Our village OK'd chickens two years ago, and several weeks ago, the BeauHunk turned to me and said, "I want chickens."
So chickens it is. We go through a lot of eggs, and I'm opposed to eating something I've had as a pet, so we're raising hens. We're staring out with 4: 1 buff orpington, 1 barred rock and 2 spotted sussex. We got them when they were 4 days old and they were so eeeeeee! Fuzzy and cute, and now they're still cute even though they've entered that awkward teenager stage, all gawky and half fluff/half feathers.
They're three and a half weeks old, and it has been very fun to watch them grow. They are definitely bigger every day. Sometimes they're bigger from morning to night. It's amazing - we're looking at feathers they didn't have yesterday, or how much taller they are every day.
While they've been growing we've been building the coop on weekends. We started out with three very solid wooden kitchen cabinets we got at our local ReStore for $10 each. By the end of this weekend, the coop should be ready to use. The run will come afterwards, but I just learned tonight, by reading the forums, that we should keep them in the coop a while before letting them in the run, so that they learn where "home" is. See? I learn something every time I get on this site!
The girls have also been a pleasure to listen to, so calming. We started out brooding them in the basement, but then brought them up to the dining room (that whole farm-to-table thing is about a foot and a half right now) so we hear them all day long. I love the sound and will be sad to have them in the coop, but this is not a Disney movie. Although it seems like it when they sit on my shoulder or nuzzle into my neck or nestle in the crook of my arm and fall asleep - one was so happy I swear she was purring! But then they ruin the romance by pooping on me. I'm shocked at how quickly this house because a "it's just poop" house. You just swipe it up with a wipey and carry on.
BackYardChickens.com has become my go-to for everything. You people are so generous with your time and ideas. I can absolutely say we couldn't have done it without you all!
Up until six weeks ago, we were a family of four with a cat. Then our youngest got a hamster. Then we got four chickens. Someone just made a pitch for a tortoise, and I drew the line! NO MORE! The critters all seem to get along - oh sure, there's the occasional hamster nibble on kitty toes and the hamster got pecked in the head once, but in the oddest way, the chickens seem to have become therapy pets. Go figure.
Anyway, looking forward to learning more and more. I love seeing people's photos of their projects, and so I will eventually post our coop building.