Don’t Mess With My Cluck Cluck
This article was originally published on 07/03/2016. I’m republishing it today as part two of a 4 part series: Don’t Mess With My Cluck Cluck. The remaining articles will be published over the next few days, including information on egg production and storage, and preparing for winter. Enjoy!
Hey there it’s me again, Mountain Mamma and her chickens.
In my last article I told you about my Grandmothers and what that means to me. Today I would like to tell you about my grandchildren and what raising chickens mean to them.
Kenny, our 15 year old grandson who lives with us liked them when he was younger. All our older grandkids got to pick 2 chicks of their own choice at the hatchery every year. That kept us in a good sized flock, and they would name them all. Whenever they would visit, the first place they went was to check on “their chickens”. They were thrilled to feed them and pick up eggs. Now they have grown up, and found cell phones, video games, and friends. They still go check on them even now!
Taking Care of Our Chickens
Since I was in an accident in March, I’m unable to care for the chickens the way I would like, so Kenny has stepped in and does the heavy work for me. He and Nikki (our 5 yr old grandbaby who also lives with us) did most of the painting of the chicken house.
Nikki is the chicken wrangler of our house. She chose the chicks at the hatchery. Once we got home we put them in our bathtub until they are big enough to go out to the chicken house. Every few minutes she ran to the bathtub to count them, however they wouldn’t stand still. It was hilarious watching her trying to count them! Eventually she would come tell me “it’s OK Nana, they are all still there”. Amazing how that works when they can’t get out anyway…
She has fed them and watered them basically by herself. When we moved them out to the chicken house she was really worried about them, so we went out to the house and counted them out there, really often.
She now is in the process of naming her ladies. Her problem is there are at least 3 of each kind. She names one then can’t decide which of the Barred Rocks she is so this week we are going to go out and band them with zip ties, a different color for each of a breed. She is so excited.
Nikki’s Father, Issac, came home off his semi-truck for a break. He went out to help Nikki get her ladies in for the night. One was taking her dear chicken time so Issac reached down and scooped her up to put her in the coop. Here comes John Rambo and pecks Issac around his ankles until he put her down. Issac is laughing and Nikki is crying. It was quite the sight.
Don’t mess with MY cluck cluck!
I want to tell you something about supplementing your chickens diet. In the perfect world, your flock would be out eating the bugs out of your yard. You would be giving them a little feed and they would scratch in the yard for those bugs and worms. But, unfortunately there are many predators who love fresh chicken. Thus the chicken coop with fence. Now they are completely dependent on you. So make sure your chicken feed has all the vitamins and supplements they need. I prefer layer pellets. I find that “egg crumbles” are wasted, because too much gets trampled into the ground. Calcium is especially important for overall health, and good eggs.
A Varied Diet
Chickens love all kinds of veggies. Nikki and I were eating watermelon the other day. When we finished I told her to bring her rind and come with me. She was surprised when we didn’t go to the trash. I stood and threw pieces of rind over the fence. At first the chickens did the chicken little thing. I had Nikki sit in the lawn chair and after a little while one lone chicken pecked at a piece. Wait-that was pretty good. She pecked it again and that time got a piece of fruit. She ran away with it hanging out the side of her beak. It looked like a tiny worm. All the others chased her around until she got it swallowed. She made a beeline back and got another piece. The others got the idea and chowed down.
Leftovers Are A Great Feed!
Give them all of your veggie scraps.They will also eat pasta, fruit rinds, seeds, nuts, and almost any other type of food . Chickens will eat almost anything. Don’t throw leftover meat in the pen as it will also attract predators. By adding table scraps you can really reduce the amount of feed you have to buy.
I could talk about my ladies all day so I had better give you a breath here. Subscribe to this blog to receive updates as well as learn about many other ways to become more self-reliant, and eat food that is more healthy and chemical free. Please feel free to give me your thoughts, questions, and experiences. We can all learn from each other. Until next time: Keep On Cluckin! 🙂