I really wanted chickens. I wanted them really bad. The farm already had a great coop on the property inside a large, fenced in chicken run. All I had to do was insert chickens… and learn how to take care of them. One Saturday in May, our good friends John and Lanette brought us over five chickens and the rest is history. I had chicken fever. (Lanette really got me into chickens, taught me a lot about raising them and now she hatches eggs for sale. Check out her facebook page at Happy Chickens) Here’s a looksie around our coop:
Right now, we have Easter Eggers, buff orpingtons and blue laced red wyandottes (they’re great dual purpose breeds… meaning good layers and fryers) we also have two little silkies because I couldn’t resist them at the small animal swap. Currently we have a mixed flock but want to create a self-sustaining flock where the hens and roosters mate, lay eggs, hatch their own babies and so on and so forth. In the spring we’ll build on another coop where we can keep the breeds separate and essentially have two purebred self-sustaining flocks.
We do cull our own roosters and the first time was certainly an experience, it doesn’t get easier but it’s a necessity. Culling is the process of removing breeding animals from a group based on specific criteria. Having too many roosters create conflict with other roosters and stresses out the hens. Our chickens are not pets. They provide us with delicious eggs and every once in a while, meat. But we do provide them with an excellent life out at the farm. They forage in their large chicken run for bugs and grass, eat scraps from the garden, take dust baths and scratch in the yard. Spoiled chickens produce excellent eggs. And I spoil the crap out of them. Just ask Dave. You can read more about them in the “Our chickens” section of our website.
I have to admit that the coop and run look pretty drab since it’s late December but come spring time, it’s full of tall grasses and veggie scraps from the garden. Stay tuned for new upgrades and additions to the cook and flock coming next spring!
Here’s a video that Dave took of our buff orpington laying one of her first eggs!