To cheer things up around here, I though I should write a post about our chickens. Because we are loving them!
Gary built them a fabulous coop. We used the plans for The Garden Coop, though we made it shorter, and switched a few things around. The height change was largely to try to save a bit of money, though in retrospect we can’t have saved much. When all was said and done, it was not a cheep coop, but we were anxious to “do it right” from the beginning, and so we are very pleased with the result. The coop is an integrated run and henhouse, which means they can get up on their own in the morning, and if we are away, they can still safely go outside. We let them out in the morning, and they free range about our property, finding lots of things to eat. It is a lovely sight to see them roaming about, and hear that pleasant clucking. I love that they stick together as a flock, though occasionally somebody looses track of the group and starts the unmistakable “purrup purrup!” of a lost chicken.
We are pretty sure the rooster/hen count is now, incredibly, 5 and 5. (well, it was always thus, we just had no idea). Just what we were aiming for. Ernest, our oldest rooster, has been crowing for some weeks, and so far it is quite acceptable. We are thinking we may allow him to stay-on to look after the girls. This will be revised, if he becomes a problem. The hens are two Barred Rocks, two Silver Laced Wyandotte and one Black Australorp.
Little R loves her chickens. “Dick, dick, dick!” It’s not uncommon to see her “free-ranging” with them on the grass. I’m becoming more mindful of this, of course, as they get older, since I know roosters can be aggressive. So far there have been no problems. She was not best-pleased when they cheekily stole her apple (though she was probably trying to feed it to them anyway), but that has been the only conflict.
We have a while to wait yet, but are looking forward to the first egg!