Friday, July 26, 2013

The Hen House

We painted our new coop to match our house and shed.  We bought it from a local man who builds them with his teenage sons(cool project right?!).  Audrey and I are thinking we'll add some special pictures like flowers and butterflies.  The chicks aren't quite old enough to be in the hen house yet but that's good.  Daddy hasn't gotten around to adding a run or chicken ladder.  There're a lot of cool ideas at if you're interested in learning.

My garden has taken off in the heat of the last few weeks.  I love it.  

Max is opening the hatch that will lead to the chicken ladder(the coop will be elevated when Corey's part is done).  We'll open and close it in the morning and evening to keep the chickens safe.  

Now he's holding open the lid to the nesting boxes where the chickens will lay eggs.  They like small dark spaces to lay.  I think they feel safer that way.  

Now he's inside the coop.  The beam is where they'll roost at night.  It mimics their instinct to sleep on tree branches.  

Here's the cute door that we'll use to clean out the coop in the spring.  

Clara says "thank you!"

Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!

Thank you Aaron and Marin!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tragedy in the Hen House

Max made the discovery.  "Mommy there's a chicken laying on its side with its eyes closed."  I'll spare you pictures of dead hens.  Yes, hen-S.  We made a terrible mistake last night.  Neither Corey nor I checked to see if our garage door was closed last night.  We always do.  We awoke to a massacre.  Here are a few clues to the horrible night's events:

If you'll notice, the edges of the tote are chewed all the way around.  The screen was flipped back.  There was white hair fluffed around everywhere.  I'm thinking it was the neighbor's cat.  

The resting place of coco.  

Five of our six hens are gone.  Three were in our garage and two are completely missing.  Poor Rosie.  We found her hiding in a corner behind a propped up board all alone.  Chickens don't like to be alone, ever.  Even for just a few minutes.  So we were presented with a problem:  to give Rosie away to a family that has chickens or to get more chicks.  We took a family vote.

We now have 5 hens, total.  Rosie is taking well to her new roommates.  Max got a Rhode Island Red and named her Sandy.  Audrey got another buff named Cutie.  I got black one named Smokey.  Corey got the Americana that will lay colorful eggs.  It's named Taffy.  Death brings new life.  I hope Rosie isn't traumatized.  

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Monday, July 8, 2013

Slip n Slide Fun

This is how our family celebrates the 4th of July!  Audrey says "the slip n slide is really fun!"  Clara too.  Max liked it when it was slippery with bubbles.  We had the church over for a picnic.  Great company and crazy fun!

Join us next year!  

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Here are my cuties

Here is Clara with her buff rock chick.  She's getting better at not squealing too much(staying calm makes for calm chickens).  She named her Rosie.

The smaller four chicks are about 10 days old.  They're already starting to get some wing feathers and they hop around all over.  The bigger two are meat chickens called red rangers.  I named them Drummie and Patty.  : )   They are about two and a half weeks old but are significantly bigger.  Meat chickens grow fast.  These will be ready to eat by the beginning of September.  Apparently meat chicks grow so fast they plump up and can't carry themselves around towards the end.  The things you learn when you get chickens!

Audrey is such a momma!  She loves making her own little living quarters for the chicks.  Filling up a bucket with pine shavings and toting them around.  She also picked a buff rock chick(the same as Clara).  Buff is simply the color.  You can have other buff chicks of different breeds.  This one's name is Fluffy.  Audrey is a natural animal lover and care taker.  She has fun showing off the birds to our neighbors.

Max picked the most beautiful hen in my opinion, a silver laced wyandotte.  It'll be black and white but right now is mostly black with a few speckles.  He named his chick black-o.  This little chick is a daredevil - jumping and trying to fly.  She's also the quickest when you're trying to catch her but at the same time very calm when held.  It's a good match - Max and Black-o.  He's very skiddish about animals, all kinds.  We've been warming up to holding the chicks and being calm.  Max is much more confident in himself when Daddy is around to help.  If Daddy can, then Max can too!

Corey got to named the other black chick, a black astralorpe.  She's Coco.  So far all the smaller chicks are easy to hold and be around.  The older two are stronger and have started exploring by pecking at my toes.  It doesn't hurt but I imagine one day it will.  Plans to build a small coop with two nesting boxes for laying and  two levels of roosts this weekend.  And hopefully we can build a portable frame and chicken wire run to move around on the lawn throughout the summer.  One awesome by product of having chickens besides the eggs and meat, is the manure!  Stay tuned for weekly pictures of the chicks' growth...and my kids too.  : )

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

New family members

We got chickens!  I'm hoping to bring the kids in and have them write too while we grow as our chicks grow!

This is one reason we have chickens...slugs!  And the eggs and meat and because it's good to learn how to have a pet, or 6.