Friday, January 4, 2013

::next years poultry::

We started with 12 "girls" in March of 2010.

 We turned a horse stall in a coop.

Lily showing Bob the first egg.
 We got out first egg in July of 2010.

 By late July four of our girls ended up being roosters.
Roosters that kept attacking me every time I walked in the barn.  
Not ok.  So, they got processed.   

 Then the remaining seven were happy little ladies.  
Laying and clucking and pecking.  

 Till spring of 2013.
When our neighborhood fox had quads.
And we had a very severe drought.
And Mama fox ate five of my chickens. 
I didn't even try to stop her.
Sister had QUADS!  They were so cute.
They had to eat. 
And the chickens were getting old for layers.

Right this second we are down to one lady.
She is a pretty girl.  
She lives with the goats and eats straight out of their feed tub, and bosses them around.
And in return they keep her safe from predators.  

She might live a long life if she keeps hanging out with them. 
I have not seen an egg from her in two years.
If she is laying, Alberta the chocolate lab is eating her eggs.

As part of my never ending quest to be more self sufficient - and my general quest to be the biggest hippy in the neighborhood - I want to rebuild my chicken crew this year.  Plus ++++++....

 maybe I'm a little excited for her to start 4H 

I have been looking at several different site and talking to Lily about what she is interested in.  

We both saw this image and had our inspiration.  
 I want our egg basket to look like this!!!

After looking at several different sites I found a great site called MyPetChicken.  I'm sure Josh is going to adore a site that calls the chickens "pets" but when he will let it go.  :)   I like this site the best because it has great discriptions of each breed, its easy to use, and it lets me buy how ever many chicks I want.  There is no minimum order.  If I want one little lady and that is all - I can do it.  I will not be ordering just one.  

Cooper Martens - Fast grower with the DARKEST chocolate eggs.  They tolerate coop living well.   


Blue Splash Martens - Dark brown eggs with very dark specks.  They are supposed to be calm and quiet.

Welsummer - this is the breed of rooster on the front of the Corn Flakes box!  The classic stereotype chicken!  The lay dark brown eggs and MyPetChicken says they are friendly and intelligent.  

Ameraucana - they are "sweet" and lay blue eggs.  I don't think they are the prettiest girls but BLUE EGGS!!  I can't resist.  I may even get a rooster of this one. 


Easter Egger - this breed can lay a variety of colors - blue, green, pink, or brown. One hen always lays the same color her entire life.  We have to have a few of these.  


Barred Plymoth Rock - To me this is what a chicken should look like.  They are so pretty.  I want a pasture full.  They large large light brown eggs. 

Silkie Bantam - we have never had a bantams before.  They are a smaller version of chickens.  Silkies are little fur ball looking cutie heads.  Lily wants 10.  They really are adorable.  They are supposed to be super friendlyI'm sure Lily will have them doing tricks.  Supposedly they can live with the big chickens, but I will be watching that closely. 

Australorp - a good work horse for us.  Lays lots of light brown eggs.  MyPetChicken discribes them as "delightful". 

White Leghorn - lays big white eggs often.  Perfect.      

If I can find one I want to also get an Olive Egger.  Guess what color their eggs are?

 The girls can not be let to free range all year long - they think my melon patch is so delish and so do I.  From late spring till late fall they need to be locked up.  Our coop is a converted horse stall that is 12ft/12ft = 144ft2 .  Each chicken needs about 4 square feet of coop space.  That means our coop could hold 36 chickens!!!!  What!~!!!  No way.  I would never cram them in like that.  I am thinking 18 would be more than enough.  We will be giving eggs away with that many.  I want to take a few cattle panels wrapped in chicken wire to make an ouydoor run area for the ladies.  Why cattle panels?  Because the goats will be able to rub against that fencing and they would rip down chicken wire in about three mins.  This run will be behind the barn and not visible so it has to be secure and it can be ugly.   

One last little problem.
What kid doesn't like ducks? 
Ducks, ducks, ducks.
We need some.
It's for 4H.  
It's necessary.  
Don't judge.  
Just go with it.  


1 comment:

  1. And you used to tell me I was the little hippie... If you get those silkie chicks I may have to buy a special plane ticket to come visit. Rory is going to need some farm exposure anyhow. He can't grow up to be all city boy!



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