Welcome to our BYC page!
A short history:
Our first batch of chickens in Spring, 2010
Say "Hello" to Stretch, Helicopter, Dash, Penelope, Foghorn, Rockie, and Red.
Our first Buff Orphington, Baby, being late, missed her debut and arrived a week later.
Day Two in the Nursury
Helicopter getting the 25 cent tour from Rachel, chicken keeper extraordinaire!.
Clearing the site for the new coop. Lots of trees, rocks, roots, rocks, more rocks, more roots.
So many roots you'd think they grow on trees or something!
Supper time! Now it's a race between me and the fast growing chicks.
There goes the neighborhood! A family of foxes spotted in our own back yard. We hope they move on.
It's Pulletpalooza in the barn. The girls don't fit into their nursury any more.
Working on the coop every spare minute - but the girls are growing fast and want to free range.
We let them out of the barn into the yard while we're around to watch them.
Beloved Penelope, We lost her along with Dash, Foghorn, and Rockie in one fateful May afternoon. We lost Red a week later.
Foxes are very smart and very sneaky. One was hiding under a boulder when I let Red and the other three girls out on a saturday morning.
The fox waited until Red walked by, no more than 20 feet from where I sat, drinking my morning coffee.
The fox grabbed her by the neck and took off with her through the woods. I could not believe it.
Pushing hard to get the secure coop finished. Started carrying the 1200 FPS break barrel air rifle when the girls were out.
Have not seen the foxes since we lost Red.
Helicopter as a pullet, Our "Singing Chicken" has a very sweet voice.
Pumpkin, One of our 2nd batch to replace the girls we lost.
Poppy, along with Pumpkin, Polly, Pepper and Phylis the Phrizzle, joined us as chicks but grew up fast.
Poppy is also a critical part of my retirement plan - a line of self-roasting chickens!
Polly lays blue eggs.
Our Buff Orphington, Baby. So named cuz she came to us a week after the other chicks and was the smallest of them all.
She's a big girl now and likes to have her breast feathers stroked. She's the friendliest chicken ever.
Pepper is the intrepid explorer, always in search of adventure or a tasty bug.
Our little "surprise" chick, Napoleon, the bantam cochin roo! He thinks he's a lot bigger than he really is.
update: 10/25/11 Lost Napoleon to an unknown predator today. Napoleon and his girls were free-ranging
in the yard. All we found was a little pile of feathers. RIP.
Phylis, sometimes mistaken for a deranged bedroom slipper. Stretch is out in front. She's runs the show.
Phylis is one of those girls that is always overdressed for the occaision. Wearing a frilly gown to go camping!
Chickens LOVE treats! Turkey bacon is their favorite.
The Boss Lady. Stretch (so named because she was always peeking out of top of the nursury box).
She also lays the largest eggs I've ever seen. So the name is appropriate!
When I sit in my "Chicken Chair", she hops up on my shoulder to show me who's in charge.
She makes General George S. Patton look like a pansy. This girl is all business and she runs a tight ship.
99% Done, the girls move in.
Dug a 18" perimeter trench and lined it with hardware cloth and Process stone.
Unless the foxes show up in an M-1 Abrams, they're not getting any more of our chickens.
12 nesting boxes. Separate quarantine section. Heat lamp for cold winter nights. Automatic pop door on timer.
Raised platform for 7 gallon waterer.Inside and outside roosts. Heated water bowl.
Plexyglass & canvas storm covers for winter. Motion detector lighting in back.
Future plans call for an enlarged run of 16' x 24' between the coop and the barn. (update 7/25: Run is under construction)
First Rent payment! Right on time too! Stretch's egg is on the right.
Chicken Art - Old desk from the local goodwill that I painted up for my long-suffering and very patient wife.
Sides are painted with scenes I remember from my time spent at grandmother's house with her chickens, 45+ years ago.
Stretch checks out all visitors to the yard. "Wher're ya from stranger?"
Ahhh, Wintertime in Connecticut!
Like I said, AAAAAH! WINTERTIME in Connecticut. There's chickens waiting to be rescued!
Some girls don't like to get their feet wet.... "can we move a little closer to the firepit please?"
