Chick Days – 14 weeks old

This week we got the chicken wire on top of the chicken run area finished. We were holding off on doing this last strip while we brainstormed on how to do the section at the gate, since there was nothing to attach it to there. Barry came up with the genius idea of stringing a cable and attaching it to the end post. It worked out perfectly.

Now the entire chicken run is covered, which keeps the chickens in and protects them at the same time. We used zip ties to attach the strips of chicken wire together and to attach the wire to the top rails of the fence.

The chickens got some more treats this week. When they see me get the blue “treat” bowl out, they all stand by the gate waiting to see what I’ve got for them.

This week their new treat was grapes and they were a hit!

Every time I introduce a new treat there will be one brave soul who will come over to check it out. Then everyone else comes running.

Barry also decided to trim down the bushes in the front part of the run area to give the chickens a place to run around. The back half is all shady for them still, and they seem to really enjoy the new open area. They like to run back and forth and jump up into the air and flap their wings.

The chickens continue to grow. I don’t think they’ve changed much in size, but their combs on top of their heads and wattles below their beaks are getting bigger and redder.

My father-in-law told us that when they get ready start laying their combs will turn bright red. Since the chickens are getting close to starting to lay (usually 18-20 weeks), it is time to start training them on where to lay. Do you remember the nesting box we installed in the chicken coop way back when?

We do actually intend for them to use that at some point. It’s sole purpose is a place for them to lay their eggs. Usually chickens will lay one egg per day. We have to train them on where to lay, so that they don’t choose their own “safe” place to lay their eggs. This is done by putting an egg-shaped object in each of the nesting boxes.

I used rocks from our front yard that are oval-shaped. Like most training, they may not catch on right away. They may first lay them on the floor in the chicken coop, but within a week they should start laying up in the nesting boxes.

I am using rocks, but any egg-shaped or round object is supposed to work. Some people use golf balls and others will use plastic or wooden eggs. The idea is that they will think there’s already an egg in the box, so they will want to lay their egg there as well. Hopefully it works out!

What new thing(s) did you learn about chickens this week?

11 Comments

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  1. I learned a lot of new things right here in this post! Like the egg in the nesting box…I guess I thought they just automatically laid them in there. The chickens are such a beautiful color. They look more full and fluffy!

    1. Thanks, I think they are pretty, too šŸ™‚ But I am biased.

  2. I learned that you can use Montreal seasoning for beef on chicken breasts and they grill up nicely.

    LUD.

    1. Thank you for that tidbit, haha šŸ™‚

  3. I learned that you’d better not let your dad babysit your chickens!

    I had forgotten all about teaching chickens where to lay their eggs, but I remember my aunt telling me about it. I didn’t know that their combs turn bright read when they are old enough to lay their eggs. Very cool…

    1. Haha I learned that, too!

  4. You taught me about comb color and laying readiness.

    But my question is…Is the adventurous one always the same one, or do they take turns?

    1. I don’t know the answer to your question. The adventurous one is one of the three red ones that look identical, so I can’t really be sure if it’s the same chicken each time. If it were one of the three I could tell apart then I would know!

  5. Wow, it seems like the chickens actually have a lot of personality. Who knew.

    Can’t wait to hear about when they start laying!!!

    1. They sure do! Some are more daring than others, while a few are more timid. Agnes, on the other hand, absolutely loves to be held and pet. Most of the rest of them will tolerate it, but don’t really like being picked up.

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