No Favorite Child but Definitely a Favorite Chicken

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Okay.. today I’m doing a post for my small but loyal group of crazy chicken lovers so for today the rest of you get to put up with another one of my random pointless chicken posts. 🙂

Lately I have been too busy to even enjoy my chickens. I traveled twice to Boise, both times coming back to a tornado of a house to clean. [HUSBAND HACK – IT WASN’T THAT BAD AND SHE DID LEAVE  ME ALONE WITH THE KIDS FOR 9 DAYS] This and trying to catch up on blogging, facebook, kids school conferences, church responsibilities, and more has left little time for my chickens. I have my kids gather the eggs, and I clean out the coop once every few weeks (or when the poop gets out of control). But I haven’t been able to sit and just watch them – which is one of my favorite joys in life. Unless you have chickens you might not understand what I am talking about. I mean..have you seen chickens just come running to you? It’s friggin hilarious.

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Here they come a running! My biggest concern now is dealing with the cold weather for the first time.

I haven’t added any heat to the inside of their coop yet…but I  have plans to take their heat lamp and add a regular light bulb to the inside of it. I fear adding the actual heat bulb would be too hot for them…as they seem to be doing great right now with nights getting into the low 40’s. Problem is I need to cover the light up so they don’t think it’s daylight at night time. OR a nice gal told me yesterday to use a red bulb (thanks!!)   Either way, I have just gotta figure this out soon.

The truth is…these chickens have grown some new feathers for the winter. Either that or they are just getting really fat. Who knows..they may have gotten a little overfed while I was gone. Hee hee.

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By the way Miss Ginger is still the favorite.

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She is just the sweetest chicken and comes right up to us.

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She makes the cutest chicken faces…I mean come on…

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She is totally a “pet” and has earned her way into our hearts. I don’t think we could ever eat her after she stops laying. In fact I don’t even want to think about that. I don’t know what I will do with these chickens after they are done laying. If I get my homestead I will just let them free range till they die I think…[HUSBAND HACK  – YEAH RIGHT. THE ONLY THING THEY’LL EARN IS A WAY INTO MY BELLY]

As for the other chickens Miss Lacey is the head honcho.

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She has to carry the burden of being a leader..thus the mean-I’ll-peck-your-eyes-out look. It does mean she gets to eat first every time there is something new to eat. Then Ginger and Goldie are about equal on the pecking order, so they get to eat with Lacey most of the time.

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But poor poor Pepper is still at the bottom of the pecking order.

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She is constantly trying to eat when they all do, but she has to sneak it and face the wrath of being pecked.

At my house I am totally the mean police so it really bugs me to see the chickens pecking on Pepper. But chickens don’t really understand being naughty. I can shout at them to stop and they don’t even understand at all. So I often just throw some extra treats for Pepper to eat away from the others.

Some facts about my little urban chicken flock:

  • My four chickens are around 8 months old now.
  • They all come out of the coop in the morning when the sun starts to come up – around 7:30am.
  • When it gets dark they all march up into the coop at around 6:00-7:00pm.
  • They are all still laying eggs even Pepper who was recently broody. I usually get 2-3 eggs a day.
  • They all still love eating grass in the yard, bugs, all kinds of food scraps and enjoy being out of the coop.
  • I am starting to not enjoy cleaning the poop out of the coop as much. Newness wearing off.

Thanks for letting my share. For those of you with chickens…what are you doing to them warm this winter?

You might also be interested in these other posts about Chickens & Homesteading:

12 Comments

No Favorite Child but Definitely a Favorite Chicken was last modified: January 31st, 2014 by Karrie

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Comments

  1. I just love your little flock! Like you, we use a heat light in the winter, usually a red one. Also, they get a more fatty seed mix as opposed to just regular old pellets.

  2. Deanna Moseley says:

    Karrie, I just love your blog, but more than anything I love to hear about your chickens. I too am a chicken lover and have 1 rooster 2 laying hens and 10 young pullets…We’ve been through a round of “learning” since last year and lost many to racoons and a few to one mean rooster that is no longer here. Anyway, I understand what you mean when you say you get pleasure and therapy from just sitting and watching the chickens. We live out on 200 acres in Texas and I love nothing more than to sit around and watch my chickens. It is mesmerizing and so relaxing. I am going to put a heat lamp in my coop also because we had our first freeze last night and my chickens don’t seem as fluffy as yours. I did the “redneck” thing and insulated their coop with vinyl tablecloths and covered that with cardboard (used a staple gun and it works nicely). It did make a difference in the coop, but I still feel like they need some heat. I picked up a Chicken Facts flyer at Tractor Supply and it talked about molting and that if you put an artificial light on a timer about 1 to 2 hours in the night dark or early morning dark, the chickens’ biological clock will not go into molting and keeps them laying…not sure but haven’t done much research…Keep those chicken stories coming 🙂 Also, I love your homemade recipes. I’m using the dishwasher and laundry detergent recipes now and love them.
    Kerrie, may God bless you and your family.
    Blessings,
    Deanna Moseley
    in Texas

  3. I flippin love the chicken stories! I used to have chickens too and would sit outside in the hammock and just watch them. Great de-stresser!!

  4. I actually have two lamps in the coop…One red heat light for the night hours and one clear light for the day. We have a very long cord that runs from the garage to the coop. So when I go out so open them up in the morning, I switch lamps and vice versa in the eve when I put then to be. Just one more thing on the list to do. Eventually we will have a solar pannel on the coop roof that will be able to power the lamps themselves…or at least that is what the handy hubby promissed.

  5. I have about 40 chickens now. And a rooster. We have three heat lamps in the barn for them, although only two are on right now as it hasn’t been too cold yet, only about -10 C. We are going to insulate it yet again but last winter we insulated with straw and cardboard. Unfortunately we didn’thave enough cardboard for the whole barn so they destroyed the cardboard along with the straw, but if you can do the whole barn, they don’t bother it much. And its plenty warm for them, we had it around +10 on the inside and that was perfect for them and we got eggs all winter long!

    • Deanna Moseley says:

      Hi Stephanie,

      Sounds like a lot of chickens…glad to hear of someone else insulating with cardboard…it really does work. I did our small coop with vinyl tablecloths first stapled to the inside walls (with the fuzzy side inside and vinyl facing out) and then I stapled cardboard over that. It was amazing and so much warmer. Heat lamps are next in line for my coop. Thanks for sharing and be blessed 🙂 Deanna

  6. Jessica Flower says:

    Keep the chicken stories coming cuz i love them. I completely understand how adorable chickens are when they run to you. I had 4 chickens yesterday morning and then a in the neighborhood got my favorite hen. 🙁 I put a tarp over my A- frame coop and staked it down and its held up pretty nice even on our Windies days. (I live in Umatilla so you know i know how windy it gets here lol). I have a red light heat lamp in there and a homemade cookie tin heater keeps the water from freezing. I’m going to try insulating the coop with cardboard now.

  7. I love reading about chickens as much as I love watching ours. We have opted to not have heat in our coop. Insulated the hen box with high density foam insulation when building the coop and put up a vapor barrier under the cedar planks to keep out the rain, during fall and spring we get rain going sideways. In the open part of the coop we have stapled up 6mil plastic 3/4 way up to give wind barrier and dry space for the chickens to ride out the wet weather. The floor of the open coop has sand so we put down straw for an insulator to keep them toasty warm when they are up.

  8. What kind of breed is the gold and black one? She is so pretty.

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