Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Chicken Update...

This is the coop we have chosen to build for the four new hens we adopted at this year's Chickenstock 2010. We built the frame on Saturday and are now about half done stapling on the hardware cloth. John helped me toe nail the door after my weak attempt at making a door. I am terrible at toe nailing.

Here are our four feathered ladies. One Americauna (lays blue eggs/ dark brown), Two sex links (half barred rock, mixed with something else/ black), and a Cochin ( with fuzzy feet/ tan).

This is what the cochin will look like all grown up. Her name is Honey.

This is what the sex links will look like when all grown. We chose the sex links because the seller was very unsure about the genders of his chickens, and was sure that these two were girls. No roosters around here. Sex links are bred so you can tell the gender by their color alone. It is very hard to tell the gender of baby chickens, after the first couple of hours. I am still crossing my finger that none of then turn out to be roosters.

I had my heart set on Ameraucanas (easter eggers). They lay blue eggs, and I was told that this one will lay bright blue like her predecessors. This is what our Ameraucana will look like when grown.

I am building the coop during baby nap times and after the babies go to bed. I am hoping to finish up this weekend. John and I made a good dent in the progress this last Saturday. We still have to find names for three of the hens. Right now they are living in the dog kennel out back. They seem to be very happy, with a thick bedding of grass clippings and large helpings of greens from the yard everyday to compliment their usual feed. This is a fun little adventure. I almost "chickened out" the morning of chicken stock, after googling the cost of raising chickens, but I had a chat with a good friend that morning (just in time) to realize that this is not just about cheap eggs. This is all about the experience, my kids seeing the source of their food and finding an appreciation for life. I was raised with all kinds of animals, my favorite being rabbits. I have a feeling that the rabbits will make a return into our lives next spring, plus probably a couple more chickens.

The chickens are very fun, and the kids love to go out and "hug" a chicken. The coop does hold up to eight!

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