If you follow along with my instastories, you’ve been getting a peek into our life with chickens for the past four weeks. We’ve had ‘the girls’ for a month now, so I thought I’d give a little update on how we’ve adjusted to life with hens.
For those unaware, we bought four pullets (8 weeks) from a local hatchery. We have two Production Reds and two White Sussex. We chose these breeds because they are known for being great layers and both will produce lovely brown eggs. We do not plan to raise meat birds this year. As our pullets are only 12 weeks, we can’t expect to see eggs for another 6-8 weeks. Whomp, whomp. Yes, it’s hard to wait when you’re so excited!
They have a fully enclosed coop with a run, as well as a 6 foot fence around them. We built the secondary fencing because of the dogs. The chickens do not get to free-range unless we are outside with them, because we have both eagles and hawkes. We give them fresh feed, water, fruit and veg scraps, and hand picked piles of grass. At night they are fully locked up and so far, we haven’t had any predator issues (knock on wood.)
Chickens have proved easy to care for. I fill their water and food jug every three days and it dispenses more as soon as the tray runs out. I clean their coop once a week, but I really like a clean coop. It keeps down smells and makes it look pretty. I’d like to think the girls appreciate the cleanliness. Apparently the average is every 2-4 weeks.
The coop we purchased was off Amazon and took my husband about two hours to put together. It’s got a slide out tray for easy cleaning, two roosting poles, and two easy access boxes for egg collection. We added chicken wire to the bottom to keep things from digging in.
I can already tell we’ll want more chickens next year. Maybe ten or so. Why? Because we can. Haha! We’ll likely sell our cute little ready-made coop and build one to accommodate more birds. I’d really like to add some Americaunas to the mix so we can get some Easter Egg colours.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I was nervous having pullets the first couple days. I wasn’t raised on a farm and I had zero experience with chickens. I quickly got the hang of the routine and the girls come running when they see me approach the coop. They let me hold them, stroke them, and their working on getting use to my children. They like our oldest the most, but he spends a lot of time with them.
All three of the kids love having chickens. They’re happy to help with whatever chores they require and they visit them several times a day. It’s teaching them to respect animals, care for them, and understand that food production requires work!
No regrets over here. Life with chickens is great! Just call me Chicken lady 😉