Thursday, November 7, 2013

Porch Pullets

I transplanted some kale plants from the community garden to my garden. I had heard that kale gets sweeter after the frost and I wanted to taste the difference.
I still have lots to learn about kale, especially how to cook and enjoy it.  I haven't really been able to enjoy it.  Seems too bitter for my taste buds, so I need to try different methods to make it more appetizing for me.  Plus learn how to cook it.
There were 14 rows of kale at the community garden this summer and not many people took advantage of those prolific, free, vegetables. We could of paved the streets with it as we tons of it.

Anyhow, I brought 5 robust plants home and dug them into my garden.

Here they stayed and thrived for an entire week.......

The hens ignored them.

Until yesterday......

They stripped them clean 5 minutes before I went out to harvest some leaves for lunch.

Oh well......On to the next project.

Part of getting ready for winter is moving my chicken tractor Winnebago to the near side of the chicken coop away from the path of the snowplowers.
The advantage of doing this is that it is now in the sun for most of the day.
The Winnebago also mates up to the back end of the chicken coop so the hens can come out on the worst of days and have protection, sun, and a place where they can have lots of hay and scratch to peck around for.

Soon I will have to roll up my final 100 feet of poultry netting before the ground hardens.
But right now I like that it is up and I can pen the hens quickly when I see the coyotes too close to the farm.

I also had an additional nest box put up higher than the floor models so my new pullets have a choice of where they put their eggs.    My resident engineer brought his drill and had my old milk crate in place in 60 seconds.

As soon as he exited, the flock came in to check out his work and have a snack.

In just 5 minutes, the new pullets left a massive gift in the floor nest boxes.

I always love finding eggs.

Having been egg-less since September 7th, this is a thrill.

Today was kefir day and the flock just loves the magical drink.
I always make extra and I think this healthy drink has helped my moulting hens get their feathers back much sooner.

 Then it started raining.

  And the entire flock ran for the porch.

They preened themselves and ate window bugs and made funny little noises.

Here they stayed all afternoon while the rain came down in buckets.

This side porch seems even larger now that I have removed all the hanging plants, fall flowers and other objects of summer.

The hens appreciate that, I am sure.

Where do your flock friends hang out during wet weather?


  1. My hens actually don't seem to mind the rain so's the snow that they refuse to walk in! Yours look quite please with themselves, there on the porch! I hope they didn't decorate it too much!

  2. The kale will probably put on new leaves so don't give up on it just yet. I can just imagine what your neighbors thought as they drove by and saw all your girls up on the porch! :)

  3. I almost want to get myself a few chickens, but I am not allowed where I live plus I would not be a proper chickie momma.

  4. You are right that adding animal protein will shorten moult time. Here we use ocean fish daily to supplement the organic ration, as chickens are unable to synthesize certain amino acids only found in animal protein. Animal protein was removed from chicken rations during the mad cow scare in the 1990's.

    During moult the fish is doubled, and we've seen moults finished in as few as 4 weeks. But don't leave it doubled, as eggs will taste fishy when they resume laying.

    We don't have a dry pen for the layers, they just have to go inside, which is, unfortunately, too small a space for the number of birds.

    We keep the outside pen bedded with leaves, garden clearings, and old hay. So while it's not dry, at least it's not muddy.