Grow Old With Me, The Best Is Yet To Be...

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Farmer Browns

So Kasey and I have toyed with the idea of backyard chickens for a while now... I don't think I would have gone along with the idea had I not seen how cool they can be at Kerby and Deena's home in Oregon. We had been in our new home only 3 weeks probably and Kasey had called me from work twice saying he was at a farm store and they had baby chicks that were SO cute and wanted to bring them home with him. The first time I said no because we were just getting settled and quite frankly I don't know the first thing about chickens. So he agreed and the guilt trip was minimal if I do say so myself, haha! But that didn't stop him from talking to a guy there who personally had a bunch of his own chickens, and getting online and researching all about these cute little critters... We talked about it again when he got home, but I still said that I didn't want to take on that responsibility right now. So he let a few more days pass and on April 12 he called me from work again, and wanted to bring three little chicks home with him. After going back and forth and him agreeing that if I felt they are a pain in the butt in any way shape or form, we were going to give them away - no ifs, ands, or buts about it.

The girls were so surprised and excited! They stayed in a little tupperware for a short while before we decided they needed more room. So we had a sweet little set up for them in a large tupperware while they finished out their days indoors. I thought I was going to absolutely HATE having them in the house, but honestly they didn't bug me one bit. I fell in love with them so fast. They weren't hard to clean around and their cute little chirps were so sweet and never once got on my nerves.
Meet Eggbert (the little striped one on the top left), her breed is an ameraucana; Henrietta (the little yellow one), her breed is the white plymouth rock; and Friday (the little black one), her breed is the black cochin. Friday got her name because of how the kids used to say "fried egg sandwiches" - "friday sandwiches", she is super cute because she has feathered feet and they will stay that way, Mikenna thought up the name Eggbert all her own, and Henrietta's name came a day or so later after tons of brainstorming. They were in their first week of life when we brought them home! Aren't our feather-babies adorable?!

They are so low maintenance, we hardly have to do anything with them now that they are grown and the most we had to do with them as chicks was monitor the heat in their little box, and get them fresh water frequently. Now they have a feeder that Kasey built outside that holds like 25 pounds of chicken feed, and a 5 gallon bucket of water with water nipples on the underside so they always have fresh water. Their coop was built by our shed in the backyard. We put a fence behind it and to the side we put a gate, The hen house is actually inside the shed under the tool bench. Kasey built cabinet doors underneath, a window on the exterior side, and a door to get in and out from the outside complete with a ramp. We made the mistake of putting way too much straw down at first so when it rained or the sprinklers came on it would soak it and the bottom layers wouldn't dry. We didn't want it to mold so we had to empty it all out and lay it out in the sun on a tarp and put a very thin layer back in their coop and hen house. It's been perfect ever since. We still plan on building off the back of the shed so they have a place in the winter to get away from any cold breeze/wind that may come through their door, and to eventually get power out there so that we don't have to run an extension cord from the house to the shed.
This was their first time outdoors. They weren't big enough to stay outside, but we started taking them outside for a little while each day. I was kind of sad when they were big enough to stay outside permanently as silly as that sounds, haha!
It didn't take long for them to grow! They will start laying eggs around 20 weeks old.
Here they are perching on Kasey's ladder. 

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