Sunday, August 14, 2011

Chicken Update

Update to the update - the girls are earning their keep:

Something to do on a rainy day.
Thanks for all your comments on my new venture.  I'm glad I could provide so many with so much amusement - including me.  I was laughing like a fool the entire time, so I can see how anyone else would find it funny.  Let's just say I never expected the first time I touched a chicken would be by tackling it in a thrift store.

A few of your comments need/deserve responses:

Elaray:  I'm going to ask stupid questions: Don't you also need a rooster? Does having no rooster mean you get eggs, but no chicks?  Don't you work in education?  There are no stupid questions.  I don't need a rooster (and probably wouldn't have gotten the go-ahead from my neighbors if I wanted one). 

Chickens operate basically the same way we do; they have eggs, but they only turn in to chicks if they're fertilized by Mr. Rooster.  Otherwise, they're just eggs.  Much tidier and more useful than us, actually.

Marysews:  Good story! Where did you get your coop? We are in the planning stages to have hens next year. We live in a residential area where we are not allowed to have livestock, but we can have a pet that just happens to have feathers and give eggs - two, if the neighbors don't complain!  I got the coop from Hayneedle.  It was a little pricier than I wanted - I actually had wanted to build my own - but short notice means less choice, and they had free Fedex ground shipping.  I saw the same coop on several other sites for the same price, PLUS shipping.  It wasn't difficult at all to build - it took the 2 of us about a half hour, and that's using screwdrivers because of course we couldn't find the philips head bit for the drill.

Lisette:  By the way what happens in the winter time? Do you have to get a heater for the coop?  Some people do.  Chickens actually don't do too badly in cold weather - they're more at risk in the extreme heat we've had - but if it gets below zero and stays that way for a while, it's hard on them, plus their water freezes up.  I'm going to re-use something we used to use for the stray cats on the porch.  I forget what they're called, but they're these plastic things that look like the ones you put in the freezer, except these can be microwaved and stay warm for 6 hours or so.  A deep bed of straw and a couple of these should keep them warm enough, and I can always tarp off some of the screening if it's really blowing.

The girls seem to have settled in, but it's hard for me to tell.  After way too much dry, now it's absolutely pissing down rain out there.  I've gone out a couple times just to make sure they're not standing in mud and they seem okay, if a little offended by the dampness.  I gave them a handful of lettuce and a few cherry tomatoes that were knocked down by the rain, and that cheered them right up. 

And since it's raining, I'm sewing.  I guess that's one positive - the next thing you read will be a post about sewing, for a change.


Lisette M said...

Thanks Karen. My husband uses an electric heater in a birdbath/drinking fountain for all our yard critters. It works really well. This past winter only the center stayed liquid, enough access for drinking water.

Sarah C said...

Thanks for the follow-up. I have been wanting to get chickens since we moved into our house. Hopefully in the next two years I can convince my husband to do it.

Rose said...

I enjoyed the chicken update. DH wants chickens. I'd love the fresh eggs but I'm concerned that the racoons will get them at night. I'll sleep with cats and dogs, but I draw the line at sleeping with chicks. Hmm..maybe I can put an electric fence around the coop - works for the garden.

marysews said...

Thanks for the follow-up. I've recently read that some states ban the banning of clotheslines, and one can only hope the same for chickens!

Elaray said...

Thanks for the Chicken biology lesson! Lindsey also explained the reproductive practices of chickens to me. Yes, I do work in education and believe me, I hear PLENTY of stupid questions! ;)
Good luck with the venture! I can't wait to meet your newest non-human roommates.

Kyle said...

What a funny story! and such a deluxe chicken coop. Very cool color on the eggs.

Connie said...

Hey Madam chicken farmer! We are now in the same industry- I'll bring the bacon and you bring the eggs!

Anonymous said...

So now you're a farmer? Have fun and I hope they don't wake at 4am like those on our farm when I was growing up. That's quite a deluxe chicken coop Enjoy!

Sheila said...

Oh my... such pretty color eggs.