Chicken Crazy

…at least that’s what Barry calls me.

I have wanted chickens for a couple of years now, and was finally given the go-ahead by Barry earlier this year.  We decided to build the coop next to the barn/shop, and I have to say it turned out even better than I expected.  It’s the open-air type since we live in such a warm climate.  During the coldest part of winter, we will just wrap it in Visqueen and install heat lamps if needed.

Barry converted the old screen door from my Granny's front porch by taking out the screen and installing chicken wire. Oh, and he pretty much put up all the chicken wire by himself...along with digging and putting wire around the perimeter to keep out predators.

These boards from an old fence were about to be thrown away (burned) by our cousin/neighbor. They only needed a little bleach and a pressure washer...SCORE!

The interior view from the door: Barry did such a great job building the poop board, roosts, and nesting boxes all from scrap lumber. He is so talented!

This is the poop board hatch made from one of the free boards, hinges, and a eye/hook latch. From outside the coop, I can remove the metal pans (automotive drip pans), and take them straight to the compost bin only a few yards away...so convenient!

We got the chickens mid-June, and most were around 4-5 weeks old.  We just took them out of the brooder and put them into the coop last week, and they seem so happy.  They are so much fun to watch, and hopefully we’re keeping them happy enough to produce some yummy eggs for us in a few months.  Here’s a list of what we got and a few pics (like I stated before, we’re hoping for 12 hens and only one rooster, but we won’t know for sure until they crow):

5 Buff Orpingtons (1 roo and 4 hens)
2 Ameraucanas
2 Dominiques
2 Partridge Cochins
1 Silkie
1 Buff Polish

One of the Partridge Cochins..."Amelia"

One of the Ameraucanas..."Pearl"

"Ruthie"...our one and only Silkie...isn't she adorable?

Ok, this is "Linda Sue" the Buff Polish. She is a complete spaz, so I'm wondering if she may be a rooster. There's really no way to tell until they crow. From what I've read over on the BackYardChickens.com forums, once their crests start coming in full I should be able to tell by how it's shaped. The female is more like a bonnet and the male is like a crazy mohawk-looking do. Guess we'll just have to wait and see...Linda Sue may become Larry.

Oh, and I have to show off my homemade chicken feeder…it was totally FREE!  We have an abundance of 5 gallon buckets we get dill pickles in at the restaurant, so I used one along with an old plastic flower pot dish…voilà!  They seem to love it.

Also, notice that we went with sand in the coop and run.  I read up on it, and it seemed to be the best choice for ease of cleaning and keeping the chickens cool in this heat.  I just use a cat pooper scooper duct-taped to the end of an old broom handle.  It takes about 5 extra minutes a day to scoop out the poop…just like you would a cat litter box.

 

The other Ameraucana..."Myrtle"

Two of the Buff Orpingtons along with the 2 Dominiques..."Fannie & Otsie"

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5 comments

  1. Living So Abundantly · June 28, 2011

    How exciting! My friend over at Life in a Cookie Jar has chickens, too! You might like her post: http://georgiascookiejar.blogspot.com/2011/06/chickens.html

    Wishing you the best and hoping you only get one rooster, too! 🙂

  2. Amy · June 29, 2011

    Thanks for the comment!…and thanks for sharing – love her chickens!

  3. Mendy · June 30, 2011

    What a nice coop, your set-up looks really nice for clean-up purposes. I really like the names you’ve chosen!

  4. Amy · June 30, 2011

    Thanks! Amelia was my grandmother, Fannie was my great-grandmother, and Ruthie was my husband’s grandmother. All the others are great aunts’ names. We just love those old-timey names.

  5. Amy · June 30, 2011

    Oh, and we just call all the Buff Orpington hens “sister” since we can’t tell them apart. I guess they’re kind of like Sister Wives…LOL.

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