Friday, November 18, 2011
We Have CHICKENS !!!
Posted by Jodi at 11/18/2011
Fifteen to be exact. All hens. Plymouth Barred Rock.
We got them when they were approximately 28 hours old.
We've been talking about getting chickens since we moved onto this property a year ago. The house sat empty for so long, plus the previous owners didn't take care of it, plus it is in a wooded area, so... we had a major bug problem. Primarily wood roaches and wolf spiders, which were probably feeding off of the wood roaches. Plus when Spring rolled around we had a major mosquito issue because of our neighbors' (non) maintenance of their (stagnant) pond.
So we had several people suggest to us that chickens are an effective, non-toxic, and green way to control bug populations.
But neither of us have experience with chickens, and I actually had a fear of chickens (little known fact), plus we had plenty of renovations to work on in the house, and some marital issues to focus on, so... chickens weren't exactly a priority.
Just doing the renovations & cleaning up the property greatly helped control the roach & spider problem. And we purchased some Mosquito Control Rings which Jason secretly threw into the neighbor's pond, all but eliminating the mosquito problem within a few days.
But we do live in a wooded area, so... there will always be bugs. Always. As the colder weather has been setting in this year, the little critters have already been making their way indoors.
And so... chickens. All natural, non-toxic, environmentally friendly bug control, plus excellent producers of organic, sort-of free range eggs.
Technically I think they qualify as "free range", but once they reach adulthood and are outside, we will be confining (ie protecting) them by housing them in a rather large chicken tractor, the square footage of which is nearly double the recommended size per bird. Yay.
But with Tootsie's history of, ahem, not being nice to animals, and even Buddy, when introduced to the baby chicks we hoped he'd protect... yeah... ends up he thinks baby chicks look yummy. So a very secure chicken tractor. Very secure chicken tractor is in the works.
They are currently in their brooder, locked in the laundry room (away from Tucker), but will be moved to their chicken tractor in the garage within a few weeks, as they outgrow the brooder. This Winter they will be too young to be outside at the outset of Winter (we intentionally chose a cold hardy breed, so future Winters they should be fine outdoors, but this year they will be too young).
So far having chickens is fun. But they poop a lot. Surprisingly a lot. But they're still fun. Thanks for checking in!