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Thursday, August 14, 2008

New Hens!

A few weeks ago we drove up to Sebastopol and brought back three young hens to augment our number of chickens. There are two White Orpingtons and one Australorp. The first week home we kept them in the coop to adjust. Now we let them out in the yard in the afternoons to search for insects and to snack on greens. They can fly and I've caught them in the plum trees eating ripe plums (they also love eating the plums that fall to the ground -- the ones we don't pick up in time before they are let out). The three new hens have formed a small flock and stick together pretty much. They are still adjusting to the three older hens, but the laying hen, Lacey, also hangs out with the new ones.

Friday, August 01, 2008


Today marks the second year blogiversary of chickensinthegarden! It is great to review past posts to see how things have evolved since we started raising chickens. We should celebrate this two year anniversary!!

This summer the chickens have been hopping the small fence we constructed to protect the vegetable garden. Lacey ate the first two ripe tomatoes this year, and they were ripe before the fourth of July. The fence is too short to keep out the hens, but it deters them sometimes.

Lacey has started laying again. We are getting about one egg a day. Two weeks ago we drove up to Sebastopol and purchased three young hens, about 13 weeks old. They are two white orpingtons and one Australorp, a black hen with some green sheen on her wing feathers. Australorps hold the world record for number of eggs laid in a year, I believe it was 364. These young hens should start laying towards the end of August to mid-September. After about a week, we started letting the new hens out in the afternoon, as we do with the older hens. All six hens run to the fresh plums that have fallen underneath the French prune plum trees. I try to pick up the plums before the hens get there, but there are always some left for them. The plums are ripening quickly now; if one touches them on the tree, they fall off in your hand.