Mom, Wife, Chef, Gardener, Dog Wrangler, Mom, Writer, Friend, Daughter, Sister, Mom, Creative Problem Solver, DIY Chick...figuring out life one day at a time.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Mom/Chicken Farmer: teenage mutant ninja chickens

Okay, not really. But at four weeks old, our chickens are officially teenagers, and like teenagers everywhere they are noisy, eat a lot, and they stink. We have to go down three times a day to give them new food, which may have to do with the fact that half of them are Cornish Crosses, meaning they are genetically engineered to eat and gain weight fast, but still, they eat a lot.
They are big now, and starting to lose their down and grow in their big chicken feathers, which makes them look weird and patchy.
What do you think you're looking at?
Also, something I was not prepared for since I didn't grow up around chickens or anyone who had them, was how strongly they smell. Their first day with us we had them in a large side closet in our house, this lasted exactly 24 hours. By that time we were all sneezing, had itchy, watery eyes, and were begining to second guess this whole chicken thing.
So down to the basement they went. This has worked out better, though after two weeks they started  smelling strongly enough that you could smell it in the house. Now it is bad enough that I am keeping windows open as much as possible during the day to air out the house. This is after we already change out the litter and clean their cage every other day. Needless to say we are getting tired of this. On my husbands next days off we are going to run electricity out the the shed cum chicken coop and get those smelly birds out of the house. Sadly it is still getting down into the 20's and 30's at night here so they have to have heat lamps out there. Also, another reason they have to get out to thier coop is that they are getting too big for their cage. Our large breed dog kennel was once plenty big for 15 chickens, but no more.
crowded chicken jail
So, chicken raising has its downsides, but I am still optimistically looking forward to our very first freshly laid egg and our first home grown chicken dinner.

No comments:

Post a Comment