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    Chicken Update

    Harriet is proving to be the watchdog of my mini-flock. She’s the only one who even notices when the neighbor dogs cruise past.


    (That’s not even a dog, really – it’s a very large five-month-old puppy.)

    And when the big scary great blue heron landed near the coop last week, Harriet is the one who sounded the alarm call. When I went down to shoo the heron away, I saw that Harriet had gotten the other three to bunch up together beneath the coop for safety.

    But I also vote Harriet as “Most Likely To Peck My Eyes Out If I Slip And Fall Inside The Chicken Tractor.” So there’s that.

    Egg production has dropped off slightly as the season progresses. By my last calculations, we’re averaging about 2.75 eggs per day.

    That’s not too bad, considering we only get about 11 hours of daylight right now. And I was informed by many sources that “hens stop laying when hours of daylight are less than N.” Where I’ve seen N equal anything from 14 to 17.

    This concerned me, because at this latitude that would mean that the chickens would be laying eggs for about three months a year. (Or NO months per year, if we go with 17.)

    I figured this wasn’t the case, but I’m always glad to see common sense get backed by empirical evidence.

    10 comments to Chicken Update

    • georg

      What happens to the chickens when it gets cold?

    • Jennifer

      Harriet has grown a beautiful comb! Yes, what are your plans for cold weather? I have heard the hay bales work out here in Wisconsin, with a light bulb or water bath heater for all but the worst nights.

    • Erika

      It’s pretty mild here in winter – definitely NOTHING like Wisconsin! It rarely gets below freezing (not zero – freezing) for more than a few days at a time.

    • Our egg production has gone down to 2-4 per day – and we have 15 laying hens… Hopefully they’ll be done molting soon (and why they do it when the weather is turning cold is beyond me. They’re freezing their little bare tookuses off out there.) and we’ve strung a light out to the coop to supplement daylight. And now if only the seven juveniles ever get going…

    • Whendi

      One of my Sims in TS2 had a landseer Newfie I named Goofie. :)

      I would love LOVE a newfie someday. For awhile I wanted a Bernese. They don’t have that adorable drooling thing which would be nice, but they’re genetic train wrecks. Average life is only 7 years old.

    • That Harriet is such a beautiful chicken!

    • Ben G

      Hi, just a quick question – I was wondering where did you buy your chicken houses from. I was thinking about purchasing from here – chicken houses for sale

      I would really appreciate your advice!


      P.S. That puppy really seems to be a big dog from that perspective :))

    • Erika

      I’m so flattered you’d ask where I bought them! I built the whole thing myself, by hand, from scratch. This is actually the 3rd one I made in a row, after the first 2 turned out totally wrong. An awful lot of work, a very good “learning experience,” and all 3 only cost about $800 in materials. But still.

      And yeah, the puppy weighed about 70 pounds when that picture was taken! She’s at about 110 pounds now (Newfoundland).

    • Ben G

      Wow! Congrats! You must be an expert in building these things by now 😀 Can you recommend a book to learn this craft? Or was it just trial and error?

      Also, I think 800$ is really really cheap for 3 coops.

      Thanks again,

    • Erika

      Pretty much trial and error! And asking people “How do you use this drill/Skilsaw/jigsaw/random tool?” And looking at pictures and figuring out how things went together. Quite an odyssey – I can’t say I recommend it, but it was definitely an event!

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