Ruby's Report!

Week 11

Well my chickens have finally gone home , it feels a bit weird without them but I guess that is always how you feel when you have to let go of animals the great part is I for next year I have the option of getting the same chickens back I remember my very first week with them and how we had to send Karen back because she was super mean to poor Beatrice. With Amandas help I learned how to make a blue salve to help her peck marks heal. I loved how easy the coop was too move around in the summer so I could make sure my chickens had shade. I loved making frozen treats for them with water and fruit and it was also a great way to keep them cool in the hot days this summer. It took me a while to get to trust them to free roam and not run away for good but eventually with time and treats we trusted each other. They spent a lot of afternoons out free roaming my moms garden. Whenever we had friends over they always asked to go see my girls and they loved getting to check for the eggs ! I think this program is so great for anyone at any age to get to learn how to take care of chickens. I know I learned a lot this summer not just about chickens but about me! I had to be committed and responsible enough to have animals under my care, getting up earlier than I usually go to let them out of the sleeping part , clean food and water , cleaning and changing the nest box. It’s not hard but you can’t miss a day . So if I was gone for the weekend or away at camp I would need to ask others for help and show them what to do. I would always check in to make sure they were ok. The great part was my parents seen how committed I was to making sure the chickens were ok , I was able to get other animals I had been begging forever to get ( cue bunnies and then two kittens !)

Thank you so much to wildrubyrose farms and Amanda for this amazing summer with the chickens.

I think we are going to have to get a delivery set up with Amanda for eggs this winter because we have loved eating the fresh eggs.

Week 10

Now that my chickens free roam they are so exited to do it each day. When they free roam they get so happy that they will jump up and start flapping their wings. They usually stay together except when I try to catch them to put them back in their cage they split up a bit. We still get 3 eggs a day and they like to lay around breakfast time. Did you know that when a egg is laid it has a protective wet layer around it so that no diseases or bugs can get in the egg. That's why we wash the eggs before we eat them. My chickens also really like to sit on top of the water holder so I have to wash it more because their feet get on the water jug. My bunnies and chickens finally met too. My chickens were free roaming and they wandered over to the bunny hutch. The chickens were very interested in them but the bunnies were kinda scared of them.

Week 9

This week I made a chicken bordem buster out of a baby toy called a Oball. It is a rubber hollow ball with circles around it. I cut up watermelon and other fruits and vegetables and put it in the Oball. My chickens really liked that and they also had to work to get the treats in it. It rained yesterday so the looked like scraggly wild chickens, the rain wasn't the greatest with the feed so I had to get a fork and poke the wet feed out that was stuck to the container. I have also still been freeroaming my chickens too and they love that. Today we welcomed two new animals into our home. They are bunnies and their names are sunny and sage.

Week 8

This week was really good overall except for one little bump. In last week's report I said that I got my chickens a new, bigger water holder. Well in the coop there is 2 little platforms to hold the food and water, but the new water is too big for the little platform. So I put the water on the grass but then it gets the water dirtier faster. I then decided to put the water on the platform, the latch wouldn't close all the way with out the water spilling so I shut the latch only halfway thinking it would be fine. My family was watching a movie so I went in to join them. About half a hour later I heard the dog barking at something, I went outside to check it out. A little brown dog was in our yard! Or I thought it was a dog..... My chickens had escaped!!!! I started to walk up to them slowly and calmly so I wouldn't spook them, as soon as they saw me they ran up to me like they had missed me. They followed me around so I didn't have to round them up and so I was able to get them into their coop. It was a surprising experience but now I have total trust in them and I am going to free roam them.

Week 7

I came back from a great week at camp to all my chickens alive! I am sure they missed me tons! My mom filled me in on her week with them and I really wish I was there to see this all! My sister took care of them for 2 days but then left for a 3 day sleepover at our grandparents and then it was all on mom. I think my chickens know she is scared of them and they act way different. They charge towards the door and crowd around it , they fluff their feathers and flap their wings. I am sure all of her yelps of ,”nooooo , nope , nooooo back it up “ don’t help ! With the sliding door it was easy for her to keep the girls out while she got the eggs and cleaned the bedding. But to change the food and water was a bit more challenging for her because they wouldn’t let her open the door without crowding around it and freaking her out . So she waited till late at night when my chickens put themselves to bed and she could quickly switch out the food and water all from a safe distance ! She even tried another type of waterer we used for our shop cat. But it has a white bottom instead of red and they just pecked at the white base and pooped in it. That was a fail!

We are still getting 3 eggs a day so clearly they weren’t too traumatized without me . The next time I go away mom is making sure my little sister is around to take over the chickens, she isn’t making that mistake again and I am sure Beatrice , Penny and Rose will agree with that !

Week 6

I have been away quite a bit in the last couple weeks.I went away to Camp Evergreen, I had one night at home and then I was off to go fishing in Fernie with my dad! I taught my little sister how to take care of them, fill up their food and water( water needs to be filled up two times a day in this heat ), change bedding and move them around the yard but to keep them in a shaded area. I knew mom would help her out a tiny bit, even if she is terrified of them, she still cares about them so I felt confident I wouldn't come home to dead chickens!

