That’s a lot of chickens.Posted: March 30, 2012
Yesterday morning we got the call that our new chicks were at the post office. There are twenty-four of them as one didn’t make the trip. These are the newest order of Frank’s meat birds. It’s hard to think about eating them at this point because they are so stinking cute.
Luckily, the night before they arrived we hurriedly finished the laying hens coop and only emptied the brooder before we went to bed. Just in time!
Here is the coop and run we’ve been working on for about the last month. This is for my egg hens. We go the plans here. Most of the supplies we used were reclaimed from around the farm. You can see the old yurt deck behind the coop. Much of the lumber you see came from there. When the weather improves, I’ll finish staining everything. Overall, I’m extremely happy with how it turned out. We learned a great deal from making the coop. I think the most important lesson that we learned is that everything takes twice as long as we think it will. Thank you, Frank you for working so hard on this. I know it wasn’t always fun.
Lastly, we have Frank’s chicken tractor and his teenager Dark Cornish chickens. He wanted to make them a cool tractor and one day I had this thought that it could look like an old truck with a covered wagon back. I told Frank about it and this is what he came up with.
We’ve talked about painting it to look like a truck with windows and a windshield and all that. That will have to wait until the weather improves (this is the PNW, so it might be a while). It also needs wheels in the front and possibly the back. It is very hard to move as it is and needs two people minimum to pull it along. I think there are going to be two more of these. I think it would be funny to stage a race and have the trucks move slowly across the yard day by day.
These are what the baby chicks will look like in a couple of months. They aren’t nearly as beautiful as the laying birds, and I think they have weird mannerisms. Apparently, this is a breed that some use as fighting birds by some people because they are easily provoked. We absolutely will not be doing that as we think that is a horrible practice. Frank chose this breed because they are good foragers and are reported to taste good. They just get their knickers in a bunch frequently. We are still on the fence if this is the breed we want to keep raising. We would like to have some birds that don’t squabble so much.
The kids love checking in on the birds and petting the babies. It’s been a family project getting ready for the birds and caring for them. Carter, our homeschooling eight year old, did a two-week long unit on chickens and learned a ton. He’s been educating us on a few things we didn’t know (and I’m pretty sure a few things that aren’t technically true). I’m glad he knows so much. He’s been a great asset and is very passionate about helping animals.
I’m reasonably certain that we won’t be adding to the chicken flocks for a while. We have a lot of birds and need to make to make a few more tractors to accommodate all of them.
Next, I need to get ready for the bees that are on their way. There is always so much to do.