Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Strong Wind

Last night when my dad went to lock the chickens up for the night he left the water out and the water heater plugged in on purpose. He said it's only go down 30 degrees fahrenheit so we might as well leave it out since it's annoying to bring in. This morning when I went to let the chickens out it was extremly windy out. The water was frozen and the water heater wasn't on even though it was plugged in. The tarps, which had partly fallen from other days were now eithor complete off or hanging by one corner billowing in the wind. I tried to hook them up again but they just fell down. Since the water was frozen I brought it inside and gave them hot* water in a small container, while the ice in the waterer unfroze. I also gave them feed inside the coop incase they [the chickens] didn't want to come out.
Later my dad went out and got the water heater to work, apparently it wasn't plugged in all the way, and brought the waterer back out. He also got 2 big eggs. [which means they are both from the Black Sex Links]
What's strange is that one of the Black Sex Links keeps on laying in a different nesting box each time.

*hot water, so it wouldn't freeze as fast

Sunday, December 27, 2009

5!!!! [eggs]

5!!!! (eggs)

5!!!! [eggs]

Monday, December 21, 2009

All Laying!!!

No more confusion about which chickens are laying and which one isn't, today we got four brown eggs - none from Revena [we know she's laying] which means they're all laying!!!!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

The egg report

Lots of eggs!!!!!
We've been getting at least 3 eggs a day,usually 4.

There are usually:
-1 small white egg
-2 small brown eggs
-1 big brown egg
We know the white egg is from Revena [we think she's a Scicilian Buttercup]
We know that Black Sex Links lay bigger eggs than Rhode Island Reds, but we thought that both of the Black Sex Links were laying and only one Rhode Island Red, and if that were true we should be getting 2 big brown eggs and only 1 small brown egg which we are not getting, so we're a bit confused about which chickens are laying and which one isn't laying,but anyway, 4 eggs a day is great !!!!!

Snow Attack

Last time it snowed the snow stayed on top of the roof of the aviary, which is made of chicken wire, making it sag. Last night when we heard it was going to snow 7-15 inches we got worried that all the snow would accumulate on the roof and it would break. So at 4:30 pm we put up three 2x4's, each about 10 feet long, to make it stronger. We brought in the water heater so it wouldn't get buried by the snow.

The next morning when I went to let the chickens out there was snow everywhere in the aviary and it was still snowing. We quickly started shovelling. We hung up a couple of tarps around the aviary and one on top. We also put a piece of wood on top of 2 sawhorses up against the coop so the chickens could go outside but still be protected from most of the snow and wind. Still they only went out a little, mostly just to get a drink and some fresh air.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Revena Lays an Egg!!!

So far we've only been getting eggs from the two Black Sex Links, but this morning Ronit saw Revena in the nesting box and fifteen minutes later when I checked for eggs I found one in the nesting box Revena was in. It was interesting the different colors that the eggs were. Rovena's is close to white. The others are tan and speckled.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Egg Production Tracking

We are now keeping track of egg production with a Google spreadsheet. I've embeded it in the blog, but one can also view it at Google Docs.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Adding window, and a FOURTH egg!!!

Today we sawed out a rectangle from the hen house and nailed a window on. Then we cleaned it off, and painted it blue. Now when the chickens go in, to lay an egg, because it's cold out, or just because they feel like going in, it won't be really dark and unwelcoming. Then right after we got another egg!!!!!
Just got another egg. This one also was brown with white speckles.

Our Chicks

This is the story of the chicks we raised this past spring (April 2009)

By Miriam Glasgow

Finally we got chicks! Yesterday the Anisfelds got ten chicks,and today we went over to get five. We brought them home in a card board box walking ever so carefully, so the chicks wouldn't get scared. When we got home (we only live two blocks away from the Anisfelds) we quickly let up the light we had borrowed from my grandparents, switched the chicks to a bigger box and put in their feeder and water. We held them often, but tried not to hold them too much. I would bring them to the windows so they could look outside. They were so cute and as they got older, day by day, we watched them grow wings, feathers and learn to fly a little.

