Egg-cellent Layers

IMG_6477Last spring I really had the “itch” to get some chicks. I have mentioned this off and on for literally years and I have been poo-pooed by my family consistently. We live in the foothills of the city, so we aren’t exactly in the country where these animals are more common. I have just enough city in me to be completely illiterate with country life. We happened to be out on the west side of town last spring and I saw a feed store with a sign out front saying, “SPRING CHICKS ARE HERE!” How could I not be intrigued by such advertising? I was fortunately with my mom, as we tend to be together on most of these crazy adventures. My dad said for years, my mom is Lucy and I am Ethel. In the case of the chickens, I felt like Lucy! I asked my mom if she felt like popping in the feed store, just to LOOK, not to buy and she agreed. We no more get in the door and here before my very eyes were the cutest little four day old balls of fluff I had ever laid eyes on! The little peeps coming from the bins of dozens and dozens of peeps grasped my heart strings and I was totally sold. We picked five chickens: Ruby- a Rhode Island Red, Henny Penny- a White Crested Polish, Babs-a black Wyandotte and two Welsummers, Goldie and Miss Muffett.

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Not being a prepared chicken owner I had none of the supplies necessary to care for these littles and I was so excited, I literally bought them a little bit of everything. My husband was less than impressed when he came home from work that night and saw a red heat lamp with little chicks peeping about. Craig’s whole motto, was- “Why do we need these?” and “Where are they going to go?” I of course, used my best selling point of having farm-fresh eggs! No one seemed to think we were allowed to have chickens within the city limits, but little did we know, we are allowed up to 12 hens and 1 rooster within the city limits. Fortunately we do not live in an HOA, so that wasn’t an obstacle either. All systems were a go! I marked on my calendar when to start expecting eggs and was oh so excited. I have quickly become a wannabe country gal living in the city! Once the gals were old enough, Craig built us a custom coop for the backyard. Below please take a look at our custom design of the coop. We are using litterboxes for nesting, a washer tray for easy cleaning and PVC for feeders. We had to paint it a “cheery” yellow color. We refer to the coop as our home’s “West Wing” and we have tried to personalize the coop for each hen as best as possible.

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Once they were about 3.5 months old, they all started making weird noises and our Crested Polish, Henny Penny, began to crow- or so we thought. Being unsure, we just watched and Henny definitely turned out to be a Henry. It was sad to have a rooster, because he was loud and a handful of our neighbors were not enjoying the noise. I’m pretty certain if it were not for him, none of the neighbors would know we had chickens. We ultimately had to find him a new forever home, which broke our hearts. His new home was much more lush and larger than what we could ever offer him, with the ability to go inside and wear chicken diapers. Who knew such things existed? In the fall Mom wanted to look into getting two more girls so when the other four molt we will still get eggs.

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So October 1st, we bought two new girls, Buffy an Americana and Candy Corn, a Cuckoo Moran. We adore our six girls and they work so hard to provide us delicious eggs. I hear them in travail in the mornings and make an effort to thank them for their hard work when I go out to collect our colorful shelled goodness.

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I feel like there are several pictures posted today, but these are my babies and who doesn’t love good baby pictures? Do you have any city chicken stories to share with me? Thank you for stopping by again today and reading more of many stories to come. Make it an awesome day!