I don’t know if I’ve mentioned or not, but we kind of have a soft spot for chickens around here. When we lived in our old house, we had two chickens. We (accidentally) started with two roosters that Victoria prophetically named Little Bear and Father Bear. We had to give them a new home, then got two hens that Victoria named Rainbow and Heart. They were both Barred Plymouth Rocks. (See actual chicken with actual daughter below. Although actual daughter is four years older and a whole bunch of inches taller now.)
Barred Plymouth Rocks lay your regular run of the mill brown eggs. (Not our actual eggs below. . .)
Since the last chicken was gone, Tony has wanted to get more. So, in August, he began a new project. Tony ALWAYS has a building project in his head. This time it was a chicken coop–but no ordinary chicken coop, mind you. It’s the Shangri- La of coops.
I missed the beginnings of coop building as I was at camp. But below is the progress since he began until now.
“Them chickens is organized.” (name that movie) I can say, “These chickens is electricity-ified. ”
The “shelf” under the curtain rod roost is there to keep the chickens from dropping their droppings on their sister hens as there will be laying boxes below. It is covered in faux-wood linoleum left over from our kitchen floor so it will be easier to clean up what they DO drop. THIS side of the coop has a 2×4 as the UPPER roost and a closet rod as the LOWER roost. The OTHER side of the coop will have the same two options, but flipped as Tony is uncertain which type of roost will be the favorite among the Hen Hierarchy. There will be a ramp leading from the floor to the shelf. From there, they are on their own.
As this is a one-man job that gets done only after work and on weekends when the one-man doesn’t have duties as a daddy/husband/church member/son/brother/neighbor, it’s taken awhile. So, today we had nowhere to go, and Tony designated it “Coop Day, USA.” He worked and worked and worked all the live-long day.
He still needs to build a door and then we will make the “run”–which will require the rental of ANOTHER trencher so we can bury wire to keep diggers out. We will then apply wire over the TOP to keep flyers out. He hasn’t MENTIONED armed guards on towers as of yet, but I wouldn’t put it past him.
In March, we will go pick up our baby chicks. We are getting a dozen total of various breeds. Barred Plymouth Rock which is what we had before, and the following that are not (yet) our chickens but will be eventually.
White Plymouth Rock
New Hampshire Red
Eventually, we hope to get some Ameraucaunas–they lay colored eggs, light blue and pale green. My sister has several of these in her brood. (My sister’s actual chickens below.)
Someday I hope to take a picture of a basket full of eggs that looks like this. (Not our actual eggs below.)
The green and blue come from Araucaunas and Ameraucauna or “Easter Egg” chickens. The dark brown are from a Welsummer.
Needless to say, we are all excited. The smell of cattle and horses is the scent of my childhood, but Victoria commented this summer as we passed my sister’s coop on our way to Mom’s one night that chickens are the scent of HER childhood. I know. . .I know. . .it’s a bit odd, but when you hear happy, clucking hens, you know that all is right with the world–at least in the vicinity of your yard.