Diamond eggs? - Warning Pic Heavy

Discussion in 'Pictures & Stories of My Chickens' started by samouw, Apr 9, 2011.

  1. samouw

    samouw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Aiken, SC
    Okay, I have to say first that I really love my chickies! I am a newbie with chickens, but my husband (Iowa-bred farm boy) had lots of chickens growing up on the farm. He talked me into this - well, maybe it didn't take much talking - by convincing me how much cheaper it would be to raise our own chicken for meat and eggs. We love our eggs! Sunday morning brunch is a time-honored and cherished routine around here and it always includes eggs.

    So, off we go to the local feed store to get our chickens. We had called ahead to find out if they had our breed of choice (after much research, of course), Rhode Island Reds. They did, so we went. Hubby wanted 25 chicks - all RIR - five of which were to be roosters. "Why so many roosters?" I innocently ask. "Well," he ponders, "says here that you should have one rooster for every five hens."

    We arrive at the local feed store (who I now just love to go to and with whom I have replaced my previous dog food source) and discover they only have 6 RIR hens, but a bunch of roosters, with more "sex-link" coming in on Friday. I didn't even want to ask what a sex-link is, just assumed because of the context of the conversation that it was a chicken. We didn't want to wait, so "What else have you got?". "Barred Rocks", he said. Ohhhh, Barred Rocks was the other breed that we researched and liked! How fortunate for us!

    "Okay, we'll take your Barred Rocks, too."

    We walk out with 6 RIR pullets, 3 RIR roos, and 10 BR pullets, all about 1 week old, along with a 25 lb bag of starter feed, a waterer, and a feeder. Total bill - about $49.00


    Now we have taken the first step to a continuous supply of fresh eggs and fresh chicken, right? I hear some of you old-timers out there just chuckling.

    Now we've got these chickens home and safely tucked away in our bathroom. They are so cute! While they were afraid of my hand at first, it didn't take long for most of them to learn that my hand sometimes had treats. But, seriously, who knew how cute they would be?? Adorable little fuzzy butts that would cock that head sideways and look at me as if to say, "Hi, I am so glad to see you! Will you let me crawl up in your hand and take a nap?" Of course I would!

    Meanwhile, we figured we had about a month to get our outside coop and pen ready, so we start planning. Well actually, we start looking. What designs we like and don't like, what suited our area (South Carolina) and what wouldn't. Would we free range or not? Not - too many predators here, but we'll build a big pen. We calculated the minimum amount of square feet per bird needed and added a few birds to the number and we were ready to start building. We figured about a $300 budget for the coop.

    First visit to Lowes wasn't so bad - less than $60 for the skids, and decking for the floor.


    Next trip to town - just over $100. We're still okay.


    Third and fourth trip to town - just over $500. Budget is shot, but we're going to have one nice coop.


    More visits to town and I think the final tally is around $1000.00 and we haven't started the pen yet.


    Meanwhile, the chicks are growing into little miniature chickens. We've raised the sides of the quickly thrown together brooder once, but they've now decided that it is much nicer out of the brooder. From time to time, I have to go rescue a chicken that overshot the top of their brooder and landed on the bath room floor. Some of them get so used to this routine, they just walk up to me when I enter the bathroom and just stand there - waiting for me to pick them back up and return them to their little home.

    Sadly, before we realized they could fly, we lost two brave adventurous Barred Rocks when one of the dogs got to them before we could. Time for dog training.

    Three weeks later, the coop is ready for it's new inhabitants and I'm ready for a return to sanity in my bathroom.


    I now go out there three-four times a day just to sit with them and talk to them. The roos eat out of my hands and like their breasts scratched. They all fight for a place on my shoulder or on my lap. They make me laugh - who know chickens had personalities??

    But - the other day after I came inside, I realized one of my diamond stud earrings was missing. I searched everywhere - no earring. I figured the back fell off when I was cleaning the bathroom and that is was lost forever as all the garbage had been carried out and all the mop and cleaning water dumped. The price of cleaning.

    Yet...today I am sitting with the chickens and Mr. Fred is up on my left shoulder - the side with the one remaining earring since I just haven't removed it and put it in my jewelry box. I feel one sharp tug, no warning pulls, nothing. I reach my hand up and, sure enough, the left earring is now somewhere on the floor of that chicken coop.

    I'm figuring that first dozen eggs will cost a couple of grand. Bi-Lo has 'em on sale this week for $1.29/doz. hmmmm.....
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Well done on the coop![​IMG]
  3. love-my-wolves

    love-my-wolves Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2008
    Front Royal, VA
    Boy, I hope those are some real tasty eggs!!! Love the coop!!
  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia

    Wonderful post.
  5. Mrs. Cannon

    Mrs. Cannon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 8, 2011
    Vandalia, IL
    Yay! What a great coop [​IMG]. You are going to love them forever [​IMG]
  6. Jenn1399

    Jenn1399 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Those are some pricey eggs!!! [​IMG]
  7. Cattitude

    Cattitude Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ahh, but that lovely coop will be home to many generations of chickens! The cost per egg goes down tremendously once you factor in the longevity of the structure.

    Sorry, I was channeling an architect for a few seconds. Back to my regular brain now.
  8. cochinGurl

    cochinGurl Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 11, 2010
    wow. fantastic coop. they must LOVE it!
  9. Imp

    Imp All things share the same breath- Chief Seattle

    nice coop & nice setting

    Are you sure the chicken didn't eat your earring? or is that what you meant?

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  10. samouw

    samouw Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 19, 2011
    Aiken, SC
    Quote:Actually, Imp - I have no idea whether he ate it or just threw it down on the floor of the coop. I figured he would know it was not edible. [​IMG] Either way, it is history. I tried searcing for it, but the chickens all figured I needed their help and started scratching around every place I would put my hand. Oh, well - insurance is a great thing, right?

    This is a picture of Mr. Fred, the diamond thief.


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