Friday, March 23, 2012

Chickens Again!

I have so missed having chickens. I love fresh eggs! My boys didn't like chicken chores; Heather did. When Heather got married we stopped having chickens. Monte was traveling more and the coop was far away, and I didn't want to be doing the chores in the winter.

But I just ordered chicks. I'll be picking them up April 6. I am so excited! We've figured out a new spot closer to the house for a new coop. I go to bed dreaming of it's plan - improving upon our old coop.

My new friend has found a source for organic feed. That was another piece of having chickens that Monte and me didn't like - the typical bagged feed. A lady makes it and every 6 weeks we'll have to go scoop it into containers ... So what containers will be easiest for little 'ole me to work with? I'm only going to get 10 chicks this time ... How much feed for 6 weeks?

My start with chickens years ago is a hilarious story! A friend of mine (she had been Miss/and Mrs beauty pageant queens, and quite the city/glamour girl, and had sang for Bob Hopes' troup tours where she met her fighter pilot husband) - we ordered lots of chickens of differing kinds, including a turk chicken that had a bare neck. We drove over an hour to pick them up. I had no coup. We were still building our home and living in the downstairs. So where to put them? Why in the unfinished upstairs, of course! We stapled a ring of chicken wire to enclose them. Monte and me were sleeping in what is now our guest room, underneath them, so woke to little pecking noises.

I started building the coup in our driveway's parking area one early Sunday morning. Monte came out and said my door and windows were not square. I said, "it's only a chicken coup!" He helped me finish it. When we built our bigger coup, this one was attached to the back and became the future space for new chicks with it's own run next to the bigger coup run. It turned out to be a great idea! as the baby chicks grew up in close proximity and view of the larger chickens, so they could be introduced together with ease.

Another funny story is that we live with deer and elk always present. When it's mating season, the elk buggle. The rooster and elk would "talk" back and forth!

I'm not getting a rooster this time. Who knows, maybe we'll miss one. But then again no - they start crowing at 3-4 in the morning. When guests were sleeping in the bunk house, they did not appreciated that rude awakening. If crowing at dawn, that would be fine.

So YEAH to chickens! I can't wait!


Marci said...

I love having chickens too. I would suggest getting buckets with lids. They could be 5 gallon, but if that was too heavy, just don't fill them all the way. That will keep the rodents out and be easy to carry. When you first get them, they will hardly go through any food. Make sure the mix is very fine. We have been giving our new chicks our layer feed (we rarely get chick starter made up as it is way more expensive) and some of the corn is large and I have to sift it out. We have about 25 chickens right now since something had been getting them. We feed 2 large scoops of feed a day (around 1/2 gallon or close per scoop) but they free range all over the place. Hope this helps you figure. :)

Gayle said...

Believe it or not, Lee and I have chickens! Lee loves the eggs; I love the manure---. Lee does most of the chicken chores, thankfully. They are great fun to watch. We miss you guys.

Karey said...

Gayle - I've thought of you often. When I wrote this post I thought of another funny story. Remember one of the KONOS Family camps when Jessica was doing the filming? The kids had dumped the kitchen scrap bucket into the chicken run and the photographers missed it and said, "Do it again!" Right ...

Marci, thanks. I will look at the price differences. If I remember correctly the starter was medicated. I don't know how important that is. There's a grower too that I'll compare the prices of. Ours can't free-range - too many coyotes, fox, hawks - they await us being gone or sit at the edge of the woods and pick em off one-by-one ... and then a bear broke into the coup ... Going to have Dawson make a metal cage on wheels for wheeling around the meadow all summer.

Dawson and me had done a wood one one summer when we got a "barnyard" mix of ducks, geese and chickens. That did not have wheels and was so heavy! but we did it.

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