Monday, June 23, 2008

Did she say chickens?

Yes, I did say chickens. Denis and I have several friends with chickens and love getting to eat very fresh eggs from healthy hens. We have been thinking very seriously of getting some of our own. In fact, we've pretty much decided that we will do it... eventually.

Here are the steps involved:
1. visit your friends who have chickens

  • ask them lots of questions
  • examine their coop design
  • ask about the breeds they like and why
We have done this step. We've picked the brains of my former next-door neighbors, my friend AMG, a family from our church and one of my coworkers who all have chickens.

2. research chicken coop designs
or fancy?

Knowing Denis, this phase will take quite a while... He is looking at all kind of designs online. I particularly like the AMG's advice to build the nesting part up at shoulder height so that egg collection and clean up are streamlined. Once Denis has figured out the precise design and how much material is needed we can move on to step 3

3. build coop in the area between our house and my mom's
Again, this is Denis' realm. Once he gets to it, I've no doubt it will be perfect. Part of the yard will also have to be penned in so that we can let them out to roam a bit.

4. decide what breed of chickens to get. Should we get adult hens? or chicks? AMG swears by getting adult hens. My coworker has an organic farm and gets chicks each year of all different breeds. They are so funny!

5. buy supplies and chickens.

6. collect and eat eggs!

Are you surprised by my thoughts about chickens?


kristina said...

I am surprised and not sure what to think. Seems really odd and perfectly normal at the same time. Good cluck! haha.

AMG said...

Yahoo!!! I am not completely opposed to raising chicks. It's a lot of work, but only for a short time. I think once my kids are older, they would really enjoy that as a family project.

You are my second convert this week! I had no idea I converted someone else. I gave a dozen eggs to a friend at church last year, she loved them, researched having them, and her chicks are now half grown and she'll be getting eggs soon. Her preteen daughter has loved the whole project.

My breed favorites: Rhode Island Reds, Plymouth Barred Rocks and Buff Orpington's. I have a Black Astralorpe right now, her eggs are small but she is very personable and pet like. We have two white Leghorns. They lay huge great eggs, but they are not very pet like, and I have heard that from more than one person.

Keep us posted! Yay!! Did you know there are more chickens on earth than people?

Alison said...

Very cool idea - when I was a kid we always had chickens. Rhode Island Reds was the breed we had.

joeks said...

Great idea!
Buff Orpington, White Laced Wyandotte, and one Rhode Island Red--those are the chicks we bought, mainly because that's what the farm supply store had available, but we've been happy with them. Then we had a further mixture, because one turned out to be a rooster, so we hatched out some eggs.

Here's a comprehensive chart you might be interested in. Sorry I don't know how to make it a direct link in a comment.

Anonymous said...

Can we have chickens in town???

Martha said...

I love your chicken post. I have just been over to Gudl's blog and saw a watercolor picture Wanda painted of her chickens.

My husband is a wonderful cabinet maker but I'm not too sure how to inspire him to build a chicken coop. He's too distracted by logs. :)

Sometimes I wish for a farm with real farm animals like goats and ducks and chickens, not just cats and dogs.

Priscilla said...

I like the purple coop.

Judi-gmj said...

Yep, I like the idea of YOU having chickens. :D Did you know you can eat the chickens too? Yep, if they don't lay eggs, if they don't get along with others, if the cats hate them and act out, if you get tired of chicken poop, oh.. can't you use that too for fertilizer?
Martha needs a farm. I vote Martha gets a farm. I vote Martha goes to Nova Scotia first.
Tracy.... you have been tagged, do the Seven Songs when you get time.

Nixter said...

I have heard that it is good to have the chicken fence go quite deep underground so dogs and other naughty animals can't eat the chickens!

Are you surprise by my unbelievable knowledge?

Don't forget names - maybe if you get some you can do a 'Name that Chicken' post.

SP's parents have a couple of chickens - they are cool!

Christine said...

How cool. If only we lived in the country.

Carol said...

You may wish to consider Rhode Island Red hens(great, brown eggs)with a Banty rooster. RIR roosters are mean and have horrid spurs. Banties are smaller, friendlier. If you want chickens for meat, Cornish Cross are the way to go. They grow so quickly (and consume so much feed) that you can dress them at about 6 weeks. You'll need a separate area for CC only. Finally decided to skin them rather than pluck them--much quicker and no yucky plucking odor. Double wrap them in plastic bags, pop into the freezer. I roasted them straight from the freezer. Very happy knowing what went into the chickens. Of course, you have to buy them in the spring when the chick are in. Carol