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  1. nikkichikki
    5/6 Chicken Math?
    So, I'm still loving my chickens. So much. I love coming home after work and checking for eggs with my little brother. I love stomping around in the yard to find crickets and grasshoppers. I love getting all torn up by thorns and tall grass and stickers picking dewberries for the girls. I love watching them take dustbaths. If I ever did decide to eat meat again, which I don't forsee happening anytime in the near future, I don't think I could eat chicken ever again, I just love them too much. You don't eat your pets; mine make me breakfast (sometimes, lunch and dinner, too!).
    I love them so much...just three isn't enough. I really want to add a couple more. Silkies. I'm thinking a buff and a splash. I really don't care though. I think what I really want is to incubate my own eggs. I want to experience chicken-dom from the verrrry beginning! The only problem with that is what do I do if I end up with a rooster? Oh, well, that and the fact that we're going to have to move which means that I may not even get to keep the chickens that I already have :(
    The only thing I can do is enjoy, love, and spoil the girls as much as possible until we figure out where we're going to end up at. I don't think they'll mind that part so much, anyway. :p

    4/26 Natalie and the biggest (chicken) egg I've ever seen in my life...
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    So, on Saturday, Natalie laid her first egg. Then, on Sunday she sat on the nest for an hour and twenty minutes, panting the whole time, finally getting off with no egg laid. I was terrified that she was egg bound. She was drinking and eating though, so I left for a couple hours and came back to check on her. When I came back she had finally laid her egg-- on the ground outside, and there was some kind of sticky goo on it (but otherwise perfect, no cracks or bumps). What I think might have happened was she laid a "soft" shelled or non shelled egg along with her shelled egg. Yesterday she didn't lay any eggs. Today though, she laid a giant egg! Its the biggest egg I've ever seen in my life! I'm thinking that maybe its a double yolker, but its so beautiful I don't really want to crack it open!
    4/23 Natalie is finally laying!
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    They are now all laying eggs--in the coop! Natalie laid her first (for us, anyway) beautiful, darker-brown, speckled egg today. For dinner I had an omlet, courtesy of our chickens. It was delicious. We also participated in Austin's Funky Chicken coop tour today. Jaxson, Bill, and I got to check out a ton of different coops, and also saw some pretty cool gardens, as well. Jaxson was so funny- he wore a chicken hat that we'd gotten from Wurstfest in New Braunfels, TX...and got so many compliments that after the second stop he decided he didn't want to wear it anymore because he was exhausted from all the attention. It was a lot of fun, and I strongly reccomend it to anyone in the Austin area interested in keeping chickens. I will definitely be doing it again next year. When we got home we dyed the store bought easter eggs, and let the girls free range from 6:45 ish until dark--for the first time. It was awesome. They are so amazing, how they scratch and chase for bugs, and I was tickled pink watching them have a dustbathing party when they found a patch of dirt. I picked dewberries and my mom, brother, and stepdad all hunted for crickets and grasshoppers for the chickens. When we were about done, we all sat and watched what Jaxson called 'the chicken channel.' When it was time for bed, they all found their way into the coop with no problems (and no bribery from me, though I was ready, with strawberries). I hope to be able to let them free range for at least a little bit every day; after seeing how happy it made them, it would be hard not to.
    We laid an egg! We laid an egg! 4/14-- I guess they like us, they haven't even been here a week...
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    Jaxson got our first egg from underneath the coop. My mom said he ran into the house screaming, "We laid an egg! We laid an egg!" Since then we've had five more eggs!

    I'm Nikki and I am a chicken newbie. I started to become interested in raising chickens when I decided to be a vegetarian. I began to rely more and more on eggs as a source of protein. It was important to me to get eggs from a trusted source, and eventually I came to the realization that I could raise chickens and get eggs all by myself! I did some research and KNEW that it was something that I really wanted to do. I just needed the ok from my DM (Dearest Momma) to put a chicken run in the backyard...which, happened to be my Christmas present from my dad (along with help funding my little project :)). So, this was December, and the fine print said "not redeemable 'til it gets warm out" or something along those lines...so I waited. And I waited. Did I obsess? Yes. Yes, I did. Can you blame me? Nearly every bit of free time I had went to thinking about where I was going to put the run, how I was going to design the coop, what kind of chickens I wanted, how do I take care of chickens?... and so on and so on. All I talked about was chickens and coops (I'm sure my family got real tired of that!). Eventually, it started to get warmer and warmer. I bought a kit for the coop (which btw, turned out really nicely!), and a few weeks later found a good deal on a used dog kennel. A few weeks after that, my step-dad and I finally were able to start building the coop, which we finished in two weekends. The building process was definitely an adventure in and of itself! I drilled and hammered and it was so much fun! I really enjoyed building it, and am very proud with the end product. We painted it it burnt orange and white ...HOOK 'EM! In my opinion, it just might be the best lookin' coop ever. Even better, we finished and got chickens the eve of my birthday.
    I am, as of Sunday April 10th, a proud chicken mommy to three beautiful hens:

    [​IMG]Natalie- A Barnevelder
    [​IMG]Marne- A Golden Laced Wyandotte
    [​IMG]Emily- A Silver Laced Wyandotte
    Here are some pics from our coop building adventures. It took us two weekends to build it.
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