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Tuesday, January 7

Hen Party

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Since husband and I eat eggs regularly we decided last fall that we wanted to have our own chickens. After a bit of research, we found some locally and started building our coop. Since it's early days, the coop has come a long way, but we are still improving it. The original design cost us under $50 since we used a lot of material we already had. But with all the cold weather and wind, we have decided to spend little more time and money on making the girls a better home and are in the process of remodeling their coop. 

We plan to create a new coop and run off of the side of our existing shed. We will use treated siding that is weather proof (unlike the plywood) and attach a dog kennel that we already have to use as a run. We also already have some tin roofing and will purchase a couple more pieces to allow for a roof over the run as well. We have an old ladder and perches that we currently use, so those will go in the new coop, too. Our nesting boxes are made of plywood, but you can easily use anything for a nesting box! We plan to add a couple windows to the front of the coop, which are easy to find at thrift stores, but we happen to have a two old ones that we can use. The final touch will be a red lamp to promote egg laying during the winter months and will provide a little heat for the cold winter days. {We have actually already added the light to the current coop since it's been so bitter cold at night. We turn it off during the day when it's a bit warmer.}

Currently we have three chickens -- a Buff Orpington and two Araucanas. Interestingly, the Araucanas are Easter egg layers, meaning they lay teal or pink eggs. We lucked out and got one that lays teal and one that lays a pale pink egg. They all taste the same, but it's a fun conversation piece and they look great sitting on the counter! And after our new coop is complete, we plan to get two more ladies.

We feed them traditional food which does contain wheat and corn, but we also give them plenty of greens and vegetable and fruit scraps. They spend a lot of time scratching around in our yard, so they get plenty of protein. We are researching making our own food which would be free of grains, but it may not be very realistic given the fact that we don't have access to some of the ingredients. I'll keep you posted on what we find out.

Do you have backyard chickens? If so, any words of wisdom or funny stories?

copyright Hiking in Stilettos

1 comment:

Unknown said...

I've been thinking about your chickens since last night. Hope they did okay! Kind of loving the idea of backyard chickens mixed with Marley, but wonder if we can pull it off in our hood, as country as it is. Loved all your pretty eggs.