Here is the happy couple.
The week after the wedding, our new chicken coop/house arrived. Mid-May I got five Rhode Island Red pullets. One chick died within a few day, most likely from shipping stress, and another one died a couple of weeks ago and I have no idea what happened to her. I found her dead in a box in the chicken run one morning. So, we have three pullets left. They are growing like weeds! The first week, I swear you could watch them grow right before your eyes. I would check them first thing in the morning and then throughout the day and every time I looked in on them, they were bigger than the time before. Once I moved them outside to their run, they grew quickly and it was a lot easier having them outside, rather than inside in a large cage (a lot less messy in the house!) They slept in a pet carrier in the run until we bought The Chicken Hilton for them. They wouldn't go into the new house so I picked one of the girls up and set her inside. She came squawking out of there like a bat out of you know where! Hmmm...so the first night they slept in their crate. I decided I hadn't spent all the money on The Chicken Hilton just so it would look good next to the run, so I removed the crate and put some of their food inside. They weren't buying it. So then I put a light in the house and they at least trotting up the ramp and had a look inside. Then, I got an ear of corn (their favorite treat) and broke it into a small piece and a larger piece. The small piece I dropped on the floor just inside the door. They all fell on it at once. I then set the larger piece all the way across the house on the floor and soon one at a time they came in and started eating the corn. Now they love their house and spend every night in it and are sometimes in it during the day, just chillin'. They are now 9 weeks old and look like chickens, not chicks. Rhode Island Reds should start to lay eggs when they are about 4 months old so they're about half way there. The chicken house has a nesting box attached to one side of it with three nest sections in it. We purchased a second nesting box that can be attached to the other side of the house at a later date when we have more chickens.
Here is The Chicken Hilton. I cut a section of the chicken wire from the run just large enough for the little door on the opposite side to flop down, creating a little ramp for them to use to enter the house. I stapled the chicken wire to the side of the house so nothing can squeeze through and get into the run or the house.
Here's how it looks with the second door open. I am not letting them out to free range yet as they still aren't big enough.
And here is how it looks from the other side of the run. Notice the chicks playing in their water pan. I put a paving brick in the center of the pan to hold it down and to give them something to stand on. They love to play in the water.
Next post I'll tell you about another recent addition to the ranch!