Last year brought another one of my great ideas that just had to be implemented, though this one came from the far left field! My understanding husband agreed only after I'd already ordered my four chickens from The Cheshire Horse tack and feed shop in Swanzey, NH. He's used to this by now and not as overwhelmed by my spontaneous endeavors as he once was. Good thing for me because we didn't even have a place to house these chicks until two months after they'd arrived.
The chicks lived in our living room so we could play with and hold them, in our horses' water trough with a screen and heat light on top. They were little and fragile and it was too cold to put them outside. My daughter decided to name them all, too bad because it's much harder to eat a chicken when it's been named by your child.
It wasn't long before they started flying and we decided it was time to get them outside. Chickens produce a dusty coating on their feathers and their flapping was making a mess. Their once cute little chirps were transforming into teenaged yelps so my father and I framed a 4x4 chicken coop with 2 nesting boxes and a ramp leading to their pen. I've since learned that chickens don't need ramps but it makes for that traditional chicken coop look.
I was told the chickens would be laying by October or early November. They didn't start laying until December, right before our 11 day power outage due to the ice storm, so we couldn't cook the eggs and gave them to our neighbor who was helping us care for our animals during the power outage.
In the beginning we only got 3 eggs per day, we now get 3-4 eggs, all different colors. I'd never seen a green egg before but they really do exist outside of your children's Easter baskets!
Below are the ladies I speak so dearly of. I hope they keep producing those eggs for a long, long time!
This is Asia, we later learned she's an australian breed. She's very timid and is always the last to go anywhere the others go.
Meet Reba. She's the oddest looking chicken, and not very brainy (none of them are, actually). One of the top producers in the bunch, she lays brown eggs very consistently and is an easy keeper, though too curious. If anyone's ready to take a finger off it's Reba. The quickest to get the worms and bugs we bring to them, she'll go for the fingers too! We all had to learn the hard way, sorry little guy.
Abbie is very serious about laying. This beautiful hen enjoys just thinking about laying and is very vocal about it as well. One can hear her from afar squawking before she lays her daily egg. I once thought this sound was my cat getting run over by a car only to learn this is the sound of Abbie with an egg on the way.
We never thought "McKenna Chick" would amount to much, compared to te other ladies. She was tiny and ended up the largest of the four. She's the easiest to catch and seems to be the most tolerant of our attention. Named after my daughter, I think we won't be eating this gal...ever.
I've learned a lot about chickens this past year. There is a group of chicken loving people in this world who opened my eyes to the silly entertainment these girls provide. Easy to keep, not the smartest bird however, they're actually growing on me!
Below is the rest of our mini farm friends. It's time I introduce them to the blogosphere as they are such a large part of who I am. I have always have a love for animals.
Ketzel watching the paddock. Chianti enjoying spring at last!
Stella hoping to lose that winter coat before it gets too hot!
Friar Tuck on guard.