Let There Be CHICKENS!

May 18, 2018

This post is not about horses, it’s about chickens!

When we moved to our current house four or five years ago we gave our chickens away and I have missed them ever since. We knew we would eventually get chickens again but we needed to get ourselves and our primary animals set up and established first, work out the kink.

By the end of last summer I felt the ponies were well established with all the field rotations and such worked out. And I felt ready for chickens again.

We live in a more rural area, with a lot more predators. Predators that come up to our porch and walk around our house. So we needed to make sure we had our chicken set up figured out before we had any birds so we could protect them.

So I spent the fall and winter researching and comparing coop options; build our own, buy a prefab, Craigslist used, options, options?

I wanted a secure coop. One I could lock the chickens in securely. I wanted it to have a small secure run also attached. I wanted it to be easy to clean. I needed an easy coop, convenient, manageable. I also didn’t want to spend a ton of money and I wanted to see how well the chickens would do with all these predators anyway.

In the end I decided on a Tractor Supply prefab coop. It was on sale for $200 from $250. It is a secure coop with an attached secure run. There are three nesting boxes with a nice little door that opens easily in the back for simple egg removable. The floor is a tray that slides out for super easy cleaning. Two nesting rails inside and one outside, it has ventilation, and several doors to the outside.

To finalize the security we just needed to add some more wire across the bottom which was inexpensive and simple to do.

We could not build a similar coop for that cost.

I ordered the coop and when it arrived Rich and I put it together. It was pretty easy and took about an hour. The instructions were easy to follow and al the parts were included. We did add some extra screws but otherwise followed the directions exactly.

We placed the coop right next to the house in our back porch area. We figured this would help with the predators. We also want the chickens to help with pest control around the house. Chickens love to eat ticks and slugs and little bothersome bugs. They also kill mice and other unwanted household pests.

Then we picked up one laying hen and six pullets in a variety of colors. My goal was for every chicken to look different. Accomplished! The laying hen has yet to lay an egg and the pullets are still too young. But we are hoping to be rolling in the eggs by the end of the summer and even more so next spring.

Rich and I have both been spending time “chicken watching”. It’s a good piece of mind. I love to watch them do their chicken yoga, stretching their wings and legs, taking dust bathes, pecking around, chasing bugs, and just being chickens. If you have not spent any time chicken watching and letting your mind unwind, you should give it a try.

Every morning I open their door and they spend the day going in and out eating bugs and bits of grass. They are rather timid still but are getting more ambitious. Lupin, our cat, loves to hang out with them. So does our cattle dog Ash. And Rich and I both enjoy chicken watching.

It’s so good to have chickens again!

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