Well, we did it! We decided to try our hand at raising backyard chickens. Exactly one month ago, we brought home six laying hens, about 8 months old. After debating chicks alllll spring, we decided to pass on chickens for this year. Then a friend of a friend was moving and couldn’t bring their hens with them, and the opportunity to bring these ladies home fell into our laps! I’m so happy we decided to give raising backyard chickens a chance!
These are photos from the first week or two of being chicken owners. One week into having our chickens, Joe began to build a very secure coop and enclosed run. We’d purchased a small coop and some fencing from the previous owner, but it wasn’t secure or predator-safe. It took Joe about 3 weeks to finish the coop, but it wasn’t soon enough. Sadly, we had a few losses before the safe coop was finished. Our little town is full of predators (hawks, weasels, foxes, opossums, cats/dogs, etc.).
We’ve learned A LOT in the last month. What they need, what they love, what they hate, what they’re scared of, what they do if they free range, etc. Our long term plan is to allow them to free range in our yard, but we have to make sure they can’t leave our yard and dig in one of our neighbor’s rose beds and dig in MY vegetable garden. For the time being, they’ll simply live in their new, beautiful coop, and maybe free range a bit in the evening before dusk.
Their favorite treats are grapes and watermelon. They love when I bring them frozen treats (frozen berries are their favorite) and ice water on a hot summer day. They are relatively low maintenance animals, and *mostly* just need water and food and shelter. I’ll share a complete list of everything we have for our chickens beyond those three essentials. They’re pretty good girls, except when they escape and dig in our neighbor’s garden and hide their eggs over there. We have so much to learn! We plan on adding some blue and green layers in the near future.
There’s nothing better than walking outside, grabbing the eggs from the coop, some scallions and tomatoes from the garden, and heading inside to make a meal that came entirely from your animals and your garden. I cannot imagine what homesteaders must feel!
I’m planning on sharing lots about our journey with chickens (and maybe more animals in the future)! I’ll share all the details for our new coop (and a video tour), all the supplies we have, adding to our flock, etc. I can’t wait to keep learning, and please, if you have/had chickens, please share all the advice, stories, tips & tricks!
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