I have only one thing on my mind lately. (No, not that.) Chickens!!!
I’ve decided to embark on a new adventure raising backyard chickens after some encouragement from Sue of Homemade Frontier and Mommy’s Pen fame. (She lives in Portland. They’re even bigger crunchy hippies than us westside moms.) I’m not a big egg eater, and I’ve been intentionally avoiding buying eggs in the store as much as I can, but my kids love them and if I knew that the chickens were treated well and were happy, I might be inclined to eat a few myself.
I’m like a kid waiting for Christmas. I can hardly stand it, I’m so excited!
I ordered my chickens from My Pet Chicken last month. They’ll ship as few as 3-5 chickens depending on where you live, so it’s a good way to get a variety of birds. The chickens will arrive the first week of June and I can’t wait!!! (I’m really excited, can you tell?) I’m getting an Australorp, a buff Orpington, a speckled Sussex, and an Easter egger (they lay blue or green eggs).
Impatient though I am, I have a lot to get prepared. The chickens will be about 3 days old when they arrive, so I need a brooder. I’ve been doing some research, because I don’t want to spend a lot of money on a fancy brooder, and I learned cardboard boxes work if they’re large enough. We just got two new backyard chairs, and guess what they came in? That’s right, a large box. Brooder, check.
I want to get a little outdoor pen for them too, so when they’re young they can scratch around and be chickens, but in a confined area so I don’t have any go missing on me. That’s on the list right now.
I’m also going to need a coop. I’ve been looking and thinking and deciding if I want to make one myself, buy a small one that fits four birds, or splurge on a big one. Finally, we realized we have the perfect coop already. The girls’ playhouse. They don’t use it, plus we plan on getting them a jungle gym this summer, and it’s really nice and sturdy. All we’ll have to do is add a nest box (maybe two), an in and out ramp, some shelves and perches for roosting, and a run. Sean and I both think it’s doable, so the planning is underway. I also really like the idea of re-using something we already have rather than buying a new something.
Stay tuned for photos of chicken coops, baby chicks, and, one day, fresh eggs. Also, possibly, a lot of me anticipating the chickens coming because I’m going crazy waiting for them and need to let it out somewhere. Lucky you. :)