Archive for September, 2010

Backyard Chickens
September 2, 2010

Our chickens have Finally gotten their act together!  Today, for the first time, all of our chickens layed an egg!!  It is time to celebrate!

For about 6 months, our Americana chicken has faithfully pumped out 1 green egg almost everyday, which has been a stable in Keith’s diet.  Then about 2 weeks ago, one of our Buff Orpington started going crazy, “crowing” and cackling several times a day – of course usually at the most inconvenient times like 5 am or during nap time.  We thought for sure she would start laying eggs, but nope!  It was our black and white Plymouth Rock Bard that snuck in the hutch and started laying beautiful dark brown eggs.  

After enjoying two eggs a day for a couple of weeks, our two Buffs finally kicked their . .um . . .egg laying parts into gear and both chickens layed their first eggs today for a grand total of FOUR eggs!  Talk about peer pressure.

When Keith went to collect eggs with daddy, he kept digging and digging in the coop (aka: mini bunny hutch) until daddy thought there must not be any eggs today.  Then, much to daddy’s surprise, Keith (almost 2) emerged with two eggs in each hand!  All made it safely inside.  Omlet anyone?

We often get a lot of questions about raising chickens and we love talking about the joys of having fresh eggs everyday.  Here is a picture of our little chicken run we made on the side of our house:

It isn’t much and it doubles as Harold’s scrap lumber storage area.  It use to be beautiful lush green grass, but the chickens and summer heat have left it a dusty dirt run.  I’m hoping the grass will grow back and I’m looking for chicken proof plants to plant back there.

In the very back of the chicken run (back left), you can see the larger coop I made.  It has two shelves where the chickens sleep (although one usually sleeps on the roof) and has chicken wire enclosing it, in case I need to lock the chickens inside, but usually is it open for them to come and go. 

Next to the coop is a small bunny hutch we got at a yard sale for a couple bucks.  We lined it with shredded newspapers and lifted it two bricks high.  The chickens hop up inside and lay their eggs here.  I also noticed when it was really hot that the chickens were digging in the dirt under the hutch.  I tried a number of nesting boxes in different sizes, but it’s the hutch that they finally settled on. 

The white picket fence separates them from the rest of the backyard but every time we are outside, I open the gate to let the chickens graze on the grass (and every other plant they find to eat).  They also eat a variety of veggies from our garden and any scraps and leftover produce from our kitchen.  They are some healthy chickens!   Hope this you a little idea of what we’ve done with our chickens.  If you’re thinking of getting chickens – Just Do It!!  You’ll have a blast and you’ll never regret it (except at 5 am when they start clucking outside your bedroom window).