Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A new project

 We embarked on a new adventure, which is something we have been planning for a while - raising chickens. My husband bought chicks about a month ago (we were promised they are all female, and therefore hopefully will lay eggs), and now they have grown up a bit we started working on making a proper coop for them.
It's a rather primitive construction and we still have to attach a roof and shelter from the rain for the winter months, but I'm rather proud of it anyway, since we made it all by ourselves. We picked a spot where the chickens will have nice refreshing shadow during the summer month (under the grape canopy).
When the chicks grow a bit more and get used to their new home, we plan to let them free-range in the yard. Already I see how they enjoy eating fresh green leaves and all sorts of bugs and little insects.

We are very novice when it comes to raising chickens, so please don't take anything I write on the subject as an advice. I can only say so far we're all having a lot of fun, and learning a lot along the way, too.

9 comments:

Rose said...

Such fun for the girls -- chooks are great! Be careful in the heat of your summer Anna, hens get very hot quite quickly, have plenty of fresh water about for them.

Susan said...

Anna, you will love it! I got my first chicks three years ago and haven't regretted it once. I knew next to nothing about chickens, but have had a great time learning as I go! You do have to be careful with the heat. (shade, fresh water etc). Sometimes when it's really hot, I spray water on the ground all around them. The ground cools a bit and they like to walk around on that. I live in Northern Wisconsin, US and our weather changes on a daily basis. Very cold and snowy winters and hot humid summers and everything in between. I've never had a problem because of it. My chickens have thrived and I know yours will too! Good luck to you and your family on this fun new project!

Maria said...

That is so neat! I can't wait to read more about your chicken adventures! :)

Gothelittle Rose said...

Be aware of any natural predators of chickens and make sure they're protected from them!

I don't know how many of these predators roam your area. In my area, chickens get gobbled up by dogs, foxes, raccoons, opossums, hawks... it seems that anything will like to eat a chicken.

We have a sturdy wooden chicken house with a door closed by padlock (raccoons can undo latches) at nightfall. If you free range them, you *will* lose the occasional bird to attack. Even if you don't, you might.

Not too much of a big deal over here... we just don't get too attached and we work in a 'replacement rate' on our chicken costs. Eggs are still expensive enough and so much better when fresh-and-free-range that it's more than worth keeping them!

Aside from the predator problem, chickens are super easy to keep. Food, water, shelter, if you make them nesting boxes they'll automatically return to lay their eggs, and they always return to the hutch by sundown. All you really have to do is open it in the morning, keep food/water on hand, collect the eggs from the boxes, and close the door when darkness falls.

Mrs. Anna T said...

Thanks for your tips, they are really valuable! We do have foxes, wild dogs and hawks in our area, as well as snakes, and I know people have lost pets.

Our chicks looked a little sad and forlorn when my husband brought them, but after a few days with us and scampering in the garden they were so much happier.

Humble wife said...

I live in the desert of New Mexico USA. It is a hard climate for the birds unless you do a few simple things. Water is critical...we also made every single coop from salvaged items.

Below are links on how to build a coop using campaign signs, refrigerator glass, old closet doors...and what we feed the chicks...

http://doublenickelfarm.blogspot.com/2008/11/what-to-do-with-old-campaign-signs.html

http://doublenickelfarm.blogspot.com/2008/04/down-on-farm.html

http://doublenickelfarm.blogspot.com/2008/07/after-floodagain.html (this one has nest boxes out of buckets and a perch from tree branches)

(Food waste is not waste anymore ) http://doublenickelfarm.blogspot.com/2011/03/happy-birds-are-from-new-mexico.html

You needn't post this comment. I wanted to share with you my journey, living in the desert. We have attempted to live this life on limited funds and be as creative as we can...innovation as I have been a homeschool mom(18 yeas)...and wife now for 23 years.

We desired to provide for us as much as possible and believe it or not we have been amazed at the way the Creator has provided a self perpetuating lifestyle...if we get back to our roots established in the book of Genesis.

Blessings to you and yours.

Jennifer

Katie V. said...

Nice coop! We've got chickens too! Last fall my husband's cousin gave us two. Then this past spring we got 6 baby chicks. The boys and my husband love them. We've been learning as we go. It's funny to see them take a bath in the dirt! Good luck.

Joy said...

That's wonderful; I've always thought it would be neat to raise chickens!

Anonymous said...

you will enjoy this!! We have had chickens for over 7 years now and I knew Nothing ! the day I brought them home. A friend encouraged me and kept saying this is so easy!! It is!! Karen from USA