Sunday, March 26, 2006

Happy Hens!

Click on photo to enlarge

This weekend was devoted to the chicken yard. We ran a course of 5' wire fencing around the inside of the 4' picket fence which should keep the young hens in the yard now. The old hens never jumped the fence (not since they were youngin's anyway) but a few of our current youngsters are still full of spit & vinegar!

A little snow removal and a couple of fresh bales of alfalfa on the muddy ground make for some happy hens, and when the hens are happy I'm happy. It's these simple things in life that I enjoy the most. Just knowing that a few good hens peck & scratch contentedly in our yard is a comfort.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I enjoyed all your photos!

1:33 PM  
Blogger clairesgarden said...

they do look nice and happy, nice to have really fresh eggs, do they pick through and eat the alfalfa?

11:20 PM  
Blogger Madcap said...

OOohh, you're bringing all my fowl fantasies to the fore! Happy hens indeed!

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your chickens certainly do look happy! Such pretty birds. :-)

2:25 PM  
Blogger Taradharma said...

wonderful post and photo! The alfalfa smells so great, too. We used to put it down in the pigeon coop and they loved it.

I know what you mean about the simple things -- it is so true.

3:05 PM  
Blogger Wildside Musing said...

"...when the hens are happy I'm happy. It's these simple things in life that I enjoy the most."

And just hearing that makes me happy!

4:36 AM  
Blogger arcolaura said...

Missed you, Jim - glad to see you've been outside enjoying the spring!

7:41 AM  
Blogger sonia a. mascaro said...

So beautiful your chickens, principally the black one!

9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

any books or web sites you could
recommend on keeping hens?

10:09 AM  
Blogger roger said...

nice flock. i'm assuming that they get locked up safely at night. do you keep a light on them in the dark of winter?

8:18 AM  
Blogger Jim said...

Thanks all!


Yes, they seem to like the alfalfa quite a bit.


I like 'The Chicken Health Handbook' by Gail Damerow, the 'Chicken Tractor' by Andy Lee & Pat Foreman, and 'Raising Poultry Successfully' by Will Graves.


They go in the raccoon-proof coop at night where I have a light I can use to encourage more egg production during the shorter days of the year, but I haven't used it in about 8 years. I wasn't comfortable in forcing the hens to lay during cycles of the year when they wouldn't naturally lay. Since we got the Black Australorps that seems to be a moot point though, because they laid reliably all winter. I collected 9 lovely brown eggs on the shortest day of the year, and coincidently, we have 9 Black Australorps. In contrast, our two White Leghorns laid very few of their huge white eggs during the shorter days, maybe one a week from each hen.

2:06 PM  
Blogger roger said...

thanks jim. the shortest day up here is some shorter than yours. i'll remember Black Australorps if i get around to chickens again.

6:57 PM  
Blogger tansy said...

they look quite happy!

9:40 AM  
Blogger Tracy said...

Hi Jim,
I just happened upon your blog while looking for Australorp hens. Yours are gorgeous, and the blog is terrific. I live in urban, unincorporated LA; am strongly considering getting 2 Australorps but want to find a local source and make sure they're hens. Also want to get the fence height right to avoid any problems. Any insights/suggestions?
Thanks so much,

7:19 AM  

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