One warm day when the chicks looked a bit bored in the box, my mom suggested that maybe I could take them outside to the front lawn, so they could peck around, have more room and eat grass. At first I was scared they would run away, so I only brought them out when someone was with me, but after a couple of times I learned that the chicks liked being together and staying close to their home, so then I even went out with them when I was alone.

Then when the chicks were 3 weeks old, we went to our cousins in Philadelphia for Passover. We considered bringing them with us, but after about 5 seconds we decided not to. We would just give someone a key to our house and would have them take care of the chicks. We quickly thought of Phyllis a girl down the street who is good with animals. We asked her to come Friday, Saturday and Sunday,to give them food, new water, and switch the newspaper on the bottom of their box. She agreed right away, saying that she'd happily come asking where they'd be. We said the chicks would be in the basement and left to Philadelphia, confident that the chicks were in good hands.

Despite Phyllis's care, when we came back from Philadelphia, the chicks were very happy to see us. We moved the chicks back upstairs and day by day we turned off their light for longer amounts of time so they would grow feathers faster. Every day after school I would bring the chicks outside to the backyard until dinner time. I would sit out there and door my homework or read a book while they pecked around, occasionally running up to me to climb on my legs.

Then one Saturday afternoon I was outside with the chicks when my mom said I should come in to make challah for Shabbat. I felt bad putting the chicks back in the box and bring them inside, since I couldn't leave them out alone, but I also really wanted to make the challah. I didn't know what to do, but them my mom suggested that I put them in the coop outside, just until it gets dark. So I put them in the coop and went in to make challah. That Sunday the chicks were looking big and cramped in the little box. So we added on to the box and doubled it's size. We also switched their feeder with a bigger hanging one because their heads were getting stuck in the old one. At the time when we made te addition to the box, I thought it was good that we did it, but then a couple of days later we moved outside. It was finally warm enough and they had grown enough feathers to be outside. They were so happy to be outside after being in a box for the first five weeks of their life. They chirped all day and I was so happy for them. Then when I came home from school a few days later, my dad told me raccoons had eaten the Anisfeld's chicks. I was sad, but thankful that we still had ours. The very next morning my dad told me about the raccoon's feast. They had eater our chicks too. I was very sad, and was not sure if I ever wanted to raise chickens again.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

2 Eggs, and they tasted delicious

Two eggs today. Pictures to follow soon. We are wondering, how likely is it that two chickens both mature on exactly the same day? Or maybe one egg was from yesterday and we hadn't noticed it.

Miriam and I had fried eggs tonight. Bright yellow/orange yolks, and they were delicious.

I dropped Margalit off at the Leiter's house to get a ride to a Bar Mitzvah party. The Leiter's neighbors had more than a dozen windows at the curb to be thrown out. I grabbed a few, and tomorrow Miriam and I will install on the coop.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Chicken pix

I've added some pictures of the chickens at http://jasonglasgow.phanfare.com/4433689

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Subscribing to Miriam's blog

You can now subscribe to Miriam's posts on raising chickens. Just click the link below:

Getting Chicks

In late winter, eight months after we first got chickens from the Anisfelds, we decided we were going to get chicks ourselves. There were a bunch of other families who also wanted chicks, so we decided t have a "chicken meeting" at the Anisfelds. There were about ten of us altogether and we discussed chickens. First we talked about the rules surrounding chickens, like how far away your coop had to be from the border of your property. Then we moved on to the life of a chicken and continued to how to take care of chickens, like how much foods you'll need to give them, how many times a day you need to check for eggs, and stuff like that. Finally, at the very end, we talked in detail about how to take care of the chicks once we get them. We also debated if we should order chicks and then split them (you have to order at least 25 chicks at a time), or pick them up at Agway (a farm store) one family at a time. Then for the last 10 minutes we talked about when we should get the chickens. Near the end of the meeting, I got it into my head that maybe we could et chicks that same day, because it was Sunday. I mentioned it to my dad and got really excited despite the fact that he told me not to. For the rest of the meeting I bugged him nonstop for an answer whether we could get chicks that day or not.

