There is not a whole lot of new things happening with the chickens. The biggest news right now is the babies (Welsummers) and the older ladies (Rhode Island Reds, primarily). The Reds sure do pick on the Welsummers, so much so that they Welsummers stay in the coop away from the other hens. This week we have taken the step of putting the babies back in the baby coop and a separate run when we can. It doesn’t work so well when it rains, which it has been doing this week, but it is nice to get them outside.
One thing that is encouraging is to see the Welsummers testing one another. No, I don’t relish the fact that they are establishing a pecking order amongst themselves, but I do like knowing that they are getting tougher and stronger, which means they will be able to hold their own with the older ladies soon enough.
The biggest problem with the Welsummers is they are roosting on top of the nesting boxes, and in fact they stay there much of the time, which means their droppings are falling into the nesting boxes. We have to make changes because of this. It isn’t hurting anything, but it is making the eggs more dirty.
One of the nice things about the hens right now is how they are fertilizing the garden for us when they are out running. I like one way I have heard it said: chickens are a compost factory that just happen to lay eggs. Surely they are not providing all the compost we need, but they are helping.