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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Catching Up

I apologize for not posting much lately but I've been pretty busy. Our daughter got married on June 25th in a beautiful outdoor ceremony in Manitou Springs, Colorado. The weather was perfect and the ceremony was very touching.

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! 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.

And above is a close-up of the chickens - sorry, they're all mooning us!

Next post I'll tell you about another recent addition to the ranch!


Pricilla said...

That is one fancy chicken house!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Pricilla: It sure is! That's why I refer to it as "The Chicken Hilton"! LOL Actually by the time we would have purchased lumber and supplies and spent all the time cutting, pounding, nailing, screwing, etc., we would have easily spent at least as much as we did on this house. So, we figured we'd let somebody else do all the hard work and we just took about an hour to put it all together.

Emma Springfield said...

Lovely bride. And that is the fanciest chicken coop I have ever seen.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Emma: Thank you. It is a pretty fancy chicken coop. I was ready to use reclaimed lumber and materials, which is what the run is made out of, but we decided to take advantage of a sale.

Janet at New Moon Glass said...

Pretty coop...beautiful chickens!'ve got it goin on all the way around!

Split Rock Ranch said...

Thank you Janet. We are most definitely blessed!

randomcreative said...

Congrats to your daughter! Good luck with the new chickens.

Sparkle the Designer Cat said...

Congratulations to your daughter! My human has been to Manitou Springs and she thinks it is a lovely, charming town and the perfect place to get married!

Split Rock Ranch said...

RandomCreative: Thank you!
Sparkle: Thank you. Your human is absolutely right!

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

pretty nice chicken digs- one beautiful bride.

Marie said...

Congratulations on the wedding! Beautiful picture!!

That is an awesome chicken coop. My sister, who used to have chickens before her divorce, would have serious coop envy! lol She eventually had eggs out the wazoo (the vegetable bins in her fridge were always full of eggs)and gave most of them away.

Split Rock Ranch said...

Sharkbytes: Thank you!

Marie: Thank you! The chicken coop is a huge step up from what our last batch of chickens had! They had an old dog house inside the run and their nesting box was a large crate tipped on its side and filled with straw. The dog house is now the goat house but I'm sure if I let the goats out of their pen and the door to the chicken coop open, I would find them in there instead! LOL

Anna said...

Beautiful couple! (Your daughter is absolutely stunning!) I wish them health and happiness.

I love your photos and story about the Chicken Hilton! You are such a good writer of animals stories. I have gone back and reread your posts about the new crias and the foster kittens.

When I finish moving and get settled, I hope I will be able to write more about Cajsa-Cat's kittens. My latest animal story is a short cat-obituary for Saturday Centus, Jenny Matlock's writing meme.

Best wishes & hugs,

Sigge says thanks-Anna's SC wk 62

Split Rock Ranch said...

Anna: Thank you! I went and read the story about Sigge and bawled my eyes out. I know he was old and lived a good life but with all that we've lost over the past few months, it makes me think of them and it still hurts so much. Hope you get moved and settled soon. I've been thinking of you and wondering how you're doing. I don't visit like I should to everyone's blogs. Once winter is here I'll spend more time on the computer!