Welcome to my Back Yard Chickens page!
I am quite new to raising chickens domestically and am dragging my reluctant husband along behind me...I tell the story to my friends that it took a year of him saying "hell, no" every time I mentioned chickens for him to finally just roll his eyes and then - he was in! And here we are! (By the way - he "tucks them in" every night and talks to them like little people, so I'm fairly certain he's smitten as much as I am.) I got 3 red sex-linked hens from Country Farm and Feed in Enumclaw and brought them home to their brooder. I'm hoping to get some ducks soon because they just fascinate me - and perhaps in the future - pygmy goats.
But until then, I will have to enjoy my ladies - who keep me busy and are good entertainment. Hopefully they will start laying by July, and it will start a whole new chapter!
We have a pretty busy 1/4 acre - a full vegetable garden with herbs and berries, several bins for vermi-composting, the chickens, the cats, the pugs - we are making good use of a big backyard.
Here is a pic of our 2 year old Pug, Gus, sniffing out the new chicks...
And our 9 year old Emmylou just looking because she's too short to see over the rim of the brooder...
I decided to convert on old shed in my backyard into their coop - to reduce the impact on the yard in case we decide to sell our house in the near future, and also because an unused shed becomes a magnet for all the "stuff" that has no other place to go (you know - drywall, old shelves, old paint, sponges...).
And a closer look at the run... And the inside...
I ended up making nesting boxes out of old cantaloupe boxes I picked up at the antique store:
I actually partitioned out half the shed for a coop and half for a working area with a table, and all their feed, DE, the meal worms I'm hoping to sustainably grow in a big tupperware container. They truly are crack for chickens and I like to scoop out a ladle-full and watch the girls freak out because they know what is coming (they run around in circles - it cracks me up!) I might move the meal worms inside, which I will strategically keep from my husband, because it's really cold still in Washington and they are VERY sluggish. It's a good working space - their run is out the back which is good for being out of the way - but hard to watch from the kitchen. I hope to expand it soon. We'll see.
I painted the inside of their coop a truly god- awful yellow. It looks like I took a thousand egg yolks and just smeared them all over the inside - but I read somewhere it helps them lay better and also it is sunny and cheery so what's the harm, right? I built my coop with limited knowledge of things mechanical (nothing worse than a therapist with a sawz-all) but I think it turned out okay. I built it using mostly found materials. Craigslist is awesome. The only things I bought were screen and hardware for the gate and windows and doors, the nesting boxes and the reclaimed window from an antique store. My man say's I'm stubborn enough to figure anything and this time, he was right - I just worked on it until it looked close to what I wanted and then stopped. Boundaries are good! Here are the Ladies - Velva, Eunice, and Beverly ~ One of their maiden voyages outside the new coop. These are Happy Girls!!
Thanks for looking!