Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Chicken Chronicles I: We're Going to be Farmers!

If you read back in this blog about a year, you'll find a post about my super-enthusiastic husband and his garden.  In short, he covered the entire yard with raised beds and succeeded in growing all of the produce we could eat during the summer and fall last year.  With the weather here in the winter, it's difficult to grow stuff year-round, and spring comes a little late, so we've been purchasing produce for the last five months.  Let me tell you, the difference is astounding and I can't wait for our little seedlings to take off.  We have leeks, arugula, and things of that sort started already on the windowsill.

Having exhausted all the flat, sunny land in our yard, the next logical step is to find something to do with the shady parts.  And what better than to build a chicken coop!  Our supply of fresh eggs recently ran out (due to raccoons...) and we figured it was our turn.  We went down to the feed store just to find out some information about chicks- when they'd be in, what breeds work well up here, etc, and much to our surprise, we were informed the types we wanted would be in the next day...  So, we went to Home Depot and bought a big plastic tub for them to live in while the coop gets started and finished.  We've been hearing all of these horror stories of eagles snatching, raccoons strangling, and some unnamed blood-sucking vampire weasel draining the life out of local chickens.  With Tomek's penchant for over-engineering things, I hope that won't happen to us.

We're starting out with eight chicks- four each of Black Australorp and Ameraucana.  In this photo, the Ameraucana are about a week old and the Black's a bit younger.  Even at this point, they're developing their own little chicken personalities and odd little chicken habits.  Hopefully they'll all survive, and all be girls.  There's a 10% failure rate in sexing the chickens when they hatch, so there's a good chance that we'll have a rooster in the bunch.  I hope it's not the super fluffy one that looks like a chipmunk.  (S)he's the friendliest... 

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