Thursday, November 13, 2008

Chicken Soup!

Well, yes we have had lots of colds going around here and indeed chicken soup is great for that but that is not what I am writing about ... believe me no one wants to hear about boogy noses and hacking coughs -- we are hoping they are on their way out and will not be back for a long time.

Actually, I am going to tell you about our chickens ... please keep in mind that I am fairly clueless about chickens! This is all a first for me!

As a family we have been talking about having chickens for years but just have not had the space for them. Here at our new place it seemed like the perfect time. So we started planning what we wanted. Our intentions were to get a few (ten or so) hens for eggs and then at some point raise meat birds.

The pressure was on my Dan to get the coop built as I browsed Craigslist and found many chickens for sale. I think he was afraid he would come home to a bunch of chickens with no place to live. So after many days, hours, and much bickering a coop design was established and materials bought. For those of you who can throw together a coop in a day -- bravo to you! For us building things is a little more challenging, just read this post for how well we work together, after all these years not much has changed!

Anyways, we finally got the materials and with the help of the children ... Dan built the coop!! I did help some ... I did some of the painting and helped keep the kids safe and made lunch BUT honestly the less I helped the better!!!! I bought all the supplies that we would need ... a feed dish, a water dish, some food, scratch, and hay! We were ready, all we needed now was chickens!!!

So I found some chickens on Craigslist and we went to get them. Light Brahmas, that were born sometimes during the last week of May and first week of June. They had not started laying yet but should soon. There is a flock (is that the right term) of ten but there may be a couple roosters. This all sounded great to us! We went and picked them up and brought them home!!

YEAH, we have chickens. I had researched the best way get them to nest and all that jazz. So they stayed in their coop for two days and then on day three we let them out to roam around. Or more precisely be chased around by the kids who wanted to pet them. The first couple of nights it took all of us and some chasing to get them all back in the coop but now they all go in at dinner time! Good little chickens!

On the fourth day (a Monday) we went to put them in and there was one missing, we searched. Dan and Jacob went into the woods and searched. We thought of all the possibilities and had decided that we had lost one ... five days later (Saturday) I went out in the morning and there it was ... scratching around! So we have ten again!!!

So here is the funny part ... it would be nice to know which are hens and which are roosters --- we have even joked that maybe they are all roosters and we just have no idea what we are doing! There is one that I am quite sure is a rooster but other than that I have no idea. I have looked it up on the internet ... apparently Light Brahamas have very little distinctions between males and females. I asked around and was told that the I should know because the roosters will crow - well these gals/guys are quiet ... I have heard a little clucking here and there but no good crows!

So here we have a wonderful coop and ten chickens ... no eggs yet (but I was told that due to the colder weather and shorter day light hours that I may not get any until spring) and we have no idea which are the hens and which are the roosters! Real good chicken farmers, aren't we! But they are fun to watch, they even let the kids pet them sometimes, they come running when I go out and who knows maybe someday we will get some eggs!


SAHW said...

So fun! I love chickens and want to have some too...but I don't think it'll work while we're in an apartment. I'll be curious to know which are which once you figure it out!

ThisGrandma said...

What beautiful birds !! And a great learning opportunity for all !! I hope you can get at least a few eggs before spring. Gotta watch out for raccoons or foxes. Amazing that that one returned !!

Anonymous said...

Wow that sounds like so much fun.

HeatherPride said...

This is so funny! I can't believe you just went out and got yourselves some chickens! My parents neighbors have chickens in their back yard and my dad got so mad when the rooster got old enough to crow! He would wake him up every day before the sun came up. I think your kids will love this experience! And be sure to get some pictures of the eggs when they come!

Tricia said...

I wonder if this means I have to leave my dogs home the next time I come to visit.

My husband grew up on a farm and the kids used to think it was fun to give the chickens wine. Kids and animals...they're constantly amusing each other.

Jacie said...

sounds like an adventure!

Honey Mommy said...

What an adventure!

I witnessed a chicken getting it's head chopped off when I was younger, and now I have NO desire to raise chickens for meat, eggs or whatever!
I guess you could say I was scarred for life... but I'll still eat chicken!