[FONT=comic sans ms,sand]We are The Smith's. [/FONT][FONT=comic sans ms,sand][FONT=comic sans ms,sand]A family of 5 (Dad-Chris, Mom-Courtney, and three little girls, Jewel, Josie, and Junes) raising chickens in the city on our urban homestead. We have 7 great chickens and we are just starting to learn all about them. Up until this point we have just sort of winged it with a little information here and there...and then we found BYC.[/FONT]
OUR CHICKEN JOURNEY![/FONT]
We started with 3 baby chicks from Chris's mom and step dad who have 20 some chickens, a few peafowl and a gaggle of 3 dozen geese.
Becky, James Bond, and Yellow Dot. 3 little Chicky girls just for us. Sadly that very night Becky disappeared.
Chris and Josie worked on securing the old dog crate so the chicks would have a place to reside while a coop was built.
The chicks seemed to like their new abode (temporary as it may be) and the kids were in LOVE with the chicks. We were busy planting fruit trees and berry shrubs, playing with tadpoles, slugs, and frogs but Chris found the time to build a little coop mostly from images of coops we had seen in movies,cartoons, and other media. Courtney had chickens as a child living on a farm in upstate New York so that offered some vague child remembered knowledge as well.
We set aside a corner of the yard and used almost entirely scavenged materials. The Ladies liked it and we thought it was pretty cute ourselves. The whole front opens for cleaning and the gangplank closes up and latches.
James Bond and Yellow Dot (named by our kids) had grown bigger and we had added to our flock on impulse when we saw some chicks at the local feed store.
We picked a layer, Mabel, who we later found out was a Holland but the breed shall always be called "mabels" by us.
and a meat chicken (that giant white chicken. we don't know what breed she is just that she is HUGE!) who we named Beercan in anticipation of the day we cooked her on the grill astride a beer can.
The girls took good care of the chickens, watering, feeding, loving, and showing them off to friends...and a LOT of friends were interested in our chicken project.
It was an exciting day when we got our first egg, James Bond was the first to lay.
As soon as we had enough for all those in the house (who weren't on a breast-milk diet) we fried them up. The girls were excited to eat eggs from THEIR chickens and we were excited that the kids would know more about where their food came from.
We were surprised when Mabel's first egg came and it had spots like her!
winter was coming to Florida and we knew we had to do something with the coop, plus the egg gathering situation wasn't ideal. So Chris added a nest box to the back of the coop with a lift up lid, and boards were added all around the coop with two windows that could be opened or shut, not fancy glass windows, just little wooden windows that covered the chicken wire already on the coop.
In January Courtney turned 28 and received 2 chickens from the family.
an ameraucana who was originally named Shelley, but later renamed Meredith after Courtney's sister
and a Rhode Island who started life as Becky II but was renamed Meghan after another of Courtney's sisters.
And that brings us to this past week. Chris's mom had some more chickens for us and we discovered BYC! So now we are learning more about chickens, we figured out why they haven't been laying the past 3 days (extreme heat), and our working on cooling The Ladies off and salivating over some of the setups people are sharing on their BYC pages. SOOO finally we leave you with our newest chickens.
A sultan named after Courtney's final sister. Amy. We really hope she turns out to be a girl as there was some lack of clarity on her sex. Otherwise she might end up being Amy Boy, a complete turn around to Jimmy Girl the male goose who surprisingly started laying eggs when situated comfortably in the barn Courtney's family had as a child.
and Becky III. Chris has been wanting a Becky (beaky) all along and finally got one.