HOW IT STARTED
It all started last June, when we visited my husband's grandma in the valley. just so happen on our way home we passed a feed store with baby chicks.... i had been asking my husband for months now about getting chickens but for some reason he was reluctant until that day we stopped because my 3 year old wanted to take a peep....
and that my fellow chicken friends was the end of it
we brought home 2 chicks that day.... the beginning of our chicken obsession
out of the two original chicks one passed away around 3 months showing no signs of illness... we were sadden and we didn't want our henny to get sad and lonesome too... so we bought two chicks that were a month old and kept them along side her .... until the the two chicks, a frizzle and a Batman Cochin begin to crow ! we were sadden that they had turned out to be roos. we kept them another month because the thought of letting them go was just heartbreaking but finally broke down and re-homed the two. i hope they are happy and growing at there new home. (one can only hope)
thus began the search for some pullets ... some silkie pullets... since getting my first chicks i had done some extensive research on different breeds and just so happened to fall in love with all the SILKIES . I had to get some for my own! So after doing some looking i met Melissa Rose who has some of the prettiest birds! i got a red sizzle who we named nugget and a partridge silkie who we named fry. Fry ended up with cross beak, and the thought of exchanging her was nowhere in our minds . so we did all that was recommended. But sadly enough only after having Fry a week she passed.
she was the most sweetest precious prettiest like thing i had ever seen. this little girl truly touched my heart. having her made my obsession for chickens worse.... i wanted more... i needed more...
we ended up bringing home a buff silkie ... we named her peaches. she 3 months .... and we are crossing our fingers and hoping we hear no crows... so far so good... but silkies being the hardest to sex, well you can never know until they crow or lay... (2 months to go)
so now we have henny a Plymouth who is laying and has been laying since Feb. and nugget our red sizzle who just turned 5 months a week ago... (waiting to see when she lays) and peaches.
and one would think that my silkie obsession would end...
but no it didn't
it grew. i did more research. was reading all things chickens, looking for all things chickens, talking about maybe one day hatching eggs, showing my girls in shows....
yeah CHICKENS were on my mind all the time. when i was awake, when i was asleep. ALL THE TIME !
i would talk to my husband about coop ideas, things we could get for my girls, that i wanted more, that he should let me have more.
i was at the point that i thought he thought i was nuts .
but that was until my husband surprised me with on my birthday with two 1 month old silkies from Melissa Rose... and cause it was my birthday she gave me one herself! so i had 3 new babies . my pastries: Porcelain named Biscuit, Black named Muffin, and a Isabella named Strudel!
as of now I'm content on watching my girls grow... hopefully hearing no crows... my husband loves my chickens but he wont love no roos...at least right now... maybe one day he says....
o' some where in the midst of all that ...we got 2 ducks... can't forget them. they are crazy creatures.
THE GARDEN UNDER CONSTRUCTION
so not only are we watching are girls grow and enjoying them (i must say i never new how amazing chickens are until i had them...it annoys me to here people say they are not good pets, because honestly after having dogs cats ferrets parrots turtles and so much more CHICKENS ARE BY FAR THE BEST PETS I'VE EVER HAD) we are working on our coop area.
our girls have a huge gated section with several houses for shade and protection and hen houses then get penned in at night.
the pink tub is are temporary water area for our ducks. the UN painted house is the duck pen ( we plan to paint it blue, it was made from wood scraps from my sister remodeling project). The green hutch is for nugget and peaches. Miss Henny sleeps in a large dog crate inside my washer room because she is our diva chicken who must sleep by herself.
the vintage tub is going to be turned into a pond for my ducks (I'll post more pictures once finished) . we currently planted more grass
for my girls to run and scratch at. other then the tub project i plan on planting more plants for shade, adding a misting system to help keep my girls cool in the crazy Texas heat and adding more places for us humans to sit . Since i am a stay at home mom who home school my girls we are home majority of the time and we spend tons of time with our chickens and ducks. So our goal is to truly make it a relaxing inviting place for us to spend and share with our friends and family.
IS IT A HEADBOARD OR IS IT A HEN HOUSE?
making a house for new additions. the whole thought process behind the our baby silkies house was reuse & recycle!
after looking around I've come to the conclusion that i favor more coops and housing that are made from salvaged items.
so to goodwill we went to find something that could act as a good backbone to our chicken house.
what we found... a old headboard.. perfect size to home 3 silkies at night and a perfect space underneath for the little chicks to run around when i can't be outside to supervise. And the price was great$12! Now time for work!
in this picture my husband was sawing holes that will allow the silkies to get to room to room.
