Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Chickens Have Arrived

I finally got my chickens yesterday. I picked up 8 young hens from a person I contacted via craigslist. They were $12 each which is the best deal I found. Most ads I saw priced them at $15-20. Before I get ahead of myself, let's talk about the run.

I wanted at least part of the run to be tall enough for me to walk around in so I decided to build a ~6 ft tall door. I sunk two posts I found and then built a door with some 2x4s I bought.

Next I pounded in metal posts I found. They were various heights so it was interesting to figure out the best arrangement for them. Basically the height of the run got shorter the further from the door. There were even a few really short ones that I used to support a metal roof piece I found. This will provide some shade and shelter from the rain.

I added a few more 2x4s on top of the door posts and to the first set of metal posts to make the run a little more solid. I ran the chicken wire out 6-12 inches on the ground and laid rocks on top to prevent the dog from digging under and murdering the ladies. I may try to make this a little more presentable in the future. I'm thinking about putting soil on top and planting something the chickens will eat.

The extra height allowed me to add in some roosts at various heights and a rope swing. I'm hoping these things will keep them entertained. I haven't seen them use them yet though. I also noticed tonight that at least some of them weren't using the roosts in the coop so maybe they just don't want to roost.

Here are the chickens minutes after arriving. They immediately went for the feed and then a dust bath. Also notice Ace casing the joint.

The chickens scratching and bathing. I believe I have 5 Rhode Island Reds and 3 Buff Orpingtons. I made my own feeder and waterer to save money. I think they will last awhile without need of a refill. In the future I would like to hook up a rain catchment system to supply the water.

I think these are Buff Orpingtons, "Buff" being their color.

When I woke up this morning there was one egg in the nesting box. After work there were three more. You can see that they are different sizes, shapes and colors. I think these chickens are 5-6 months old and are just starting to lay. Some may not be laying yet. I ate the eggs tonight and they were tasty. The yolks were very dark yellow.

The only issue so far is that it looks like I underestimated the size of chicken poo. The poo isn't falling through the screen on my droppings boxes. I think I will buy a screen with a larger mesh size. Otherwise it defeats the purpose.

BONUS PIC - I noticed this kind creature praying for my chickens. I haven't seen one of these guys since I was a kid. Good vibes!


Anonymous said...

Get ready for a wealth of egg salad sandwhiches!


fooiemcgoo said...

sweet dude! that dog looks mettling. be careful.

when the eggs start to get old, make sure to eat the chickens. donm't mix eggs and chickens though:

in related news, I had some KFC for the family tonight and it was $12.00 and i didn't have to build a shed. I drove up to a window and they handed it to me.

one of those praying mantises attacked me and brad the other day in my hot tub. it was about 5" and vicious.

yes, me and brad were in a hot tub together.

Bleach said...

Awesome man. I wish you lived close by so I could come check it out.

I was about to tell you the sotry of Tim getting attacked. it was hella scray. It was at least 3 feet long with fangs. I bet that sunofabitch in your picture is his cousin.