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Now There are Chickens!

August 30, 2010

The San Fernando Valley just went through a pretty intense heat wave, with temperatures up to 110 degrees.  Before that, we were getting unseasonably cool weather.  So I think the combination really confused the garden vegetables because it seems like they’ve essentially stopped growing.  They aren’t really dying off- they’ve just stopped getting bigger and stopped producing new veggies.  My corn grew about 2 1/2 feet before it decided it was done growing tall, and instead started growing the corn cobs, which the ants promptly attacked.  I don’t know what the problem was, but I guess I’ll have to wait till next season to try again.

But there is still new news for the backyard.  Chickens!!  We’ve been talking about raising chickens ever since we moved into the house in November of last year.  We finally decided to make the jump and picked up 3 adorable and rambunctious chickies from the Red Barn Feed & Saddlery on Oxnard, in the valley.  Here they are at about 1 week old.

I had no idea that chickens grew so fast!  They’re so much soft, fluffy cuteness for about 2 1/2 weeks, and then they start molting and growing random feathers all over the place.  Here they are at around 4 weeks old, already starting to look like awkward teenagers.

Another thing that I didn’t know before having chickens is how hard they are to take pictures of!  They don’t stop moving, and as soon as you get the perfect shot, they turn their head.  What’s up with that?  So that’s my excuse for why most of these are kind of blurry.

At around 5 1/2 weeks, they were starting to get pretty big for their cage and you could tell they were getting cabin fever.  Every time I’d open the cage to clean the water or refill the chicken feeder, one of them would try to fly out, distracting me, while another one would try to make a break for it.  They were quick to learn the concept of teamwork.

To give them some room, while we were still building the coop, we let them out in the backyard for a little while during the day.  Here they are clucking around like little hens.

Brain found the raised garden bed with onions, and decided to make a comfy lounge area out of it.  It was cute until she started kicking up so much dirt, that the onions were in danger of being harvested too early.

And finally on week 6 (-ish), Vince built the coop!  I’ll tell you more about that after we finish with shingles and paint.  Here’s a quick shot!

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