After the meeting my dad decided to call Agway to see if they had chicks. Since they were closed and we did have the stuff we needed to take care of the chicks, my dada was fine with waiting and not getting them that day. I on the other hand wasn't fine with waiting to get chicks. For the next few weeks I kept on bugging my dad about the chicks. Everytime my dad told me he had ordered, the Anisfelds had ordered, he had called, the Anisfelds had called, Agway's reason why they never had chicks to sell us was that a lot more people wanted chicks (and chickens) this year. Then finally after at least three months the Anisfelds managed to get then chicks. The next day we went over to the Anisfelds and got five chicks.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Our Chicken Story

The first time we got chickens was in the summer. Dani, Margalit and I were at camp and the Anisfeld's were going to Israel for a month. They had four chickens and we said we would take them. So my dad built a chicken coop and we got their chickens. In the letters I got from home my parents wrote to me about the chickens, and when I came home from camp we still had them. I was interested in the chickens. I tried to hold them a couple of times but when the just ran away, I let them be. When the Anisfelds came back from Israel we returned the chickens. That was our first very good, delightful and successful time having chickens.

Almost a year later in early spring we got two young chickens from our neighbor's cousin. A week or two later the racoons ate them. We tried to get chicks from Agway, a farm store but whenever we call or ordered them, they didn't have any.

Finally the Anisfelds managed to get ten chicks and they split them with us. We had them for 5 weeks before we had problems. Then one day when I came home from school my dad told me the Anisfelds chickens had gotten eaten. I was sad, but very happy that we still had ours. The very next morning, my dad told me about the racoons feast. I decided I didn't want chickens anymore because all they did was get eaten. The only problem was that we had already agreed to take two of the Jackson's chickens, because they had too many. So once again, we re-inforced the coop (for the second time) and accepted the Jackson's two little chickens. They were cute but I did not want to get too connected, because who knew what could happen to them. On Sunday, two or three days later, I came downstairs and ask my mom how the chickens were. She said she sees one, so she assumes they are fine. I told her they probably are fine, but it isn't enough for me. So I went outside to only once again get upset over chickens. My mom hadn't lied. There was one little chicken,but she was standing there all by herself while the other one lay on her side beheaded. A week later we returned the remaining chicken to the Jackson's. That's when we decided that if we wanted chickens, we needed to build a whole other coop.

The next time we got chickens was earlier than we expected. We thought we would just get chicks in the spring, but we got chickens in the fall because our neighbor had chickens for the summer but could not keep them for the rest of the year. So in late summer we built a huge aviary because our old coop was not safe , and inside it put the old coop.Then right away we got one of our neighbor's chickens. (One of the reasons we only got one chicken to start with was because they were not sure that our coop was safe, so they only wanted to give us one at first.) A week later after we had proved that our coop was safe we got another chicken. Then a week or two later, we switched our old coop with a different coop designed like a dog house because it would keep the chickens warm in the winter. We had build this coop ourselves. Unfortunately, a couple of days later, the new chicken that we had just gotten died of a disease. The very next morning, my dad and I drove out to New Hampshire and bought four four month-old chickens. That is where we are now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Chickens, Chickens, Who's got the chickens?

This post is as much for me to remember where to get chickens.

Miriam and I finally reached Tom Doherty (978 392-1254) at 104 Providence Road, Westford, MA. He has a long gravel driveway and when we pulled up we noticed a two story garage and some obvious bird houses. Little did we know the garage was full of birds too. He seems to be the person to go to if you want chicks or chickens. He breeds them, and he raises them to sell. We got two black sexlinks and two Rhode Island Reds.