Thursday, July 7, 2016

New Playground for the Chickens

Because of the SEVEN fox on our property, my chickens are confined to the fenced-in old garden area.  They have a lot of the grass and other green plants eaten down to the ground.  For fun I give them a half a bale of old hay (rough cut) that I got free on Craigslist.  Luckily I got a whole truckload of the stuff that I keep in the barn.  I rototill the ground beneath the hay area.  They love to scratch for treasures, bed in it, and then find a nice place for a dust bath.

Even my two chicks that one of my brood hens hatched have their own play area.  They aren't very high in the pecking order and get picked on a lot.  I make sure they always have their own everything.

Here's "Eaglett" eating feed from the watermelon bowl.  Chickens LOVE watermelon!

The ducks have a small pan for water (where the one duck is.)  I expanded their swimming area to the repurposed turtle sandbox this year since I bought four more ducks for a total of five.  This breed of Ancona ducks don't really need water.  If they are not raised with water when they are young, they don't really need it.  I like to give them a small amount so they can keep cool and clean.  This breed lays six eggs a week (each)!  That's a lot of eggs!  I LOVE duck eggs.  They are great for use in baking.  The ground is wet in this photo because I just cleaned and dumped the pool.

Here some of the poor young chickens are searching for cicadas.  We had TONS of them this year.  They seem to be gone, but they still get up and walk the fence just in case there is a stray.  They also LOVE Japanese beetles for a healthy snack.  The box they are sitting on is the brood hen/chick box.  I built is when I got the baby ducks to keep them separate.  It is not in use right now because everybody goes in at night together in different coops and I have no need for it.  I can also use it as my chicken "hospital" when one needs to be kept separate.  Luckily I don't need to do that now.

I'm linking up with The Chicken Chick here.  It's a blog hop party!

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