Wednesday, 2 March 2016

The Chicken Diaries - Week 8

Another week passes! The chickens have been going well, they now go to roost on their own, and even when I let them free range, in the evening they go back to the coop and go to bed.

Everyone except Mary has been eating from the Dine-a-Chook feeder. We have been still putting food on the old feeder for her, and she has been eating well, as well as foraging for her own food.

It's getting hard to catch them for weighing and getting them to stay still!

Bubbles is so hard to keep still, but I managed to get a weight. Finally another chicken over 500g! Bubbles put on 88g this week, which is about the same as last week. Bubbles is very skittish and doesn't want to be picked up.

Cacciatore put on 79g this week, which is on par with her 71g last week. Just shy of 500g! She needs some coaxing now to come to me, but once she comes she still likes to jump on me.
Mary weighs 451g now, catching up nicely! She put on 88g this week as well, soon she'll be the same weight as Cacciatore! She is still the friendliest chicken, happy to be picked up and cuddled and manhandled, a good chicken for my son.

Look at Spot! 123g put on this week! He's been piling on the weight and he looks like a real chicken. He at least comes when fed to eat from the hand, though doesn't like being picked up still.

Now my new task is to try to get them to eat for the Somerzby feeder. The chickens are still scared of it and won't eat from it. It will take a few weeks of training to get them used to it, but Mary is still too small to eat from it, and I think I will wait till they are all over 500g before I start training them.

We also upgraded them to pullet grower feed. Phew, 20kg of feed! I wonder how long that would last.

I disposed of the fly trap contents into the compost bin, and I'm not sure that was a good idea. There were so many maggots in it, and I was afraid that they would take over the compost bin! I haven't seen any soldier fly larvae for ages, but the bin hasn't been taken over by fruit flies or house flies as far as I can tell. Unfortunately I put a lot of food into it lately and it's starting to smell a bit. Coffee grounds always make it smell a bit better, but I think I need a lot more carbon in it to get the balance back.

I started growing some grains for fun. I am trying to grow oats, wheat and barley. I've been following simple instructions - soak the seeds overnight, and then rinse them twice a day and make sure they are in a container that drains. After a week we should have some sprouts!

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