Showing posts with label Raising Chickens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Raising Chickens. Show all posts

Friday, August 26, 2011

I'm loving these chicken eggs!

I've been meaning to update you all on how our adventures in chicken raising are going. We did get the coop and yard all finished and it looks great. I would say it's more of a chicken palace than a coop. Tony has really done a fantastic job.

Also, I'm so happy to tell you that it's going great! I love my hens. All 14 have grown up healthy and are laying eggs for us regularly. We average about a dozen a day now, and have even had 14 twice this week so far (a first!). They're about six months old now and so funny to watch.

We let them out of their yard daily for a while so they can scavenge around for bugs and what not (this adds to the nutritional value of their eggs and also lessens the amount of feed they go through (we still keep their feeders full though, just in case). We bring them out scraps now and then, and so whenever they see us step outside, they assume we've got a treat for them and all come running. It's funny how important you feel when you see 14 hens excitedly running towards you with their wings partially extended whenever you step out on the porch. Yes, we really do love all our girls.

We have a few hens that will lay double yolk eggs a few days a week. And can I tell you how good these eggs are? There's nothing like fresh eggs from healthy and happy hens! They are yummy! We're producing more than we thought we would, so we've been selling the extra eggs to friends and neighbors (making it so that it's virtually free to maintain these chickens! Yay!)

So I guess you can tell that we have no regrets. This is one learning adventure that's been a pleasure to go on thus far :)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Chickens Have Left the Building

We finally moved the chickens out into their coop last night. It's still not 100% done, but it's done enough they can go out there. Thank goodness! I wasn't too fond of waking up to the aroma of chicken manure in the morning. My garden might love it, but I certainly don't! Haha!

We still have to touch up the paint and get some weather stripping to help hold the heat in better, but they spent the first night out there as it is, and are doing just fine. Last night was freezing, so I was a little worried about the transition. The chicks are fully feathered, as they are all six weeks old now, so we figured that with the heat lamp on out there, they'd be fine. We were right.

Painting turned out to be quite the trial. Saturday started out nice enough and hubby was able to finish up the inside before getting started on the painting in the afternoon. I went out to help him, but had to come back inside to bundle up because the wind was bitterly cold!

We were making great progress, but before we could finish the rain started, then quickly turned to snow.

Thankfully it all melted pretty quickly and we were able to get the doors on and get it ready for the chickens' big move.

We filled up the feeders and waterers after getting the heat lamp installed out there. We've got it plugged in to a Honeywell Winter Watchman, which will turn the lamp on and off according to the temperature. Where they are so young and coming from a temperature of 68 degrees, we set it to come on when it falls below 60 degrees. Which basically means it will stay on constantly for now...

So now all that's left is the minor touch ups here and there. We took the chicks out in a box and put them in their new home.

So far so good. This has all been quite a learning experience, but one we've been thoroughly enjoying. We can't wait until we start getting some eggs! Of course, that won't be for a few months yet. We figure it will be about August. Still, we're one step closer on that path to being self-sufficient.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Building that Coop!

Hubby has been soooooooooooo busy these last several weeks building the chicken coop. It's crazy how big this has turned out to be. He's doing a great job though, with minimal help from me. I only help with the heavy lifting when he asks. In my defense though, I have little-to-no building skills. Haha!

I though some of you would like to see how this has been progressing, so here are some pics:

This is the wall with the main door:

Here is the window wall:

Here's the floor or platform of the coop:

He just got the trusses up after putting all the walls together:

Here's the wall where we'll have four doors that access the back
of the nesting boxes so we can gather the eggs.

Here's a view of the front when he got it ready for the shingles:

And here it is with the roof on. Still a lot of work to go, but it already looks great!

We've still got to do the inside (roosting rods, nest boxes, more trim on the outside and painting to do--oh yeah and then there's the chicken yard), but my hubby has accomplished a lot! I can't wait for it to be finished so we can move the chickens out there. They're a month old and that brooder he built for them is getting way too small.

If' you're interested in finding out more about what we've learned about the chicken process so far, I've written several articles on Hubpages:

What to Know Before Getting Chicks or Chickens
Supplies to Get for Your Baby Chicks
Raising Chickens for Beginners Part 1

No regrets on our part at this point. I'm really looking forward to this whole adventure!

Friday, February 18, 2011

We're Getting Chickens!

I'm sure I've mentioned here before that we've been working to become more self-sufficient. We started canning and preserving a few years ago (easy, fun and so delicious). But we've decided we can do more than grow fruit trees and plant a garden. So.....we've decided to get some chickens.

We have a huge yard (almost half an acre), our house is in a residential agriculture zone so we don't have to pay for any permits. We only have to make sure we stay within the allowed number of chickens for our lot size (probably about 12) and we have to build their coop at least 50 feet away from any structure. No problem!

We did some online research and then we got a book: Raising Chickens For Dummies from Amazon. Right now we're trying to decide what breed of chickens we want. We know we don't want any roosters (I'm sure the neighbors wouldn't like that much, especially since they already get annoyed by our rebellious and overly energetic dog--who's nearly 8 but still acts like a puppy). We'll probably go for the chicks, but that will mean waiting several months before getting any eggs.

At best, we'll get more eggs than we need and sell the extra to neighbors, all the while decreasing the amount of those pesky squash bugs and other pests in our yard (which will be eaten up by prowling chickens). At worst, this will all be a great learning experience--whatever the outcome--for us and our children. That's my story and I'm sticking to it! I hope....

Hubby is building a coop this weekend based on the information we've gathered from our research thus far. It's all very exciting. We'll see how it all works out though. I'll be sure to keep you all updated!