So, we bought a new house and all we have ever wanted was a little farm with our chickens producing enough eggs to feed all six of us. Well…. it’s happening and I couldn’t be more excited!
We have 17 hens and we did have a rooster. He suffered the ill fate of the fox that keeps creeping around. We have also lost a couple of our hens. I guess that is part of the farming game. I don’t know. It is very sad if you ask me. My husband on the other hand, he says, “it is the name of the game”. We are learning though. Here are some of our insights into our latest chicken adventures.
We have 7 large hens who already lay (my husbands friend got us started with these girls) and we then got some baby chicks that we are hoping lay in the next 4-5 months. First order of business was to keep the babies alive and then introduce the two flocks.
In my mind all birds should live in peace. They seem sweet and innocent. I guess that is not true. Apparently there is a pecking order and the birds are hard core about it.
Bringing home the babes…. they were fun and grew quite quickly. We put them under a heat lamp in our garage until they were all feathered.
We tried to handle these girls as much as possible so they wouldn’t be difficult to catch.
We slowly acclimated them with our first flock of girls…we were told the older birds would peck their heads to gain the proper pecking order. (More terrible farm shenanigans)
When the weather broke and the girls were well feathered we would let both flocks out at the same time. This was just a guessing game for us. We tried to acclimate them daily. I didn’t want any turf wars going on.
The only down side to this was chicken shit literally everywhere….I mean everywhere! We love the free range idea. What I do not like is the constant fecal matter in random places around the house. Apparently that comes with the territory.
I love our coop…
My husband may have went to extremes with the coop. He felt they needed some space. I am so glad he did though. It is very roomy for them. It works perfectly for all of our girls.
He has a door on the back we pull down so we can just reach in and grab the eggs. It works so well when you don’t want to go into the coop to retrieve the goodies! The girls also have a run to the goat pen and a door to the outside to free range. It is the best of all worlds because we weren’t sure which would work best when a predator was near and we couldn’t be home to keep an eye on them.