“I do not want chickens!”
When we first purchased our property, I was determined that I did not want chickens. After all, we travel a lot and we were not planning to move to the farm. I just could not imagine wanting chickens. Aren’t they a lot of work? I know nothing about caring for chickens. Jamey and Noah don’t eat eggs, so who would eat all those eggs? So I decided I do not want chickens!
What changed my mind…
Since we have never owned a farm and never owned farm animals before, I have spent a great amount of time doing research on farm animals to determine what might be a good fit for our family. We have known all along that we want to have cows, but we have a lot of fencing to do before that is possible. Goats are also on the list, but we also need fencing for goats. Chickens peaked my curiosity last summer while researching guineas to help control ticks naturally. One thing led to another, and I began planning the chicken house and run enclosure. My love for animals and curiosity about raising chickens convinced me to give them a chance!
Although I am confident that my amazing husband could build the coolest henhouse around, his schedule was too full with finishing our house to add another project to his list. I decided to purchase a henhouse from Amazon so that I could assemble it by myself. In less than an hour I had the henhouse assembled! Click the picture below for the link to this henhouse on Amazon.com.
The Chicken Run
This was a great purchase! I assembled the framing on my own, then Jamey and Madison used the tractor to dig a trench for the base to sit in and they added 3 feet of additional chicken wire in the trench to prevent predators from digging their way into the enclosure. This enclosure is large enough for the henhouse AND the rabbit hutch. It is 6 feet tall in the center so I can easily walk around inside to take care of the chickens, rabbit and ducks. It even came with a tarp for one section of the roof so the animals can stay dry when it rains! Click the photo below for the link to this chicken run on Amazon.com.
I discovered local farmers who sell chicks, ducks, rabbits, and other farm animals through a Facebook group. We visited a farm ten minutes from our location to purchase the chicks. They were priced a little more than chicks at Tractor Supply or Rural King, but I like knowing that we are supporting a local farmer and his family. We learned a few things about fencing while we were there too, but I will share that in a future post.
I decided on Black Australorp, Wyandotte, Orpington and Silkie chicks. I hope to add some variety later for colored eggs, but for now I wanted to get what was available locally. All of these varieties are supposed to be low key, friendly chickens. It is amazing how many varieties there are and how different their personalities are. I love observing their behaviors! So far, the friendliest chicken is Rosemary- a Silver Laced Wyandotte. She is very curious and loves to be held!
Fun with the Chickens
I planted herbs and tomatoes around the chicken run. I am learning more about the benefits of herbs for chickens and how they can affect egg production. My chickens eat chicken feed, chicken scratch (seeds) and table scraps. Last week they had cantaloupe rind and melon rind every day. They know I always have treats so they come running every time I walk by the chicken run. It will be a few more weeks before they begin to lay any eggs. Until then, what I have discovered is chickens are fun!
Stay tuned for the next post introducing my pet rabbit and two baby ducks to the farm!
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