Poultry Project Week 3

Hard to believe we are entering our third week with the “girls”! We have had some unusually cold weather and have had them inside the last few days. Temps are supposed to climb into the 80’s this week and summer should be here! I sure hope so, right now it’s cold rain, rain, rain!
We have had to modify our set up yet again, because we have an escaping chicken! I’ve been going into the laundry room to check the wash, and she would stretch her neck over the side of the baby pool to see watch me. Then, she decided that wasn’t enough, and she began hopping onto the side of the pool for a better view. We have named her General Chao. She is a trouble maker!
Silly me, I thought that by shoo-ing her back into the pool she would stay there. Not so! She decided she likes her new found freedom, and the next thing I knew she was walking around on the floor! Yikes!
We added some pieces of screen to the top of the pool for a few days until they can officially go outside.  The heat lamp will be reduced to half days this week, weaning them off the excess heat. Their adult feathers are coming in fast and they don’t need to be kept as warm.
It’s amazing how much their appearance has changed just in the last week. They are almost totally white, with very little of their baby down left. I would say they are in their awkward adolescent phase. The beauty phase must come next, because they are sure funny looking now!
We have named the other chickens Alfredo, Sweet n’ Sour, Parmigiana, and Dumpling. General Chao is definitely in charge of them all, they seem to do what ever she does! To keep them entertained for a few more days, we have been adding some fresh weeds pulled from the garden daily to their pool. They seem to fight over who gets the freshest grass, and they love finding the bugs hidden in the sod.
We had the birds outside during the day last week, which was fine as long as we were with them in the yard. The minute we went indoors for a short time, there was trouble! We have had some birds of prey hanging around our yard before, but now they are much closer. They seem to be looking for an easy lunch. Fortunately for us, the crows are very aggressive and chased off the White Tailed Hawk that came swooping dangerously close to our little chickens. Now, if we can just get rid of the crows, all will be well! 
We are now adding some extra wire to the bottom of the chicken run to keep the girls safe!
The modification is taking a bit of extra effort, but we hope it will be worthwhile. We have heard weasels also find fresh chicken very tasty and can dig underneath the coop to get them so this is an extra precaution against them as well. Our tractor should be ready by the end of the week. Yeah!
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