Thursday, April 4, 2013

chicken news

Well, it's getting to be that time of year again when I start thinking about gardens and chicks and all the other outdoor projects I tend to get myself tangled up into during the warmer months.

We installed a large chicken yard this past Saturday. Well, who am I kidding? Although I'm usually right there getting my hands dirty with the rest, Brad and Sergei were installing the chicken yard while I was in bed sleeping, recuperating from a nasty two-week-long sinus infection. Yuck.

We decided to fence in our chickens for several reasons. First of all, they were DESTROYING my mulch and landscaping. And as much as I love my chickens, I also really love my landscaping and put a lot of hard work into maintaining/updating it each year. So after they ripped up a bunch of my tulip bulbs a couple of weeks ago, I had had enough.

Secondly, they poop everywhere! Anyone who has chickens knows that. And I don't care if they're pooping in the yard. But they also poop on my decks and porches. And on my plants. And hot fertilizer on plants equals plant death.

Thirdly, they eat any potted flowers that I put out on my porches. Oh yes. This had me really worked up last summer. All of my begonias? Gone. Plucked by their little beaks right up out of the baskets those pretty petals were planted in.

And the last reason, and probably biggest reason? It was either fence in the chickens or fence in all of our gardens and berry patches. Yeah. That's a lot of individual fencing. And a lot more money invested than doing one big fenced in yard for the birds.

So, yes, they're confined now. But their area is actually bigger than most people's yards so I don't feel bad. We included all of our compost piles in their yard so they've been having a ball out in that, scratching away to their hearts' content. And, man, we're going to have some rockin' compost for our gardens!

We also added to our little flock on Monday. Our chicks came in. Lily's practically been living in the basement (which is where we will keep them until it warms up enough to put them out in the coop.) They are pretty darn adorable, I must say.

Twelve new chicks, all destined to be laying hens when they grow up. Six White Leghorns, four Barred Rocks, and two Rhode Island Reds. I like these birds for both their temperament and their laying ability.

And so I suppose I'll have a pretty fair amount of egg production going on in that coop come the end of summer. And I'll have lots of all-natural fresh chicken eggs, so keep us in mind if you're local and on the look-out for farm fresh eggs!


Rachel E. said...

Your chicken area looks great. Ours have a penned area as well. Let love to free range over to our compost, but I don't want them to because there are foods they shouldn't eat. I occasionally take them a nice treat though. We are supposed to get our next batch of chicks next Friday. It should be fun. Twenty Two! plus two ducklings. I am hoping I will end up with at least one female duckling, but you never know. Good luck reclaiming your yard. :)

Pam said...

What a beautiful post. I love your pictures. Your chicken yard looks wonderful. We had the exact dilemma, frustration, discussion and solution last summer. I love for them to get to roam and graze, but they are way too destructive, and like you, I too had many of my potted plants torn apart, and my garden torn apart, and everything pooped on. I like your idea of the compost in the chicken yard... that's a great idea. I am sure they help keep it all turned over and decomposed, predigested, stirred up and enhanced with extra fertilizer haha. My daughters, Marie and Elizabeth have just bought a piece of land together (they and their hubbies) and have been working on chicken and goat solutions, so I am sure they would love this post. Love your new chickies. Thanks for yours sweet comments on my post. I left a response there.


Sandra said...

I want chickens so badly. That's one thing hubby and I are looking forward to having when he's out of the military. :)

Love your photos :)

living from glory to glory said...

Hi Amber, Hope your feeling better!
I also love the little chicks, so cute and fluffy. I was given thirteen chickens a few months back, and they are laying eggs already. The wind is blowing gang busters tonight. How is your oldest son?
Blessings, Roxy