Chickens

The family that flocks together

The chicken coop isn't painted yet (add it to the growing list of Manor Upkeep Tasks) but that hadn't stopped us from acquiring our very own flock. 

 From left: Ethel, Doris, and Edna 

From left: Ethel, Doris, and Edna 

 From left: Maude, Myrtle, and Mabel 

From left: Maude, Myrtle, and Mabel 

 From left: six Golden Buff chickens that just arrived yesterday and haven't been named yet. 

From left: six Golden Buff chickens that just arrived yesterday and haven't been named yet. 

Yes, it does appear that there is some racial segregation happening. I'm hoping that with some time (the Asian Blue chickens and the Golden Buff chickens just joined the coop yesterday afternoon) that they will become one happy family. Until then, it's amusing to watch the three clumps of chickens negotiate their way around the coop. 

 Integration now, segregation never! 

Integration now, segregation never! 

So far, only the two big white chickens  (Ethel and Edna) are laying eggs, since they are the oldest. We're hoping that Doris will start laying in a couple weeks, followed by the others around the start of the summer. Keep your fingers crossed! 

Ready for Chickens!

I finally finished the chicken coop a few weeks ago (actually my father-in-law came down to help over a long weekend) while we had 20 degree weather, then it snowed, and now it's warmed up so I took a few pictures.  At this point, I just need to paint and get the birds.

 The eggs, food, and water can all be accessed from this side of the coop.

The eggs, food, and water can all be accessed from this side of the coop.

The two windows and side vents have chicken wire on the inside so we can keep them open in the summer and not worry about predators.  Jennifer had the idea to add a hook in the front for the egg basket to use while you're collecting eggs.  The entire roof of the nesting boxes opens from this side and has a little weather stripping to keep the hens warm.

 I currently use a stick to hold up the roof - my engineering degree in action!

I currently use a stick to hold up the roof - my engineering degree in action!

I also built little doors at the bottom so I can access the food and water without having to go into the chicken yard.  They are suspended from the floor of the chicken coop with wire and a clip for easy removal.

The back of the coop is totally fenced in and has deer netting on the top to keep birds of prey out.  It also has a door which rises with the sun and closes when it's dark.  This way the hens will be able to get out in the morning and I won't have to worry about predators.  When someone is around, we can use the front door and have them run around in the stable yard.

 I can barely get my kids to school on time - no need to get up with the sun!

I can barely get my kids to school on time - no need to get up with the sun!

I have three large doors to help me get in and clean the coop and inside I decided to go with natural chicken roosts using two large branches I found in my brush pile.