Last March hubby and I added six new additions to our little house in the little woods. Chickens! One afternoon at Tractor Supply and we were the proud owners of three Black Sex Links (Martha, Margaret and Rowan), two Rhode Island Reds (Ruth and Mary) and a White Leghorn (Skipper). Hubby built a chicken brooder with heat lamps to keep our two-day-old babies toasty in the garage and then started working on their chicken coop.
Picking out her chicks:
A short while later, Skipper took her first steps outdoors. Little did we know that our little hen would start growing a full comb and start crowing. It turns out she is a he.
Ruth and Mary:
My big boy Skipper. Right after we moved the chickens into their coop and play yard, Skipper broke his leg. He now walks with a limp and skips when he runs. His name suits him:
Hubby did a great job with the coop. It sits at the end of the garden and has an attached play yard for the chickens. After the Fall harvest we added a little gate between the play yard and the garden. The girls (and our man Skip) were thrilled to strip down the garden for us. The green beans were gone within a day!
I have since added a shiny white mailbox on a post (no pic) near the chicken coop. I keep tasty treats for my girls (meal worms, oats and scratch) in the mailbox so that I can spoil them rotten.
My daughters love to show off to their friends:
And, finally... The payoff!! Our girls were giving us five eggs a day during late Summer and all through Fall. If you made eye contact with me in September I would give you a dozen eggs. Now that the temperature has dropped and we have less daylight, we are down to two or three a day. And Skipper? Well, he's not exactly earning his keep, but he is so darn handsome I can't possibly get rid of him.
I cannot adequately put into words how much these chickens have added to our lives. My kids are learning first-hand where their food comes from. Although we don't plan on eating our chickens (when Skipper crows all day I do have my doubts...), we are enjoying the eggs. Chickens do require a bit of maintenance. Ours are locked into their coop at night (I've had neighbors lose theirs to local wildlife) so someone has to put them to bed at night and let them out in the morning. My oldest actually has chores!! And responsibilities!!!
It's all good...