It's been five months since I spontaneously brought three little chicks home from the feed store. Since then Starfox violently "played" with Savannah, our plucky little escape chicken, and killed him (Savannah turned out to be a rooster). They say that one of the rules of having chickens is that at least one will die a horrific death, and we had ours. It was a sad day, but I am thankful for the lesson. We have better secured the chicken area from the rest of our yard, and I am glad that, because roosters are not allowed in my city, Starfox saved me the inner turmoil over sending Savannah (Savannoh?) to chicken heaven.
Vidalia and Fern
Vidalia and Fern are definitely best friends--they take dirt baths together, stand guard while the other is laying, and cuddle up together at night. Vidalia runs up to me when I come into chickenland and chases after me when I leave--Fern is a bit more of a scaredy-hen, but she is always a few steps behind Vidalia wherever she goes. They both like to be pet and are mostly ok with being held--Fern can be a real meanie sometimes about it, and usually at the exact moment I am trying to take a picture of a friend holding Fern she throws a fit. Camera-shy, she always tries to weasel her way behind Vidalia in pictures (I had to take so many photos to finally get one of her in the front).
Our First Eggs
The Extra Crop: Feathers
Building My Own Coop from Trash
I wanted to build a chicken coop out of a bunch of wood I saved from the trash, and I really liked the look of this "Kippen House" coop design--it was nice and open with lots of ventilation and perfect for 1-4 chickens. It also seemed like something I could easily do with my limited carpentry skills. I made a sort-of-Kippen-esque coop, but there had turned out to be a few problems:
- While the open hardware cloth panels do help keep the coop well-ventilated and protected from wind, they let too much rain on really stormy days. It's like a mud market in there. Ew.
- My flat roof solution is miserable. I need to re-do the whole roof. It leaks and it is ugly. FAILURE.
-All of the wood swells when it gets wet, making it very difficult to open the doors right after a storm.
I didn't feel like I had the carpentry skills/knowledge to pull off that sweet garden roof in the Kippen House (plus wouldn't the chickens just jump up there and eat everything?), so I raised the roof to make the coop easier to crawl in for cleaning out purposes.
The coop has a cozy nest box, and after a few errant eggs in their early days of laying, both hens now consistently lay in the nest box.