August 19, 2013

Peeps on Parade

I know it has been a while since I've written about the Peeps, it certainly isn't due to the lack of material.  Their personalities are becoming more and more distinct.  Which also means more and more ways for me, and hopefully you, to be entertained.
     As the Peeps are getting older their egg production is becoming much more regular.  We can plan on getting at least two eggs a day.  Carlotta lays a beautiful large brown egg everyday.  Bambi's eggs are still a bit on the medium size however she too also lays an egg a day which tend to be green-brown in color.           Merida lays at best three times a week and her eggs are blue.  I'm thinking we should be seeing eggs any day now from Ginger and Seminole, I'll be sure to let you know.  Bambi and Merida really don't care where they lay their eggs but Carlotta has to be in the coop in the back corner.  There are days when I'll find all three eggs right next to each other. We're building 4 nest boxes in the new coop but I'm not sure we'll need them.
     Fred, our only Roo, is definitely coming into puberty and Ginger has a crush on him.  He teases the hens by running head first into them, guess that's where the real Chicken Game came from.  He'll fly up over them just because.  Every now and then he'll try to take on Carlotta but she puts him in his place.  The other day poor Fred tried to crow.  I laughed so hard I thought I might need a pair of Lady Pants (Hot In Cleveland reference).  There are two other roosters in our neighborhood which may be inspiring him.
     One of my goals is to use Chicken Feed only as a supplement.  We've been introducing kitchen scraps to them.  Currently their favorite food is cantaloupe, they get even bit of fruit off a slice right down to the rind.  Feeding the chickens produce is not something my budget can support.  I became inspired by Mavis Butterfield and her blog http://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com.  She gets a box of produce every week from the grocery store for free.  These are the items they would normally discard due to expiration dates or the bad condition of the fruit, it is absolutely incredible what she receives. I decided to give this a try last week when we went to the Farmer's Market.  At one of the vendors I regularly shop with I asked about a box of fruit I saw~she said it was trash and I could have it for my chickens.  What was the worst she could say ~ No? The Peeps enjoyed all of this produce over the course of a week.  Now I need to get brave enough to talk to the produce guy at Publix.
    Along with feeding the chicks table scraps we allow them to forage in the garden.  Now someone needs to explain to me why, when there is plenty of grass/weeds that need to be eaten Carlotta insists on dining on one specific tomato plant and its neighboring Basil?? Well tonight I've had enough and put up a barrier.  I wish I recorded Carlotta's reaction.  She's been pacing back and forth cursing  clucking at me her disapproval.  
     The best and newest thing to share is my daily walk with the flock, better known around here as Peeps on Parade. Mid-day, once the egg laying is done, I let the peeps into the garden.  This used to mean my making any where from 3 to six trips carrying them to the garden and then repeating this to put them away.  One evening I was later than usual putting them away.  When I turned the corner of the house I was greeted by all 6 Peeps at the gate ready to go back home.  As soon as I opened the gate the entire flock ran (and chickens running is quite entertaining into their coop.  Believing this to a unique event I tried it the next day.  Upon hearing my approach to the coop everyone started pushing as if wanting to be at the front of the line. All I did was open their door and as if on command everyone ran to the garden.  Of course like with children every time I have had someone video my little parade all 6 peeps scatter.  So until I can get everyone cooperating you are just going to have to trust me on this one.
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