Our village is looking into the backyard chickens issue and I'm a bit iffy on which side things will fall. I was feeling really positive until I went to the farmer's market in town yesterday. There's a big split between the baby boomers. Some say this is a "common sense" issue and that we live too close to the forest preserve to keep chickens, so it should be illegal. To that I say that common sense issues should be left to the individual. Aren't we supposed to be making those decisions for ourselve... read more
We've been making do with a 1 gallon watering dish for the girls. Now that they're laying, it's not even getting them through the day. They're consuming feed at at least twice the rate that they used to, and now the water needs to be filled up twice a day. So in order to make sure fresh water is always available to them, I devised a contraption that involves a gravity-fed auto-waterer, a food-safe rain barrel, and food-safe tubing (came with the waterer), a cage around the dish, and a paving stone to elevate the dish... read more
Poor Annie has been complaining all morning...whimpering and clucking. Her hind-end seems rather puffy and she's staying away from the other hens, so my best guess is that she's getting ready to lay her first egg. She's very happy for us to hold and pet her, so we think it must be soothing.
Since the other hens are hanging out in the coop and she wants some time on her own, I've taken the wash tub and lined it with straw so she can nest in private. I'm sure once they all start laying, there will be a more comm... read more
I just realized I haven't posted an update about the chickens in way too long!
So here's a quick catch up. A couple of months ago we had an absolutely heartbreaking morning. Dave, who opens the coop door in the mornings on his way to the garage, came into the house and said, "There aren't any chickens out there!" My heart sank. I knew they had been locked up tight the night before. My mind skimmed a few scenarios. I threw on my shoes and ran back there, Sophia running behind me. I yelled for her to go back in the ... read more
The mornings have been really nice lately, fairly cool and mild. Will and I have been spending them in the backyard, where we'll allow the girls to free range while I have my coffee and check email. The past 2 mornings they've been pretty timid, but I'm guessing those days are behind them!
Sophia and I are the ones who wore Dave down on the whole backyard chickens issue. She's my partner in crime. Now he has one, has named it, and is as into it (almost) as much as we are.
She tends to them several times throughout the day, checking their water, sitting with them, holding them on her lap and petting them. The chicks will come and eat right out of her hand and seem more tame around her than Dave or me. She's a natural animal caregiver. Animals love her and she loves them.
We added 3 little Araucanas "Easter Egger" chicks to our family about a month ago. We chose this breed for their hardiness in cold temps as well as their large, beautiful multi-colored eggs that can be green, pink, blue, or lovely chocolate brown.
Last weekend Dave and I worked on building the coop (Mostly Dave. He likes the tools. I painted and held stuff.) and then this weekend we built the run. This morning the girls had their homecoming when the two structures were joined and they were allowed to have ... read more
Video of the girls in their brooder. read more