Monday, May 20, 2013

6.5 Weeks Old and a Chicken Coop

Our little chickies are all grown up! Since the weather was so rough last weekend, we're still keeping them inside, but they will be moving out soon! Probably another week or so. They are doing well and are still a group of six. That’s another reason why they haven't moved out yet. We want to be sure not to ruffle any feathers of our neighbors by letting out six chickens when we’re only allowed four. Funny enough, there isn’t a limit to the amount of birds to keep indoors.

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In preparation, we have their coop all ready to go!

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We purchased this coop from Wayfair a couple of months ago. I wished we would have waited because prices have dropped significantly! This coop was the biggest one I could find for the price and I still think it’s really tiny, but it fits in our garden really well.

The assembly was super easy and I did it myself. Underneath the coop we laid chicken wire which we pinned down to the ground and the coop with u-shaped garden stakes. We covered that with garden cloth and dirt. After a little research, Mike decided to go with pine shavings for the bedding. We'll see how that goes for the first couple of months and then evaluate. I know some people also use hay or straw, wood chips, mulch or even just dirt.

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If you look closely, you can see that the wire is coming up from below the coop. We tried to make this nice and secure. I'm not expecting this to mean that the chicks are completely safe from predators, but hopefully combined with the garden fence, we can keep foxes and raccoons away from our chickens.

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The coop is nice because it has three nesting boxes for our girls and is fairly roomy inside the hen house. There is also a pull out tray for easy cleaning. It’s fairly flimsy so I think wheels in Mike’s head are already turning for the design of a future coop (in 4-5 years, hopefully). We were worried that we wouldn't get a home-built coop done in time (plus the cost of materials vs. prefabricated are nearly identical so getting a pre-fab coop was convenient) and with everything else we had planned for the garden, it was a good idea to buy something that we could put together in just an hour. We'll be keeping you updated on how the coop is working out for our girls.

Anyway, back to the chicks. We kind of missed a straight up six week update, so this will cover both six and seven weeks. Their development is kind of slowing down so there isn’t a huge difference between weeks anymore. They continue to grow, but their colorings are starting to stick as are their love for socializing! They become more and more friendly each day. We love watching them run around and get a kick out of hand-feeding them their snacks. It’s becoming fun to hold and pet them, as they aren't squawking and fussing as much. The flock has really become part of the family!

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Most of the photos are of Penelope, since she is the most outgoing of all the flock. She runs to me every time I see her. Dorothy and Lucille also get a good amount of visiting time as well. The other three are a little more standoffish, but they won't say no to a treat!

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Well, that just about does it for the six and seven week update! Before you know it, they will be living outside and laying eggs. Check back later this week for more updates on the garden and house - we've been really busy over here making everything purdy!