Mar 20, 2009

My Girls

We recently entered into the realm of chicken ownership. What began as a simple quest to have eggs, has become a full 'fledged' effort to educate our kids and enhance our lives. We began with 1 tiny fluffy chick and attempted to have it inside. Unfortunately the dangers inside were far more concerning than the cold outside. We have since increased our numbers to eight and have varying ages from a week old to almost 3 weeks old. They are so fluffy and cute, peeping whenever we are near.

Nick nearly completed two coups last weekend with the help of one of our neighbors (one for us, one for them). I quickly realized that the size of our flock and the size of the coup would not mesh. We are deciding to either enlarge the current coup or make a new hen house. Regardless, Nick was able to create these coups in one afternoon with the use of free scrap materials that we have accumulated. If the current coup is deemed useless we will sell it. (This could be another great way to earn some extra income.)

I am on a quest to beautify and simplify my life. My backyard and kids areas are one of my top priorities. It is my desire to redesign our backyard to create play nooks and areas to inspire creativity. In the next month I will build a sunflower house using natural materials (logs, sticks, bark, twine, sunflowers, etc..), also a deep open sandbox, plant some large growing grasses, plant our garden, incorporate more natural toys into our outdoors play areas, and many more projects. Of course it just so happens that almost all of these projects require absolutely no funds. Yes, I am getting very creative!

We considered my goal in our desire to have eggs. This is why our flock of gals is varied and diverse. We wanted a variety of color in the hen house as well as in the eggs. This is certainly a benefit of being able to buy one of each variety of chicken and not having to order them from a dealer. Kudos to the legalization of backyard chickens. I am loving the process of raising chicks and it has become a focus in the kids daily life. I may not have the ability to live on a farm but I can experience a small part of farm life through our chickens.

My friend Sharon took pics of her flock and posted them on her blog. I absolutely loved the idea. I also think it is a great way to remember what kind each chicken is and to capture their youth. After all, they have changed dramatically in only a week! Here they are:

First our beautifully colored Speckled Sussex, Dahlia. This is momma's bird.

This is our Buff Brahma Bantam, T-Rex. She was the original chick and has been with us from the begining.

Our Buff Orpington named Velociraptor. She is very mild mannered and docile.

This is our unknown chicken, Cauliflower Compsognathus. She is most likely a whiter version of a Maran and we will know by how dark her eggs are. This one we left at the store and I just couldn't stop thinking about her. After two days we went back and she was still there. I am just so curious about what she will be!

This is our Maran, Hazel Saltapus, and as you can see she is definately darker than the other.

This is our White Leghorn (pronounced leg-urn, and make sure to say it with a southern drawl). Brachiasaurus is definitely the brute of the bunch. She is a production layer and will have white eggs. She tends to dominate the group and is the 'chick in charge'!

This is one of two Americana's. She is named Blackbird (a name Landis chose after his favorite song). We got them today and I absolutely love them. These will lay a variation of green to blue eggs.

This is Archaeopteryx Cadbury our second Americana, she has such beautiful back markings I just had to show off. She is much lighter with more yellow than the other Americana. Both of these birds will be uniquely colored when they are mature.

Teilee holding Archaeopteryx Cadbury.

As you can see we shall have a colorful group of chickens and eggs. We are so excited!
I thought I would show you one of the coups made. I am thinking this is most likely a four chicken coup.

This really is exciting to be able to provide ourselves with our own eggs. Now all Fort Collins needs to legalize is having a goat;). A large garden, edible landscaping, and chickens, we are becoming more self sufficient and healthy everyday! Happy Spring!


Andi said...

Okay, Nick is changing Archeaopterix Cadbury name to Henhoppopotamus Archeaopterix Cadbury.

Eats Shoots and Leaves said...

Those are some interesting names. I hope you will be able to keep them straight! It also means that you can teach your kids about death. I don't mean by killing the chickens--I'm talking about when they eventually die. Sorry about the morbidity. We just had the unenviable task yesterday of putting a mule deer fawn out of its misery after a semi hit it and shattered its pelvic bones.

Andi said...

We actually had three other chicks that didn't make it. I believe this was due to some rough handling. The kids helped me bury them. (Landis wanted me to dig them up later so he could play with them.) Teilee gets it. I think that the process of having chickens, including their eventual death, is definitely a good lesson to learn.

*Kara* said...

Wow! Having chicks/chickens/eggs sounds so fun! And the names are awesome. So is the coop...

KBH said...

I thought Wagon Wheel was his favorite song?! Well, at least he's moved on. Love all the names!

Anonymous said...

I love your post! I just read it today. I think it is my favorite post this year. Matt is jealous of your chicks. I will try to get him to post some photos when he gets his. He might need to share notes with you guys on coops-building.

it's just me....searching for hidden treasure said...

i'm the hip-hopopotomus, my lyrics are bottomless...(guess the song)

omg, great for you guys...can't wait to meet them...i love chickens...they are so funny...d

Andi said...

Ahhh you know it!!! Only you would;) Teilee has been roaming the house saying "I'm the mother flippin.....". You can bet that Nick got a scolding for that one!!

My new umberella!