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This blog chronicles the adventures I share with my husband, daughter and son. It is also a place to share what I am learning as a homemaker, gardener, book lover and homeschooling mother. Welcome.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Update on the Chickens

I hardly post about our chickens. They are our new normal, no longer a novelty, so I don't think about posting about them!

Cute Pie

Although our new normal, they are special to us as pets and producers of fresh eggs. I haven't purchased eggs since last Winter when egg production naturally declines due to molting (a yearly renewal of feathers) and less sunlight. Basically, I structure our consumption of eggs and baking around what the hens provide.

I am very thankful for the tractor my husband made and for our chickens. It is basically a chicken coop on wheels.

The tractor is sturdy and only needed 2 larger wheels added to make moving easier as well as different handles, from wooden to metal, again for easier moving.
 Original coop with two wheels and wooden handles
The picture at the bottom of post has the current look,
with the two minor changes.

Originally, we had four chickens, but due to the tractor door being left open our dog had a bit of fun with one of our Golden Comets named Gracie. Thank goodness we saw what was happening before all four hens were gone! Life with animals is exciting.

The kids like to give veggies from the garden to the hens

We are down to three hens, and although our city code allows for four, we are not planning to introduce a a new hen to the group. From my husband's research there is risk to introducing an outside chicken, such as disease and a new pecking order. We aren't going to go to the trouble for one more egg per day since the hen's relationships are established and we don't want to deal with disease.

Our hens have been very healthy. I'm so thankful because I've read about larger animals killing chickens as well as illness taking its toll. Those two things would be a lot to manage.

 Reddie, the Red Sex Link
Cutie Pie, the Black Sex Link
Goldie (who originally looked gold, not red), the Golden Comet

The eggs are yummy, the manure is great for the compost pile and the kids adore the chickens as pets. Our neighbors don't even mind the clucking! The upstart was a bit much, I guess with anything new it is, but now it's just maintenance and enjoying. Truthfully, my husband is responsible for the maintenance, but my baking counts for something, yes?!

All in all, our urban farming chicken experience has been great so far!

The coop, if sturdy, can also serve as a jungle gym!

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