Chickens! Here’s what we’ve learned so far:
They aren’t as hard to keep as we thought.
They don’t need lots of attention during the day…so we can leave once they are let out in the morning and let back in at night-just as the sun is going down. We (El Guapo) also made them a roost and we got some straw to put down as bedding (or litter as it’s called in the business). We also made them a feeder, picked up a water-er from a garage sale and give them scraps from our food extras. However we do have to find someone to help us if we are gone overnight. That’s a pain. Also-I am employing the Deep Litter Method in keeping the coop tidy (this last word is used loosely when it comes to chickens). It seems to work for us quite nicely.
Then there were eight.
With this taken care of they are basically on auto-pilot. We buy and provide the food, defrost the water as needed and provide larger bodies of water for the ducks to splash around in. We had (foreshadowing) three ducks, one rooster (he’s nice) and four hens. Two of the hens had the potential to lay (the other two we had before we got the newest two and they weren’t laying diddly squat). So, after realizing we were feeding pet chickens we looked at each other and decided something needed to change. I wanted to donate the two hens and the two ducks (the third duck has laying potential as she was just born 10 weeks or so ago). There’s actually people who have rescue shelters for chickens : ) El Guapo, well, he wanted to eat them (or sell them on craigslist.) Turns out no one wants non-laying hens either!
Then there were 12.
Meanwhile El Guapo who runs at a much higher octane than I do (and by octane I mean this man is always doing something: Building, fixing, crafting, planning, searching for great deals. I, on the other hand, just spent several weeks searching for the perfect chair to put in our living room so that I can sit in front of the fire while enjoying the views of Pikes Peak with my book in hand. Let’s review: I sit. or do whatever I want to while sitting. El Guapo does. lots of doing…but I digress…) El Guapo found 9 week old pullets for sale (when they are thought to be female they are called pullets). We picked up four yesterday. They are cute and fluffy and loud chirpy little things. They won’t lay until late spring, I think. That’s 12 foul.
Now there are eleven.
Chicken. It’s what’s for dinner. Well, dinner in a few days-the images are still a little too vivid in all of our minds to have her tonight or the next. She was a good hen. She just didn’t pull her own weight. It’s called culling in the industry. Are you so excited to be learning all of these new vocabulary words? Me, too! There might be ten soon. We’ll see, but why feed chickens that just poop and eat?
Let’s review our vocabulary words for the week:
Litter: The stuff you put on the floor of the coop. In our case it is straw.
Pullet: A female chicken (aka hen) that is less than a year old.
Culling: What happens when you don’t pull your weight around here (in this case not pulling your weight means not dropping an egg in 3 months). Maybe this will also help the girls get their chores done more efficiently. Eggs, helping with the dishes, you know…kinda the same ; )
And the adventure continues!
Have a great week!