30 June 2011

June Rainfall

1.50 inches on June 15-16
0.00 inches on June 17 - storm, but nothing in the rain gauge
1.25 inches on June 23 - nice evening rain storm
0.10 inches on June 24/25 - some rain overnight, but not much in the gauge
0.10 inches on June 29 - thunder and lightning, but almost no rain
1.30 inches on June 30 - thought it might be like yesterday, but it wasn't

4.25 inches - total rainfall for June

I should have used up my rain barrels between the 17th and the 23rd so they could fill again, but it's been so dry that I didn't know when it would rain again.  And then on the 30th I did something stupid.  I left the spigot of one of the rain barrels open by mistake, and didn't notice until after the rain.  So I have an empty rain barrel now!

17 June 2011

You Crow, You Go!

I don't feel like we had the best shopping experience when it comes to the chickens we have.  One reason I say that is the guy at the store wasn't completely sure which were hens and which were roosters.  We took our chances and the guy said we could swap them if they turned out to be roosters.

Over the past few weeks we've been looking at them closely, trying to figure out which ones might be roosters.  Of the three standard chickens, we have a feeling that only one is a hen.  We had no idea about the silkie - until now.

Thursday morning I was checking on them after the rain, and giving them more food when I heard one crow twice - or tried - who can speak properly the first time one tries?  I didn't know which one it was, but I suspected the silkie, only because it was older than the others, and of course, it was the one that Robin and Ella fell in love with.  A short time later I went out to watch them for a few minutes, when I heard our neighbor's roosters crow.  Immediately the silkie perked up, flapped his wings, and crowed back!  That settles that - we're going to have to get rid of the silkie.

We haven't made any decisions yet, and he hasn't crowed again - to our knowledge - but if he is a he, the rule applies, "if you crow, you go."

02 June 2011

Chicken Training

Clockwise from feeder - Leghorn, Silkie, Barred Rock, Unknown (we think)
If you hadn't heard, we got chickens on Memorial Day.  I plan to write about that later, but I wanted to write about something a little odd - chicken training, specifically training them to do what normal chickens do.

After getting the chickens home the other day, I started to wonder how they know to go in the hen house at night if they've never used one before.  I also wondered about the angle of the ramp - was it too steep?  The first night I decided that I would spend the first week teaching them that this was their home, so when I let them out to roam the yard, they would return at night - instead of roosting in a tree or something else.  About a half an hour before dark, I started catching chickens and  putting them in the hen house.  I caught one and put her in and as I'm catching a second, a third one(barred rock) goes in on her own.  That was very gratifying.  The fourth one, the silkie, was a little harder to catch, but she was the only one to actually use the roost the first night - the other three huddled together on the floor.  We weren't at home around dark on Tuesday, but when I went and checked on them later that night, the silkie and the barred rock were roosting in the house, and the two others were huddled together on the ground.  Wednesday I got all four in the hen house, but when I checked on them in the morning, the white one - one of the two either huddled together or on the ground - was on the ground by herself, while the other three were on the roost.

Tonight I went to put them up tonight and the barred rock was already on the roost.  I have no doubt that the silkie will be there as well.  It's just a question of what the other two will do.

01 June 2011

May Rainfall

0.20 inches on 5/5
0.10 inches on 5/9 - morning shower, but not enough to measure.
0.25 inches on 5/11

0.55 inches total rainfall for May

Scattered thunderstorms were predicted for 5/8-5/17, but there weren't any.
Now they're predicting a drought this summer.  I need to get more rain barrels.