CHICKS IN THE 'HOOD
...our adventure with chickens in the city...
Picture it, Atlanta 2010, on a cold January day....we made the decision to get some chickens from a local organic garden center. We found out that they sell baby chicks, after raising them for the first 6 weeks. This was just fine for us because we had no experience with chickens and we needed to get a coop and run built for them. Our due date - April 2010!
our "little house in the hood"
We ordered our first 4 chickens from an organic garden center in Atlanta called Farmer D Organics. They raise chicks for the first 6 weeks, or until they start feathering out, which was fine with us since we had no 'bator or heat lamps and basically knew nothing about raising chickens at all, much less what to do from the time when they first hatch! To get ideas for our coop and run, we bought books and poured over all the coops pictured here on BYC. There were SO many ideas!
After many hours of research and 'discussion', we came up with a plan and the work started. We decided that we would use an existing privacy fence as one wall of the run and that the back of the coop would be close to the shed (the perfect place to keep feed, litter and other necessary chicken items).
the posts were supported with concrete and the floor reinforced with brackets...lots of brackets
we tried our best to be perfect, but if you look closely at the 4 posts, they are not *quite* square.
the floor is level, no matter what it looks like in the picture. we've dubbed it the "Crooked Coop"
we added the floor and the framing continues, along with more brackets
here come the windows, walls and roof!
you can see that we have windows on 3 sides and the nest boxes are in the front
progress continues...the wood on the outside is repurposed wood from
a friend's barn that was destroyed in a tornado several years ago.
THE GIRLS ARRIVE!!!!
We got a call from the garden center and found out that our girls were ready to be picked up a week earlier than we thought.
YIKES! The coop wasn't finished, but we were ready to improvise. We kept them outside in a secure dog pen during the day and
brought them inside at night. The original four girls were 2 Buff Orps and 2 EEs. Actually, the garden center was advertising
the EEs as Americaunas, but after being on BYC for about a second, I learned that they were EEs.
Pictures of the girls outside:
clockwise, starting upper left - Doris, Agnes, Pearl, and Stella in the front
Pictures of the girls inside at night:
Baliey had a great time watching the new additions!
THE GIRLS ARRIVE!! (pt. 2)
We always knew that we wanted 6 chickens, so we ordered 2 more from the same garden center
and about a month later, they were ready for us to pick up. These were Gold-Laced Wyandottes.Ethel and Lucy
Introducing the original girls to the new ones was interesting. They all get along now, but there were some dicey times at first.
Here they are..the old girls roosting on the new girls' cage. Probably making sure that they understand the pecking order.
As the summer rolled along, the girls got bigger and we anxiously awaited our first egg. Who would be first?
What color eggs would we have? What size would they be? AAIIIEEEEE!!!! So hard to wait and wait and then.....
THE FIRST (two) EGG(s)!!!!!!!
We had been watching the girls closely, paying attention to their behavior and listening for the "egg song".
Several of our girls started squatting for us, so we knew it could be any day. Stella (EE) had been spotted
going behind some boards that were leaning up against the fence, so we decided to check it out and see
what she was doing back there. To our wonderful surprise, we found that she had been laying eggs!
We found 2 of them, so our first egg experience was actually doubled! WOOT!