Saturday, November 2, 2013

Which came first: the Chicken or the Egg?

In our case, the chicken... or 12 chickens actually. And a rooster. The rooster actually came about a week after the chickens because he somehow squeezed himself out of the opening of the small-animal cage that the (awesome) couple we bought them all from had him in.

We've wanted chickens for a looooong time, but never had our own property for them. The last house we rented had chickens, and we enjoyed (very often) those fresh, creamy-orange yolks immensely. So we bought a house, and four months later we found a deal we couldn't refuse on chickens. And a rooster. And we had no coop for them...... yet.

What did we end up doing? Well, we had built a little greenhouse hoping to get some sort of veggies or herbs going before winter hit. And we did manage some small success with that, but really it needed improving upon. So we took that greenhouse and slapped some T1-11 siding up, built 4 nesting boxes, cut out a little chicken-sized door that we have to kick out and in because there isn't a handle on it yet, and Voila!! Instant (okay, not quite instant) chicken coop!

Putting up the T1-11


Almost done with the outside!

When we brought them home we put them all in the coop because we had read that it's a good idea to keep transplanted chickens in their coop for 3 - 4 days so they learned exactly where their food and water and roosts are, guaranteeing that they will return there every evening. That may work for most people, but they hadn't been in the coop longer than 15 minutes before they started fighting. There was one chicken who took over the dominant role of the rooster since he was - at that moment - still MIA.

Needless to say, we only kept them in the coop for the rest of that day and then overnight, and let them out early the next day, chancing them wandering off in hopes that they would calm down and play nice. And they were fine!

It was exciting to see them head out of the coop and take their first exploratory steps onto our property. I kept getting a little nervous that they would head off into someone else's property to forage, or wander out into the road, etc... but for the most part they stayed right on our property. That first day, we got two eggs! And we've only gotten one more since, so I believe they are between cycles right now. We are considering putting a red light in their coop to increase laying during this time period, but I still don't know how I feel about that (it isn't exactly "natural" you know?).

This is them:

Our handsome rooster...

She's my favorite. :)

So I honestly thought that having the rooster might have gotten annoying, as I cherish my sleepy time and would rather not get awakened at the butt-crack of dawn by his crowing ("If he starts waking me up too early we're gonna have a stew reeeeeeeal soon!"). I have to admit, however, that I rather like hearing him in the early morning. It just makes our farm feel all the more like a farm, even if it isn't quite as farmy as we'd like it to be yet. 


  1. Lindsey ,I am so glad you started your blog!I will link it with my two blogs
    I have been thinking about you and this is a great way for me to see your progress! Meat rabbits!! Let me know when you have some for sale . Having rabbit tonight! Keep up the good dialog

    1. We miss you guys! And we'll definitely let you know when we have some rabbits ready. We just processed our first one today, and had it for dinner tonight (which you can read about above, haha)!