Sunday, November 15, 2009

Fall Fun and Playing with Chickens!

With the beautiful weather, we have been making an effort to spend lots of time outside - especially after all that rain we got the whole month of October! I took a few pictures with the colorful fall leaves behind Cecilia...

She was beside the sandbox, digging, in these photos. She really enjoys those good ol' sensory activities like playing in sand and dirt!

Here's Caroline holding Chicken, the tamest of the flock. We let her out every afternoon because we know we can easily catch her again - even Cecilia can catch her (except she can't quite pick her up herself). The others are more jumpy and run away from me if I try to touch them, although since they have been laying, I have actually been able to pet them - they hold still and squat down insyead of running. Maybe it is an instinctual defense, like they are squatting to protect their eggs? Chris let all three of them out this afternoon though- he's braver than me - and Sally and 'Lorpie were not too hard to catch. Chris had to kick "lorpie out of the tractor though - she wouldn't just walk out the open door like the rocks. She's the most aloof of the three birds. I am sure she was quite happy to be out in the yard once she got there, though. They love to be out of their tractor!

Caroline carries Chicken around like this a lot. She even gets on the swing while holding her, and Chicken will just go limp in her arms and fall asleep! Crazy bird.

By letting them run around the yard when we are out there, they are able to catch more bugs and graze over a larger space. They are somewhat "free range" this way, and then moving the tractor daily makes them somewhat free range as well. Caroline has just gotten so comfortable with them, which is great because she is somewhat skittish with dogs and even a bit with cats. Even when the chickens flap their wings to escape from her arms, she is unfazed by it now. I am glad we have animals around for the experience it gives the children - and they are useful too, since they lay eggs for us now! This morning, we had three eggs in the nesting box! I assume that means they are all laying now. We have five or six eggs in the fridge right now, and we ate four fresh eggs yesterday... who knows, maybe they will lay enough for us to sell some.

This video shows how Caroline just plays with Chicken, carrying her all around like she is a pet puppy or something!

And here is Sally, acting agitated and pacing back and forth because her sister is out and she is trapped inside! She doesn't like that I block her from escaping from the tractor while letting Chicken out!


Kate said...

love the fall pictures! very nice! and i'm so intrigued by the chickens. columbia is apparently getting ready to pass an ordinance that will allow up to 3 or 4 hens to be kept at homes in the city limits. if i wasn't positive that my dogs would eat them i would love to try it out!

That Married Couple said...

So fun! And that is a neat way to expose your girls to animals.