The State of the Coop

p>Many things have been happening with our chicken coop over the past few months, and I’ve barely mentioned any of it!  So here we go: the State of the Coop.

 

Exciting thing #1 is that we had a structure built to enclose the chickens.  The structure isn’t raccoon proof (yet), so we still have to put the chickens up in their coop at night, but it looks pretty sweet:

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The eventual plan for this structure is for Y to build a new coop so there’s more space on the ground for the chickens to run around.  Then we’ll put a bench in there, so we can go in and hang out with the chickens.

A few weeks ago, I went to the Sunset Celebration with my friend Sarah and saw Sunset Magazine’s awesome chicken coop.  I was totally inspired by their coop, which used bark on the ground instead of dirt, hay or gravel.  According to the girl manning the coop, the bark chips work really well to control odor and only have to be replaced a couple of times a year.  Sounds good to me!  So bark is on the horizon, too.  :)

How about some chicken pix?!

This lovely lady is Violet:

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What?  You don’t think she’s pretty?

How about now?

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Yeah, that’s better.  :)

Exciting thing #2 is that Violet laid her first egg a couple of weeks ago.  We were so thrilled!!  Rosarita has been laying for a couple of months now, but she was the only one.  Then, yesterday, Rosebud laid HER first egg!  And it was green!

Here’s Rosebud and I:

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Rosebud has really funny sideburns.

Right now the big chickens (ie, Rosebud, Violet and Rosarita) are all living in our old coop, and the four little chickens (Dahlia, Buttercup, Tulip and Daisy) are living in the big coop/new structure.  We tried to introduce them, but the big chickens picked on the little guys too much.  We decided to wait until the little chickens are bigger before introducing them again.

Here they are the first day we introduced everyone:

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It’s important that the little chickens establish their place in the coop at night before we put the big chickens back in.  Unfortunately, the little chickens are kind of stupid–they don’t go up in the coop by themselves at night.  We’ve tried putting a light up there to lure them up the ramp, but nada.  I think we’re going to try bribing them with melon.  As it is, we have to put each little chicken in the coop by hand every night, then lock up their coop.  It’s kind of annoying.  :-/

The little guys sure are cute, though!  They grow every day.  Here’s Dahlia:

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And her sister, Buttercup.  Buttercup sits like this a lot.  We call her “little turkey vulture.”

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We obviously have a lot of fun with our chickens:

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Things we have learned about chickens:

  • The term “chicken” is totally accurate.  That is, chickens are totally afraid of everything. They run like the wind everytime they think something is scary.  And for them, many things are scary.
  • Chickens like to pace when they’re getting ready to lay an egg.  Luckily, our chickens have plenty of room to walk around, but it makes me really sad to think about the chickens in factory farms who can’t walk around.  Our ladies seem kind of uncomfortable around egg time, and walking seems to help.
  • Chickens are GREEDY. They’ll be best friends, but the second you give somebody a treat, they all try to steal it.  Once a chicken gets control of a treat, she will take off running, being chased by everyone else.  It’s really funny, but it takes forever for someone to actually EAT anything!
  • Each chicken has a personality, and for the most part, their personalities have been there since they were little chicks.  For example, Dahlia is a total loudmouth, and she has been since the day we brought her home from the feed store.

That’s all, folks!

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7 thoughts on “The State of the Coop

  1. walletpuppy

    I had no idea that chickens like to pace before they lay an egg. It sounds like dogs who are about to give birth who walk around in a little circle, getting the “nest” ready.

    Reply
  2. Bri

    I think little lady Violet photographs a lot like me. You gotta catch us from our good side. She is my fav! :)

    Reply
  3. @walletpuppy: We had no idea we were so hip when we started this! How cool!!

    @bri: Isn’t Violet gorgeous?! I guess you guys DO have a lot in common! ;)

    @Amy: Yeah! We did see that! I think those are SO COOL. Thanks for thinking of me!!

    Reply
  4. Ronda

    You pay $35.00 for fifty pounds of chicken feed???? Holy crap! Where do you live?!?!  $13 – $15.00 per bag is the most it runs in south west Wisconsin.

    Reply
  5. Ha! That would be exactly why. I live in San Francisco. Not exactly the same level of demand out here. ;) if it makes a difference, it was organic…? Haha.

    Reply

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