Jardin des Poulets
My Kids and I cobbled a small building together from Construction site cast offs and cabin tear-downs and created this Chicken Coop. Little did we know how our lives would be changed for the better from this ambitious project until we brought home these 9 little fluffy butt fuzz balls. We had the names all picked out before they arrived. Names that were flower names or sounded close to flower names:
Telulah (sounded like Tulip), Holly (hollyhock), Sylvia (Salvia), Lily, Rosey, Daisy, Violet, Petunia and Sunny (Sunflower). My little "Garden of Chickens." --Jardin des Poulets, just be on the haughty side, despite a humble coop and humble barnyard livestock.
The darling and charmer of the bunch turned out to be Rosey. A Rhode Island Red pullet. She was the fastest at worm chase, and had the brooder all checked out before the others even decided to move from their rooted spots.
Here she is playing peek-a-boo on the roost.
and then just lying down next to me in the grass and resting her head on my leg while she gets sun on her gizzard.
...Or using my leg as a Chaise Lounge...
Here she is all grown up last fall. ...."Our Rose-bush." --All of our chickens have a nickname or two.
This is our Sunny. She is a New Hampshire. She gets called Sunny-Dew a lot. She's good at stealing earrings.
She laid our very first Egg! A double Yolker!
We were so amazed by her and her achievement! She took a lower roost that evening and the Roo, Roger, roosted beside her that evening forgoing his usual desirable spot to be by her. His concern over this ordeal, evident. Or just amazed by her too!
Here they are, the two best friends, dusting together. Roger and Sunny.
After Sunny's Egg, I built this Free Range Chicken nesting box. It took a lot out of her that first egg. She had searched all afternoon for the perfect spot in our yard and it wasn't until we got her in the coop, when we were home, did she lay. So I thought this would give her
a nice option in the yard away from the coop.
Our chickens are spoiled.
Here is Roger (formerly Telulah) He is New Hampshire as well. He leads my flock and protects them as well. We couldn't free range without Rog. We call him Big Tootsie most days, because my son commented on how big his toes were.
Roger did not winter as well as the rest of his flock and our Minnesota Winter dubbed him of most of his comb and wattles, and unfortunately, a toe that had broke.
But he's doing well now, and leads our flock in their second summer. We love our Rog....our Big Tootsie. Who is Best Friends with Sunny.
"Daisy" and "Petunia" turned out to be "Duke" and "Hans". They are no longer with us, but we still have our memories and stories of them in our flock. Beautiful boys in their own right.
This is our Holly. Black Australorp. She is sweet and aloof. She's been broody 3 times already. Her black feathers shimmer back greens, blues and purples. Beautiful bird.
Sylvia is suppose to be Silver Laced Wyandotte...however our hatchery really probably gave us a Wyandotte mixture here. That's okay because "Silly" has so much to say! When we come out the sliding glass door she asks us a question we're sure. "bah-waaaahhh?" We give her the treat she's asked us about. Then she thanks us. "Bah-bah." I swear she communicates with us this way. She is top hen. Shaped like a bowling ball she clicks along on Roger's heels waiting for his findings. Biggest fluff on the roost!
Lily is a little Gray Easter Egger. She loves using her wings and getting to heights that the others don't try. She was really flighty and really didn't care to be held when she was younger...but now that she's a layer, she is quite fickle about her being held and she allows it when treats are involved. We love our Lily. When it comes to laying she's a champ!
Then there is Violet! Easter Egger with big puffy cheeks and beard. She did not lay until late this past winter. She probably has some egg making issues although she's been very consistent for me this summer. We call her Vi-Cheeks. She just has that charming Chipmunk Cheek look to her.
THEN! There came chicken Math! We were helping out friends by fostering these 3 Easter Egger Girls. Which then of course turned into adoption! Iris, Fleur and Marigold stole our hearts as well as Duke's as you can tell.
Here they are oblivious to Duke and then stumbling over each other to get away. LOL.
These series of photos still make me laugh. Duke dreaming of a "harem" to call his own, no doubt.
Fall came and I decided it was time for an extension to the coop. A covered Run to keep things cozy for the winter...as I heard chickens aren't big on walking in snow. Again you can see Duke dancing for the new girls. Oh Boy. And Iris, Mari and Fleur showing us their best "Flamingo" in the cooling temps.
The Run was a great idea for our winter conditions and the birds appreciated the exercise area. We were snowed in for a long time this last winter.
When conditions were good Roger would lead the girls up to the deck for treats.
And then finally....the snow and winter loosened its grip...
And Roger was trying to figure out how to deal with trespassers on his expanse of territory. My Funny Big Tootsie.
This is a great time of year for the chickens. I see them eating grass seeds and enjoying a veggie or two or a sunflower head from the garden. Truly they are wonderful in all their seasons. But Spring, Summer, and Fall we relish our time in the gardens. Our Garden of Chickens -- Jardin des Poulets.