Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Chickens, or, I swore I'd never do this again

So one great thing about Facebook is staying connected to people, it is also good for posting things for sale. A girl in my ward had a chicken coop for sale and it caught my eye. Maybe not for me because after the fiasco with Rocky killing two of three chickens last year I had vowed to never get chickens again, at least not while we had Rocky around. But my mom has plenty of space and was down to one chicken...
I told her I would check with my hubby and casually mentioned it to Chops. He totally surprised me and said, "yeah, lets get it." Um, wait, are you supposed to be the rational, level headed one in the family? So we picked it up, Chops got it all level and prepped for chicks. I researched what kind of chickens I wanted, cold hardy and good layers and went to the store. IFA was almost completely out the first time I went. The day of my procedure we needed to get out of the house and headed to Cal Ranch but they were pretty scarce and the help was non existent. We went back to IFA and they didn't have too many but the ones they did have were closer to a week old so in my mind, more sturdy. They weren't the breeds I wanted but after some research I think we lucked into some good ones.
The kids were super excited, even though they were all the same age they were three different sizes and of course Wyatt loved the fluffy smallest one. He kind of reminds me of the boy in Of Mice and Men...just maybe not as extreme. We kept them in the bathroom while it was still cold, which is by far the worst part but it is fun because the kids would wake up every morning (Wyatt sometimes forty five minutes early :/ but it helped make the transition to Daylight Savings time better...) Once they got a little bigger we put them in the top part of the coop with a lamp on. It has been super nice.
Chops knew I wanted an Ameracauna, which lays blue eggs, so he surprised me with one a week or so after we got the others. At first, I'm thinking, we just got out of the newborn stage! But its been fun and I think the kids will get a kick out the colored eggs. We also have a neighbor that has some acreage in the middle of the encroaching houses and they were looking to downsize their chickens. We picked up a couple of hens so we could start getting eggs sooner. One has been laying and its fun to go out and check for eggs.  Now that the little ones are getting bigger I think we may have to eventually downsize but I like our little flock.
One last chicken story: we let the big hens out to peck and have a dirt bath. They free ranged before so are pretty wild. I can't remember if the kids were trying to get close to them but one jumped up on our fence and over into our neighbor's yard. The neighbor with the Great Dane the size of a pony...Chops thought he was locked in the house so he jumps over and gets the chicken back over, only to discover that GD is not locked in and completely in guard dog mode since someone has intruded his back yard. I am not really afraid of dogs, but I was pretty scared that Chops was going to get mauled. I was trying to distract him without setting him off and was contemplating sacrificing one of the chickens. Addie brought me some doggy treats that were seriously like specks but I tossed them over and he came over to investigate and Chops made it out alive. I can laugh about it now but it was not funny at the time.

 Addie got pooped on after this and seriously had to take a shower, so gross!

 Black one at one point was Dora, Brown is Speckles or Freckles? and yellow is buttercup

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