Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chicken Chronicles

Yes, it's been a while and I know y'all have been just craving another post about my chickens.

Lots has happened with the chickens, but we all sort of got side tracked.  We lost a dear friend suddenly a few weeks ago, and it's kind of hard to want to write about any thing trivial.  Jim was an awesome man, and he and his family were among those that encouraged us to get chickens, and they have about the cutest chicken coop you've ever seen.

We decided our last two nameless birds would both be named to honor Jim in some way.  So, the Cuckoo Marans are now named Tweetie Pie and Ginkball.  Not exactly a timeless memorial, but it does make me smile and that is important.

So.  The girls have grown up a lot.  We finished the coop and moved them in.  One got injured (long story), and I was afraid we'd have to break out the axe again, but she seems to be improving steadily.

This is how the coop looks as you approach it from the woods.  It's far enough from the house that you can't see it from the house or the yard, so it's kind of nice to walk down the path and see it there under the clubhouse like that.

This is the back of the coop - those cupboard doors open into the back of the laying boxes so I can sneakily gather the eggs.

Here is the front of the hen house, with the ramp and the door. 

We physically placed the hens in at dusk and closed the door the first couple of nights, but they've got the routine down and  now we don't do anything.  Except for those few days when I had to go out after dark and lift Bossy up into the hen house because her injury prevented her from going up the ramp.  The night I went out and found her in the house with the rest of the girls gave me such a feeling of relief - I knew she was on the mend!

Happy chickens, with lots of room to roam now.

 This is Ginkball, heading up the roost.  She and her sister Cuckoo Maran (Tweetie Pie) are the largest in the flock right now.

These are Lacy and Big Bird (Aidan's chicken).  Loving the "top hat" that is growing on Big Bird.  S/he is a gorgeous chicken, and the only "unsexed" one we have.  We are anxiously awaiting further growth and hoping that it is not a rooster!

This one is Queenie.  Developing into a very pretty chicken, but she isn't growing as fast as the rest.  I am assuming it is a trait of her breed, as she definitely is one of the more dominant hens in the flock and gets her fair share of the food.

Several of the girls enjoying their outdoor roost.  There are also roosts in the henhouse.

I can't tell you how much we are all enjoying the chickens.  I love seeing a note from Bridget posted on the back door, "Gone to visit the chickens" and we as a family often wander out there together to see what they are up to.  I've been known to head out with food for them and just sit and relax for a half an hour, watching their antics.

Anxiously awaiting the eggs......

Stay tuned...  we have new residents moving into the coop with The Girls!

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