Keeping warm by the fire - I get scolded if I'm not quick enough with the matches or kindling.
New farm hand just arrived to help out with the chicken chores & security.
A Welsh Corgi pup named "Dragon". We figured at least the name would be intimidating.
The girls paid no attention. He's just a goofy looking chicken with big ears.
A little warmth at last. "where's the marshmallows?"
Morning Rush hour is always tough in winter cuz some darn fool is always holding up traffic!
Spring at last! The "Three Amigas", Stretch, Helicoptor and Baby, are dangerously close to the 'No Chicken Zone".
Only Mustangs allowed in there ladies. Strictly off-limits to anything with feathers attached to it.
Fine, you can help get the bugs out of the radiators. Just be careful!
Batch # 3, Spring 2011: Aunt Bea, Brownie, Astro, Coco, Daisy, Buttercup, Scooter, and Betty Lou.
Update 12/17/11: Scooter disapeared from her pen one warm evening in September - after that all her
other sisters decided they would spend nights safe inside the barn. Brownie turned out to be a rooster but
he is very gentle and well-mannered so we may keep him. He spends his evenings and early mornings in the
barn where he can practice his voice lessons without disturbing the neighbor's sleep.
Also part of Batch #3, Thing One and Thing Two, As it turns out both are Roos so we're putting them up for adoption.
Napoleon says "there's only room for one Roo in this coop!"
Dragon is growing up. Very handsom and smart too. Still has big ears. We have to hold him down on windy days.
Barn deck and enlarged chicken run partly visible under construction in the background.
Dragon in security officer mode. He's got 24 birds of various ages to watch. He especially lilkes to play with Napoleon, the roo.
Dragon chases Napoleon and Napoleon, well, acts like a chicken and tries to get away.
Dragon gently traps him between his front paws and holds him down with his chin until he stops flapping about, then he lets him go.
I think it's more fun for Dragon than Napoleon.
He knows how to take care of little chickens that don't want to go to bed on time. Aunt Bea is making a run for it.
Chickens are fast but Dragon never gives up.
Hiding under the wood pile won't work either. Corgis are built for just such contingencies.
Here ya go Rachel, this is the last one.....
Mission accomplished! Making sure the head-count is correct!
Phylis the Phrizzle went broody on us so now we have home-grown batch #4. Sooty, Dusty, Ash-leigh & Char-lene.
All a mix of Helicopter, a Silver-Laced Wyandotte and Napoleon, our bantam Cochin. They all have feathery feet!
Update 12/17/11: Ash-leigh & Char-lene turned out to be Ashton and Charlie: They will be looking for a new home soon. Little Sooty
was born not quite right and left us in September, 2011. Dusty laid her first egg on Dec 16th, 2011.
Helicopter knows where the chicken feed is stored and wants to make sure I know too.
The End, (almost!)
Chicken Run 2011
A photo tour of our new chicken run, built during the summer of 2011.
This photo was takn during the great snow storm of January/February 2011. It shows the original coop built in 2010 and our little storage "barn" built in 2009.
Photo taken on 11/11/11 showing new barn deck, chicken run and "chunnel" (chicken tunnel). I have to finish the railing on the steps and some landscaping before the snow hits. Paint will have to wait for spring. The coop has its winter covers on, clear lexan panels below and oiled canvas covers above.
Ground level view.
Closer view of run entrance and "chunnel".
Front view of barn deck.
Buff Orphington "Aunt Bea" using the "Chunnel".
Entrance and railing details. Post lights are solar powered.
Run entrance door
Interior of run. I had to chop six post sockets out of solid rock. Bust up a few large boulders and cut through massive tree roots. Talk about fun!
Entrance to "Chunnel" from inside the run. The run is "L" shaped.
There is a 16' x 16' main section and an 8' x 8' "foyer" entrance off the barn deck.
I can expand it further if we get more chickens (only after my body heals)
Creative framing was required to accommodate the topography.
Chickens playing "king of the hill"!
Chickens exploring the run on the first day.
Rear of coop and "chunnel". Dragon is peeking through the deck side door. At dusk, if there are any stragglers, it's his job to herd them through the "chunnel" into the coop for the night.
That's all the chicken projects for 2011 - thanks for visiting!