Thursday, February 16, 2012

the girls

{this is Henny}

We l-o-v-e having chickens.
It took me 3 years of yearning to get them. It was quite by chance.
Last July, a friend in a neighborhood a few miles from here had 3 pair. I say it that way because they were different ages and were raised in pairs. Ages 2 years, 5 months, and 2 months.
We are only allowed 3 hens on our city lots. She had 6, and the city found out. She sent out a email to anybody she could think of, and I jumped at the opportunity. (I jumped, as in the Mister needed a little convincing) :~) She wanted to keep one hen from each pair, so we ended up with a 2 year old Giant Blue Cochin, a 5 month old Buff Orpington, and a 2 month old Red Sex-Link. It took them a couple weeks of extremely stressful pecking before they settled into their order. I had to keep little "Pep" our Red, away from the bigger girls for awhile. By time they moved into the new coop, they were getting along. Pep is still the sweetest of the bunch and so curious.
Before we got the chickens, we had some experiences, our best neighbor friends have them and we had been gleaning lots of knowledge from them.
We had a make-shift coop/chicken run for a few weeks, until we converted our old dog house and constructed the chicken run.
We have the perfect area for the girls to free range. We have an enclosed patio garden off of our kitchen. Originally, we enclosed it to keep our little dogs out of the big yard. Now, we've banished the dogs to the big yard and claimed our "chicken garden". (I have the greatest book on order from the library called "Chicken Gardens", I can't wait until it comes in). We will really be sprucing up this area for them in the Spring.
The coop/run area is completely enclosed and covered to make it predator proof. They have access to free range in the garden when we are home, and when the weather allows.
It is ideal for them and us. I have easy access right out my french doors and we get to enjoy their antics and their yummy eggs!
I am looking to make a few changes this Spring to the coop. I want to get a galvanized waterer and build some sort of trough feeder, instead of the hanging one. The ramp from the coop to the run needs be a little more stout, also.
I bed the coop with white wood shavings and clean this out every week or so. We have 1 nesting box that has a very convenient access door, and a large access door that opens the entire side for cleaning.
I really like having a walk-in run. It makes it so much easier to rake and clean, but also to feed and water them. It is also pretty fun to get in there and have a little visit with girls.
So far our experience has been excellent. We have not had to deal with any big issues. I would say that they are far easier to keep than I thought they'd be.
Did I mention what a great experience this has been for my kids. Priceless.

{Anya and Pep}

Have a blessed day, Tami


  1. This was a fun blog post to read. I do not have chickens but maybe someday. I think they would be fun!

  2. Ohhhh! Thank you for sharing ~ just what I needed! How exciting for you and such a little learning adventure for all of you. I have soap-making books for pick up at the library today but will add the chicken book to my list! I'm so feeling chickens (three does sound like a very nice number) ~ we have the small dogs, we have the yard space (more than ample for all), we have the un-used dog house, I have the husband that will need convincing...yes, I would say the stars are lining up! lol
    You made my day ~ have a blessed weekend!