My Greene Bean excited about the purple hen house (her favorite color)
nugget testing out the entry way
the husband putting the last of the wire netting.
the babies in their little run, while the big girls look on .
nugget checking on the new place while peaches try to figure out a way to the babies (shes a little bit jealous)
Once the babies are a little bit bigger they wont spend anytime in the little run. my dog and cat keep stray cats away & at night everyone is penned up all safe and sound. above there is a hole that we can attach a brooder lamp when the weather gets cold. but with the Texas heat we thought it be best to have mesh door for ventilation. now all we need is ladders so that my girls can get in and out thru the day as they please. All together spent a little over $40. What a deal if i say so myself
The ducks had a home. The Puffkins (Nugget & Peaches) had a home. The Pastries (muffin, strudel,& biscuit) have a home. Henny was the only the one without a house in the garden to call her own. We had originally planned for her to sleep with Nugget & Peaches, but Henny had her own ideas... She's our diva chicken; the eldest; the only one currently laying; the one on the top of the pecking order refuse to sleep with any one else... so of course naturally we had to make a place just for her. So once again like the Puff-kins house we managed to score a rabbit hutch off of craigslist for $30. We did some cleaning a little fixing and a whole lot of distressing but in the end now all my girls (my chickens) and my ducks have a safe place in our garden to sleep thru the night.
henny checking out her new place
the door with the little pink chick comes down acting like a ramp. so she can go in and out and she please but she likes using the wire door ... she's a little picky sometimes , a true diva.
MAY CHANGES :
the weather has been everywhere, from rainy to extremely hot, to our we sure its may? but in between the breaks of the rain i was able to move things around the coop, which was necessary for our nesting box!
My husband won an auction for a locker for 20 dollars. I am super in love with its look and charm. The wooden legs ( free) we added just make it tens times better then if it sat on bricks (aesthetically)
hers a close up of henny sitting the nesting boxes
not only did we add the locker/nesting boxes some plants i finally got to paint the ducks house... added wheels to make it easier to move when cleaning, and painted. also added hooks on the duck house and all the other hen houses to make it easier to put out tarps on when its storming, too windy, and for weatherproofing in the winter time. when the tarps are not in use they neatly roll up on top or on the sided of the house.
pictures of the duck house and the new set up after moving things around
this is our feeding station... which save a lot of our feed and keeps the floor a lot cleaner the our original feeder. we have a small water-er hanging next to the food for the little pastries but hanging on a tree we have a 5 gallon water-er with nipples for the bigger girls and the ducks.
we moved the duck house to make room for henny house which is now near nuggets house. the bench is now under our fig tree.
added a shelf for my herbs, moved in my blue berry bush and other plants. added a deep tin bucket that the ducks are using as a temporary bath ( looks much nicer then our dirty pink Kiddie pool) until i get all the part for the tub pond.
i also added tin roofing onto the pastries (headboard) house moved the umbrella near the red barn house (dog house) for some more added shade.
so far everyone like the set up... i plan to hang some of my chicken photography on the garage walls above the nesting box, hang some lighting, and even hang some screens on the back fence for more privacy ( really to keep my neighbor's grand-kids from poking at my feathered babies - i worry about what they may feed them since I've already have found spoons and forks and little toys) its more to keep them safe. & their safety come 1st May part 2: Lots of changes in the chicken garden... Especially this week... Had to return strudel and biscuit for they turned out to be roos... Such a shame i couldnt keep cause strudel was super smart, and biscuit was super handsome..... Sigh.... But we did bring home 2 6 wk polish top hats but on another side note my drake rain decides he wants to mate henny.... Which we can not have... Dont want any hurt chicken hens . Dont really have the space to separate.... And from what i've read they could do some serious damage....So after some thought and consideration i had to rehome myducks ( and just after i finally got to paint there house) couldn't just rehome the drake... Sunny would have been heartbroken... If only he hadnt started to mate with my henny... Ooo sigh... So thereis a Lot of missing in the chicken garden.. Still want to have ducks but want to make sure i get two girls this time.. i was offered ducklings when sunny starts to lay and hatch so maybe in a couple of months i could get a pair of my babies' babies.... Time will tell... Still plain on making the tub into a water feature.. Maybe start hatching eggs... O the life of being a farm girl stuck in the subarbs (cant wait to have more space) ....one day... .
TO BE CONTINUED....
*Duck/ tub Pond