above...and now, as you can see, just five weeks later they look like, well, teenagers and they are ready for the great outdoors!

The chicken palace simply isn't big enough for everyone, so Jake and Rich designed and built a "chicken tractor" - which is basically a mobile chicken coop - or to put it in Joel Salitan terms:  an egg-mobile.  The plan is to move the tractor around the yard/pasture so the hens can have fresh grass and eat bugs to their hearts content - and thus provide us and others with super nutritious pastured eggs.  And so, let me present to you...The Chicken Tractor....

This mobile coop has 16 beautiful nest boxes with a door that lifts up in the back to gather the eggs.  It also comes complete with roosting bars and a predator-proof hardware cloth floor in addition to wheels that flip down when it needs to be moved.  The solar powered electric netting fence you see in the background keeps the chickens safe during the day as they free-range around the yard.  At night they go into the coop to roost and sleep, safe and sound.

Here's what the coop looks like inside:

Jake and Rich did a beautiful job, put in many long hours, and learned alot in the process which will come in handy since they need to build another one. One is fine for now, but as the chickens grow they will need more room to spread their wings...and lay their eggs. This may not be quite like the backyard palace our original flocks inhabits, but then again, we're sort of into the RV thing, ya know :-) If we can do it, so can our birds!

Speaking of RV's...we sold our big motorhome and bought a spiffy little camper on Criagslist that will serve us nicely for weekend trips - and more importantly - the county fair...but that's another story for another day.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Another Bendickson Baby

Another new little life made its way into the world today!
New baby chick emerging from shell
Bon Bon and Buttercup brooding their eggs
As you can see, we now have TWO broody hens. When Bon Bon "went broody", she climbed into the next box with Buttercup and tried to sit on the eggs too. So Jake moved some of the eggs to another box and she's been happily brooding them ever since. In fact, Bon Bon got the honor of having the first chick hatch. 

They are sitting on about 18-20 eggs total.  Given the fact that we only supplied them with 9 fertile eggs, there is bound to be some dissapointment in the nesting box.  Hopefully we see a few more feathered friends pecking their way into the world tomorrow.  We left the baby with its mama all snug and cozy and cute. 

More chicken news to come tomorrow...those 55 chicks are now looking more like teenagers...stay tuned!