The chickens have finally come home to roost and we're loving it!
Dan finished off most of the chicken coop and only has a wee bit of chicken
wire to attach at the top of the inside coop, but they are safe and sound.
Would you like a tour of our henhouse and pen?
Excellent!
We placed the dog kennel as the outside barrier in the right side of our vegetable garden
back beside the potting shed.  The dog kennel idea came from Maureen at
It's All Connected as this is what she used as well and it seems to do the trick!
Now, you know I had to start decorating before the coop was even complete!
I've had this chicken for a few years now (in hopes of one day owning chickens!)
and it used to grace the top of our fence around the veggie garden but has now
found a much better home, don't you think?
The girls arrived home on Sunday evening and settled right in by 
having a glorious dirt bath and immediately ridding their area of any greenery
that was left in sight.  This is possibly the only named chicken thus far...Hash (after
Hashbrowns) by Rukmini of Trumatter, who's become a dear cyber friend!
Here's a view of approaching the coop that's built inside the potting shed.
We're learning....as you can see there are shavings rather than straw on the floor
and in the nesting boxes....it's easier to clean up and costs around the same as straw does.  We've also found out that mites and other bug critters are more likely to
infiltrate the straw over the pine shavings.
We used old wooden crates that were taking up valuable space in the garage
to convert over to nesting boxes.  What we're finding though is the hens
are roosting on top of them in the evenings and laying all their eggs in the
lower right red crate and none of the others.  So, we're thinking of moving
all the crates to a lower level around the base of the coop.
Think that will solve their problem?
They are capable of getting into the other boxes...of this we're certain
because there's chicken poop inside all of them every morning!
Dan made this pulley door for the girls and I'm quite proud of him!
Do you see how the pulley is rigged to go up and across the ceiling, then
down to the left of the coop door to be wound around a double hook?
After the chickens wander into their home at night, we close the door from inside
ensuring they won't get stuck trying to come out again.
The Barred Rock hen is my personal favourite....so far!
She's so easy to hold and touch...not afraid of us at all.
Although during our photo shoot, neither one of us actually
caught a good photo of the chickens eating out of our hand....they did!
Very gently too!
I was a little afraid they would peck me because I am a city girl and had never
even held a chicken in my life until we got ours, let alone sat right inside a pen with them until Maureen got her chickens awhile ago.
Yup....this is me...proudly showing off my chicken poop that rubbed off all over
my tank top when I was picking up the poopy straw!  I debated going
shopping in this shortly after, but nah.....hahahaha!
City girl slowly converting.....
"Hash" was the most hesitant to be in the coop with us while the rest were.....
....actually posing!  This particular Rhode Island Red girl gave me at least
ten fantastic shots of her from all sides, all the while staring at me as if to say,
"Am I not the most gorgeous chicken you've ever seen in your life"
Maybe I'll name her Posy for just this reason.
Yes!  Definitely!  She's the lightest brown hen of the bunch.
They seem to be very happy here and we've been immersing ourselves
in chicken books and magazines...learning soooo much!
Did you know you can tell what colour egg a chicken is going to have from
it's earlobes?  White earlobes mean white eggs and pink earlobes mean brown eggs!
So far, we've exposed our hens to oranges, tomatoes and lettuce and they love all of it.
Dan, who actually wanted to eat the chickens sometime down the road, is now
so fond of them he says he can't possibly eat them!
Yay!  No need for that!  As if I'd let him....I'd probably throw myself
in front of them if he dared.
We're adding two more to our family soon and I'll definitely show you the
new adoptees when they arrive.
We also had a lovely eggs & toast breakfast yesterday with some of our half
dozen the girls have gifted us with already!
Thanks for visiting our chicken coop!
xo
wendy

 
Oh Yah Baby!
The Chickens Are Coming!
We paid for and met them today.

Four beautiful five month old laying hens of which
Three are Rhode Island Reds and One is a Barred Hen.
You can see the Barred Hen better in this shot.....
The people who owned these are moving into town in August and have no room to keep them anymore, but love them to bits!
Remember, we picked up this coop back at the end of March this year?
Then do you recall when we were eating crow...er...hen very shortly after?
Well....we've got our plan in motion now and within a day or two will
be ready to show you our little chicken casa.
We'll also be getting two of these Rescue Chickens from Maureen's daughter Christie's rescue farm we visited last week while picking up a riding lawnmower.
Bless their wee hearts....
If you follow Maureen's blog "It's All Connected" you'll have seen her
Rescued Chicken Update yesterday where she explains the fascinating
progress her birds have made in the short time they've been with her!
I can't wait to see ours flourish and become....cocky?  Hahaha

