Monday, November 3, 2008

Introductions...these are the Ladies

Ok....I think it is now time to introduce everybody to our little chickens.  We acquired these ladies a few weeks ago.  These ladies represent our second attempt at raising chickens.  Our first attempt ended over a month ago when all five of our birds were wiped out by New Castle Disease.  Turns out we acquired our chickens shortly after they had contracted the disease...so they spent their last days with us.  

These ladies are all fit as a fiddle.  Our chicken doctor raises chickens so he provided us with a few healthy birds from his flock in order to get started properly.  

Here they are:

This is J-Lo.  She is the bossy one.  She'll run and around and peck at the other ladies whenever she wants.  You can see that she is roosting right now.  All four of our ladies went broody at the same time...which the chicken doctor says is normal since they are all age-mates (sisters).  We made the decision that we wanted to have little chickens eventually and since they all went broody, we decided to get some fertilized eggs for them to sit on.  We only wanted one broody one though and we had to make the tough decision to which one would get to be a mama this time.  We consulted with our chicken doctor and he said J-Lo should be the one since she is the bossiest and she would be more likely to pick on the little chicks if somebody else was the mama.  So...here she is sitting on 10 fertilized eggs we got from the market (our ladies don't have a rooster so we aren't getting fertilized eggs....although we are still looking for that special rooster for them...just haven't found him yet).  

The side story is that since we only wanted one broody hen, we were told to dunk the other three in water...and that will snap them out of it where they will go back to laying eggs.  We tried that a few days ago...only to return home yesterday from Nairobi and discover that J-Lo is no longer sitting on the eggs....our other hen Goldie is!  So we may just let them all stay broody and figure things out as we go.  

This is Cleopatra.  She goes by "Cleo".  She seems the youngest and J-Lo picks on her the most.  

This is Ruby.  She looks a lot like J-Lo but J-Lo's tail feathers are much bigger.  

This is Goldie.  Goldie is the sweetest one...in my opinion.  She is the one sitting on the eggs now.

This is their home.  We made this chicken coop almost completely out of recycled materials that we scavenged.  So far...it has kept the hyenas out so we are quite happy with it although we have plans for an expansions when the new chicks come.  Our neighbors weren't sure how well the chicken coop would fare because it doesn't look great...but funcitonally it is tough.  The birds were laying 4 eggs a day for several weeks until they went broody....all within this coop.  The rumor is that if the bird is not happy in their home, they won't lay eggs....so we have over 40 eggs to testify to their comfort.  

If all goes well, the chicks will come 21 days from October 29th....around November 19th!
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