Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The chickens and making do with what you have

Growing up, we had chickens.

I loved the experience, mostly because it was all fun and no work.

Now that I'm an adult on paper anyway, the thought of having chickens, laying eggs and wandering around the yard just seemed so...homey.

My dear husband wasn't as enthusiastic but the squeaky wheel gets the grease he very graciously picked up the supplies that we needed.

Since I last posted about the chicken, we have added to our a big way.

Someone on Craigslist was giving away their chicken flock. It was quite a drive from our home but the thought of all those free hens really spurred me on.

Plus they were free.

Did I already mention that?

Turns out that after umpteen years of marriage and 10 kids, the couple in question was calling it quits and getting rid of all their animals.


I graciously took all the hens (even the rooster) and brought them home.

We put them in the coop after our hens had already roosted up for the night.

We got a good laugh thinking about what would happen when our chickens would wake up the next morning.

I'm sure they were like..."WTH?...where did all these birds come from?"

At that point, we had 27 hens and one lone rooster...whom we named Ranger.

Then...sometime before Christmas...there were 31.

Someone pointed out on Facebook that the three new hens were french hens. Since it was before Christmas that did make me pause to consider but...I'm pretty sure they aren't.

Only because there never were any drummer boys....thank goodness.

Because we have such a variety of chickens and I don't take the time to get to know each one individually, I couldn't even tell who the newcombers (Ha!) were. we have 30 hens and one rooster.

Every day, when we go out to feed them, the hens flock to you. It is hysterical to watch them come a runnin'. They work their drumsticks as fast as they can.

It makes me laugh out loud.

Which is probably one of the reasons that the neighbors think I'm certifiable.

Here are about 1/2 the hens, all lined up, eating the morning scratch.

Sorry for the feather butt shot.
The coop we got for free off of Craigslist. It was a shed in some one's backyard and they just wanted it gone. Corey and the boys dissembled it, brought it home and put it back together again.

The shed is really not crooked, it's just that the person taking the picture was keeping one eye peeled for the attack rooster.

His days are numbered.

I had to suppress the urge to scream "Dead chicken walking" at him this morning.

But, again, I refrain...for the neighbor's sake.
We needed some roosts so we looked around to see what we already had on hand.

In the shop were some water bed rails.

I had bought three sets of water bed frames last year at GW for $10 total. The side rails were the only thing that wasn't going to be used in a project.

Great roosts they made!
The nesting boxes were actually a shoe bin that I had curb shopped last year.

My very first curb shop. sniff...sniff...

Just give me a moment to compose myself...

**wipes tear from eye**

Corey pulled the top off of the shoe bin, turned it to it's side and attached it to the wall of the coop.

Total cost so far...$0

Does that make me sound cheep Ha! Ok, sorry...I just can't help it or what?!

You can see that the hens are laying underneath the nesting boxes too but they seem to prefer the left side for some reason.

And boy are they ever laying the eggs!

Today is the 23rd and through yesterday we have collected 391 eggs this month.

I'm almost drowning in eggs.

I've been giving them away fast and furiously to the neighbors.

Which is probably one of the reasons why they aren't answering their door anymore.

I do have a few chickens that are not laying in the nesting boxes.

Easter egg hunting is great once a year...everyday...not so much.
Someone out there is laying the funniest shaped eggs.

We refer to them as "bullets".

See the one on the right?

They are the chicken equivalent of a cone head.
And, because someone must have hit me with the stupid stick again we now are the proud owner of 12 baby chicks.

We went in to get "just a couple" and came out with "a lot".

Kind of reminds me of what happened with the kids.
A couple of these are promised to lay chocolate brown eggs.

I'm so excited.

Hopefully they will have rich creamy centers...


They are only the color of chocolate?

That's just not funny.



Cheap&Sweet said...

wow I hope you are selling your eggs on Craigslist or put up fliers in welltodo parts or something.

Connie said...

I am still looking for the miniature chicken that lays those Cadbury mini eggs. Please let me know when you find out what breed they are.

Seriously though, 391 eggs? Oh my, even a family of your size must be sick of egg dishes.

The mom of 4 monkeys! said...

Love it!!!!

Jut and Char said...

So when it comes time to thin the flock, who gets to wield the ax? :) I know if it was me I would be handing that ax off faster than Jut would have time to catch it.

Jensamom23 said...

We are the caretakers of 3 chickens and I LOVE them! They run and greet our youngest daughter whenever she is outside...funny stuff!

Jensamom23 said...

We are the caretakers of 3 chickens and I LOVE them! They run and greet our youngest daughter whenever she is outside...funny stuff!

Living Life Large said...

Where do you live, we need eggs all the time but don't want the chickens. HEHHE, love it.

melly~ said...

found your blog by accident today. i think it was the lamp turned parch ornament. very clever!

loved reading about your chicken adventures. i have a small brood and fight the urge daily to keep it small.

thanks for the laughs.