August 29, 2010
My boyfriend and I finally took the plunge and got chickens!
We live in Oregon with our 3 cats, 5 housemates, 3 ferrets, and soon to be 6 chickens. After some stubborn persistence from myself, I finally convinced my boyfriend that we would absolutely love to add chickens to our little family. He grey up in the country next to a chicken farm and, apparently, did not like waking up to several hundred little white chickens and a very large rooster every day. But, he finally agreed to it after I promised that none of them would be white and that we would never, ever get a rooster.
So, now we are going to be the proud owners of a Speckled Sussex, Golden Polish, Golden Wyandotte, and 3 Belgian d'Anvers, all of which happen to be orange. We originally only wanted 3 and wanted to buy them from a local hatchery, but they didn't have anything for another 6-8 months, so we decided to ship our little girls from Meyer Hatchery. They could only ship 3 standard and 3 bantam chicks, but that actually worked out perfectly. We couldn't decided whether we wanted the Polish or the Wyandotte and the Belgian d'Anver was only sold as straight run, so now we're getting 3 of them and are hoping that at least one of them will be female. Which gives us 6 little chickens that should be here on the 22nd!
September 12, 2010
We've finally finished the coop design! At least the third or fourth draft of it. There will probably be a few more unforeseen changes to come, but, for now, this is what we're planning on doing.
The coop is going to be built with the left and back side next to a 6' concrete fence. That is also concrete that it is going to be sitting on. The entire thing is 3'x10' with posts that are going to be set into concrete (like you would do for a fence). The run is 3'x7'. The coop is 3'x3' and is 2' off the ground. The entire wall in the front hinges open to make it easier to clean out. The top of the run hinges up as well so that we can stand in it! That way, we won't have to be crawling around in it. The biggest problem we're anticipating is rain and the impending moisture. So, we've decided to use the deep litter method with pellets in the coop and put sand in the run. We're not entirely sure how well pellets are going to work, but we have a pellet stove, so we quite literally have a ton of them already!
Future sight of chicken coop!
September 21, 2010Chickens have arrived!!! They were born on Monday and had to be shipped from the East to the West coast, so I thought it would be Wednesday or Thursday, even Friday before they got here. But, I woke up this morning with a funny feeling that they'd be here today and they were!
The post office was so happy when we got there. Apparently, the peeping was disrupting productivity.
The brooder! They're set up in our pantry (or, what will be our pantry if we ever put shelves in it). They've got a little egg carton feeder and a water bottle attached to half of a lemonade carton for a watereer! It's not glamerous, but they can get food and water our of them and can't tip them over!
The cats are really confused. They'd never seen a chicken before. They kept sniffing at the door and climbing into the empty box. Ridicy (the black one) won't go near the pantry. She just paces around it and stares at them. Sibil (the grey tabby) wants to sit with me and watch them through the plastic. And our last cat, Sophia, just can't figure out why they get more attention than she does!
(Oh, and that menacing knife that I just realized looks really creepy we used to cut the tape off of the box. We couldn't find scissors.)Golden Laced Wyandotte. It might be because she looks the most like them, but I think the bantams have dubbed her mommy. Whenever they get cold they try to hide under her feathers! She's not as fond of them as they are of her and tries to run away from them!
And here are the babies!
Speckled Sussex. Everyone likes her the best because she's the only orange one. Which is funny, because she's the only one who's not going to be orange!
Golden Laced Polish. While the others were trying to learn how to eat and drink, she was running around the other side of the brooder! We had to show her where everything was so many times!
Belgian d'Anver #1. So far they're the smartest. All three of them picked up eating and drinking first. We had to dip they're beaks in the water so many times! But, once they got it, they had it down! The Sussex figured it out after she realized that these guys were getting something she wasn't. And the Wyandotte, instead of trying to learn how to drink, just stole water out of their mouths.
Belgian d'Anver #2.
Belgian d'Anver #3. I think this one's a boy. The standards should all be hens, but the bantams were straight run. You can't see it in this picture, but he has this giant single comb. (I know, I know, Belgian with a single comb!) But, it's bigger than the Sussex's comb and she's twice his size! So, we're thinking boy. Which is fine, we expected at least one boy out of the bunch.
November 5, 2010
It's official. Two hens and four roos! They look like roos, act like roos, and sound like roos, so they must be roos! There aren't any crows or eggs yet, but there's a very distinct throaty chirp out of the boys. So, we've finally given up hope for more girls! We have roos. Lots and lots of roos.
First off, the girls!Speckled Sussex. She's a real sweety. Very mellow.
Belgian d'Anver #1. We call this little one Sniffles. She has such a tiny nose that she's always getting dust caught up in it. We've been putting saline down her nose and she's been doing better, but when you hold her up to your ear, you can hear the sniffles!
And for the roos!
Belgian d'Anver #2. Our smaller, less dominant Belgian roo. It took us a couple weeks of, "Is it? No. It can't be! Can it?" Yes, yes it's a boy! He's just now starting to get a roo personality. He's definitely the least dominant of all of them, but we've definitely decided that he's a boy.
Benglian d'Anver #3. We thought he was a roo from day one and he's always lived up to that! He's definitely our dominant roo. Always running around, checking everything out. If one of them squawks, he's right there checking it out! We actually might keep him. He's been a lot of fun. Fiesty, but in an absolutely adorable kind of way. Thinking about naming him Lucifer or Beelzebub.
Oh, and that is a single comb! I know, I know, it's not a rose comb! But, oh well. He's strictly a backyard chicken, so it doesn't matter. It kind of suits him, even.
Golden Laced Wyandotte. This was the second one that we knew was a boy. He's had these long thick legs, a bright red comb, and was the last one to grow feathers. He actually still doesn't have tail feathers...almost at all. But we introduced him to the ferrets and one of them tried to eat his butt! So, he may be missing them for a while... He's the most typical roo of the bunch. Bit of a broot, actually.
Golden Laced Polish. We held out so long hoping that the head feathers would fall and that he would be a she! But no such luck. He's definitely a roo. Doesn't act like a roo, but cuckles like a roo and looks like a roo, so, he must be a roo! We were so sad! He was our favorite in the beginning, but has lost that loving little personality.
February 2, 2011
First time sexing chickens, who would have known we'd mix a few up? So, this is our actual hen count!
Belgian d'Anver #1. Sniffles.
Golden Laced Wyandotte.
Golden Laced Polish. Jesabelle.
RoostersBelgian d'Anver #2.Belgian d'Anver #3. Beelzebub.
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