Now that the crazy birthday extravaganza is over, we can focus on our little
part of the world again so....keep an eye out for these new additions to our family!
xo
 
I was going to wait to post this, however, after having one of my readers
ask me how I liked my chicken coop, because he was thinking of picking one up at  the
TSC, I decided I had to own up!
Although this appears to be the most awesome chicken coop you could buy
readymade for around $250.00 on sale at TSC, it's not....
and here's the reason why.
Picture
photo courtesy of www.itsallconnected.ca with Maureen's permission.
Do yah get it?  Do you see how weeny, teeny this is?  As tall as the fence behind it?
We didn't even attempt to put ours together after seeing this...just went straight back to the store and got our money back.  Even the clerk was surprised by how small we explained it was!  Maureen from It's All Connected did a post on her coop
shown here, called "Chicken Ranching on a Very Small Scale", but she
plans to add-on to hers and if she only has a couple chickens, she really is okay with
that because there's only her to take care of with eggs and her daughter runs
a rescue farm for chickens and can take them back over the winter until
Maureen does enlarge hers!

Our idea now is to build our own in keeping with the basic style of  this one Karen
from The Art of Doing Stuff built.
This is how she had it all done up at Christmas time and she copied a prototype
from Heather Bullard Lifestyle Blog. 
I really can't imagine anyone doing a better job than Karen has on her urban coop!
Heather now sells the plans for the above absolutely gorgeous chicken coop
HERE (Chez Poulet Coop Plans)!

Dan & I would like to build our own, but have a lean-to roof look to it, rather
than the flat roof or the peaked roof.  We'll get there and when we do
I'll definitely post about it.  We  have some other priorities going on
right now with gardens, kids, dock, getting our main floor painted, etc...
but we'll GET THERE!
So, if you read my first blog about the chicken coop entitled
"...And a Chicken Coop?!  Wha?!..."
(also known as "A Day in the Life of an Impulsive Couple")
you'll understand how disappointed we were.
Cluck, cluck!  Tough luck!
xo
 
or
"A Day in the Life of an Impulsive Couple"
Yup.
It's a chicken coop.
Let's start at the beginning.
A couple years ago, my daughter Megan bought me a book for my birthday,
after overhearing me talk of how one day I'd love to raise chickens and
have farm fresh eggs everyday!

I read it two years ago cover to cover!
But, alas....we decided that was crazy at this point in our home renos
and that we'd much rather have a Greenhouse!  Hahaha!
(and really....plants don't chase you around your own yard!)

So, fast forward to yesterday from two years ago and you'll find
Maureen (It's All Connected), her sister Lynne & myself sitting around the
patio table out back (in our bathingsuits!  March!) after our
aerobic swim workout around 5pm.
The buzz is the new TSC Flyer that arrived in the morning because
there's a chicken coop in there for $249.99!

This baby has:
Pull-out ABS dropping pan for easy cleaning sleeping room,
with built-in nesting box.
Three hinged access doors and
and exercise run.

Paul, Lynne's husband has gone to check out the sizing of it and returned in glee.
We're all looking at each other, like...should we do it?
And yes....off Dan & Paul go to pick up not one, but three poultry hutches!
Here in our wee little village of population somewhere around 40-60 people, three of us
have just decided to make the town the egg producing capitol of Ontario.

Now you may be thinking....how rash?  how silly?  They're just playing.
And in a sense we are, however, Maureen actually had 50 chickens at one time years ago and her daughter runs a rescue farm a few hours away where she rescues Battery chickens, so we have access to some already laying hens.
Plus...we all love eggs....did I mention that?
and right now...we've been getting our eggs from a friend.  Maureen & Lynne get theirs from Maureen's daughter, so why not be smart and raise our own!
We're hoping Maureen's daughter will be able to supply the three of us with
4 leghorn chickens each....I say hope because I don't know if she was expecting  all
three of us to suddenly acquire chicken coops!

Now it's just a matter of deciding where to place our coops.
We've decided to put ours in the front garden because it's fenced in (well, except for that lovely hole I showed you yesterday...but we'll fix it...don't worry!) and the dogs
do not have access to the front yard, thus eliminating the problem of dogs
barking incessantly at chickens and also, the chickens can roam freely in
the front garden, fertilizing my gardens at will.

This is where I say I'll be skipping through my gardens throwing out feed to the chickens with a floppy hat on my head, singing The Sound of Music.....commit me NOW!

What was I thinking?
I don't know....what do you think?
xo