Fresh Air, New Homes and Names!
Lots of chicken developments here on the Hawthorne Urban Farm!
We have a little roo!
Based on input from the very knowledgeable group at BYC (Backyard chickens) we determined out of our 8 chicks, one was a boy. I reached out to Cheryl, who we purchased him from, since she had mentioned she knew someone who could take roosters to live on a large farm. Turns out he would need to be 4 months old (and thus, big enough to fend for himself with the other roosters) before we could take him there. While it was good to have that as a back up, I wanted to try to find a home that would take him sooner since he could start to crow before 4 months. I posted to the Silicon Valley chicken group and one person, Jessica, offered him a home so long as he isn’t too aggressive. And not just any home, but a home where he’d get to live a long life free-ranging with lots of hens and a few other roosters. I was ecstatic. Our little boy was going to have a nice life! We drove him up to his new home on Apr 30th and met Jessica, his soon to be new mom, and she seemed very warm and caring. The chickens have a ton of space and all seemed very happy. Even the very friendly Doberman and outdoor cat were lovely. I think he’ll be very happy there.
Time to move outside
We decided they were big enough and it was warm enough to move the girls outside for good. In preparation for the move, we had been bringing them out to their run for a few hours a day when it was warm enough to help them get used to it – they clearly loved being outside already. On Apr 30th, we brought them all out and placed them in their coop. They quickly made their way out into the run and began doing chicken things. Amazing how instinctual everything is for these little ones, they seemed very at home looking for bugs and exploring everything.
They seemed to be doing really well even as it began to get cooler. So at dusk we collected them all and placed them in their coop again. We knew we would have to do so the first few nights till they figured out that’s where they should sleep. It took 5 nights, but then finally, one evening they all went into the coop on their own! It was amazing. So now all we have to do is go out a little after 8 pm to close their coop door and put their food bowl in our garage to minimize other critters interest in their area. It’s working out really well. We did realized we they are still a bit too small/young to roost on the bars in the coop, so we placed a couple left over patio stones in the coop on which they sleep. The still like to sleep in a big pile, it is super cute. And it is also very funny to see them pop their heads out of the coop door in the morning when we let them out. They love being outside and I love having our guest bathroom back and no more chicken dust in the house.
To help take the chill off of the few cooler mornings, I’ve made them some warm breakfast, a little warm oatmeal with organic kefir and some of their feed mixed in. They absolutely love it! What a difference between feeding chickens who seem to love everything you give them and toddlers! They have also now enjoyed swiss chard, strawberries and a little banana, in addition to other outdoor treats like clover, grass and raspberry bush leaves.
Here are the names we have so far… (3 down, 2 more to name)
Niki (aka Nikita) – the Barred Plymouth Rock
As in La Femme Nikita since she is such a dare devil! She was the first to escape the brooder and has always been extremely curious and seemingly smart. She is also very bold and friendly with us. I think she’d hang out with us all day if she could.
Olive – The Easter Egger
Olive is Jeromy’s favorite chick, she has been since the beginning. She is fast and very nibble, darting her way quickly under, over or around anything in her path with great speed and agility. So we looked at names in the Porsche family, and landed on Olive (using the middle name of Ferdinand Oliver Porsche). Funnily enough, she may lay greenish eggs.
Waffles – The Wheaten Ameraucana
My brother has long thought Waffles would make a great pet name, and offered it to us since he thinks it’ll be quite a while before he gets one. We took him up on it since she is actually a bit waffle colored!
We said goodbye to 2 chicks who went to their new home in San Jose
It was always the plan to rehome some of our chicks, and last Saturday, 2 of our girls went to their new home – the lighter Mottled Java and lighter Wheaten Ameraucana. We feel very fortunate to have found what seems to be wonderful owners for our girls. They built a very cute coop from scratch for the girls. And promised to send us photos and updates!