Week 5

Sunshine,sunshine and more sunshine. It was so hot this weekend I thought my chickens would burn to a crisp. It was also very frustrating because the sun moves, so I would have them behind a tree and then a hour later they would be in full sun so i would have to move them again! Eventually I found a spot in between two spruce trees with full dirt and no sun. To keep my chickens cool this past week I made frozen treats for them, gave them watermelon (which they love), putting the coop in full shade and having dirt baths for them. A dirt bath is where you put dusty dirt on the ground or in something they can hop in and roll around in to get rid of bugs in their feathers and cool off. We also kept there sleeping section open at night so they weren't as hot and I didn't have to stay up so late waiting for it too cool off so I could put them to bed. I was really worried the first night but we woke up and there was no signs of any predators making my girls a snack so they have been staying " out" this whole week with no problems ! Hopefully next week will not be as warm.

Frozen corn - there favoured treat of the week - peas didn't go over as well.

Week 4

With school wrapping up ,I have started to spend a bit more time with my chickens and I have got to notice their personalities. Beatrice is the bravest, whenever you open the coop door or walk by she is instantly by your side. Penny loves her pets soo much and is the kindest but pretty shy. Rose is the biggest and the eggsitter, when I go to collect eggs she is always in the nesting box keeping the egg warm. Today when I went to go let my chickens out some chickadees had slipped through the wire and started to eat the feed but they quickly fly out when I come( That's why I have to fill up their feed all the time!). So I moved my chickens and put out a tiny bowl of feed for them. That should keep them away for a while!

I am slowly starting to free range them ,I open the door and sit down to block it off and then they can explore a tiny bit , they seem very excited to get and explore but I am still nervous! I don't want to have to do a wild chicken round up. With the hot weather the flies have started to get attracted to the chicken poop so I have been moving the cage every day, they go to bed in one place and wake up in another !

Week 3

Week 3 My chickens now know that when I shake their treats or feed they need to come. I have also started to free roam them a bit but not that big of space and with me right by them making sure they don't make any bad decisions. Sometimes when I go to put my chickens to bed they are still up so I have to crawl into the coop and gently shoo them into their sleeping part (And they can get a bit stubborn sometimes!).I am thinking I will put some more bordem busters into their coop so they do not get bored, I thinking of braiding dandelions together and putting a mirror in their coop and tape it to the wire, the results of the mirror and chickens are super funny.

Week 2

This week went pretty smooth ! I think my favourite part is giving our eggs as gifts. We are getting 3 eggs everyday so I gave my grama a full carton and 10 eggs to our new neighbours , we had nice visit with them too! He even said brown eggs are his favourite ones. This week we noticed a egg that way bigger than the others - poor chicken ! We opened it up and it had a double yolk , I was so excited my great grama calls them lucky eggs !!

Beatrice’s head is healing up and everyone is getting along great . They come out as soon they hear us - they really like there treats! Penny had a poopy bum so Amanda said to add a half a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into there water to add probiotics and it worked great ! No more poopy bum for Penny. We thought we would try and move the chickens onto one of my moms mulch flowers beds. Not a good idea - mulch was everywhere ,in their food and water , scattered all over the nesting boxes. We won’t do that again ! It also gave our dog,Kaja a chance to be able to get close to the chickens for this first time because it was in her fence area. Lets just say they aren’t going to be friends - she thinks they are food, we will keep them out of perimeter from now on. We tried a new spot in a row of trees for shade and it’s half grass and dirt and they love it !

Week 1 (getting all the experiences)

Today we got our chickens! We are so excited! Amanda and her kids brought everything we needed for them! Even treats with dried worms in it , not my kind of treat! She brought two chickens I named Beatrice and Karen. We couldn’t believe that the next day we got two eggs ! I usually sleep in but every morning I wake up early to let the chickens out and say goodmorning - my mom couldn’t believe it !

After a couple of days I noticed that Beatrice was getting scabs and some blood on her head. So I hung around the coop and watched them. Turned out Karen was pecking on Beatrices head and was keeping her away from the food and water. We sent Amanda a message and she came over right away with 2 new hens, I named Rose and Penny - sweet names for sweet chickens, we don’t need another Karen! She made some salve for Beatrice head , a mixture of Vitamin E oil with blue dye. I learned that chickens are attracted to red and once they get a sore the others won’t leave it alone . The salve will help it heal and the blue makes them not want to go near it! Amanada took Karen home

To let Beatrice heal up.

The girls all settled in good , so we thought . The next morning we found an egg that was pecked apart, we couldn’t figure out who it was so Amanda told us to put golf balls in each laying box and that should deter them as they can’t crack them and it would hurt a bit I think and it worked !

I have learned a lot in the first week ! Let’s hope this next week goes a bit smoother.