Our backyard has a new addition, actually 19 new additions, little chickens! Yes, that’s right, we are owners of chickens!
When my husband and I first bought our house with 5 acres, my husband had tons of ideas of keeping chickens, sheep, and goats in our large yard. I did not really like the idea of having a mini farm, I mean, who would go feed them every day and clean their mess? Finally after 5 years, I gave in and let my husband order some chickens. We were supposed to buy around 8-10 chickens to start but then we ended up with 20! There are so many cool and unique varieties of chickens and it was hard to choose which kinds we wanted. We ordered our chickens from Meyer Hatchery, and chose which varieties we wanted. Here is the list of the different types: Delaware, New Hampshire, Barred Rock, Black Australorp, White Rock Maran, Golden Campine, Golden Laced Wayndott, and White Crested Black Polish.
This white chicken is a Delaware, we have three of these, one of them is a male rooster.
The White Crested Polish is one of my favorites, the white fluffy mane is hilarious. We have two of them, they are shy and don’t like to get too close to us. They are also one of the last ones to go in the coop at night.
We have another rooster, a Golden Campine, pictured above, I love the colors on this chicken.
Another unique chicken is this Golden Laced Wayndott.
Even I am excited about having chickens now, they’ve grown on me. And knowing that they’ll soon be producing fresh eggs makes me okay with keeping them. The first day, after my husband picked them up from the hatchery, we almost left them outside overnight. Then, as we were already in bed we read online that they must be kept at 90 degrees the first few weeks, and it was 55 degrees outside. We almost killed our chicks the first night we had them. My husband took them indoors right away. Another day, it was raining so much and I remember saving them from the rain and taking the soaking wet chicks inside and blow drying their feathers dry! It’s been an interesting but enjoyable experience raising them.
My parents have had chickens in their yard for almost 10 years already. I wasn’t interested in them until we got our own chickens. I love that my daughter gets to watch them grow as well. She is not scared to pick them up, even though they are now larger than they were as chicks. Even baby Nathan gets a good giggle from watching Amelia play with them. There is so much information online on raising chickens and it’s actually quite interesting to read all the facts.
The cost of keeping chickens for eggs is actually not cheaper than buying eggs from the store, but it’s good to know that we will be eating cage free eggs and for sure knowing what our chickens eat.
We are still in the process of building their coop, currently they are living in this smaller coop but we will need to build them a larger coop very soon. My husband has done an amazing job of creating their chicken cage to keep animals out at night.
We let them run free after my husband gets home from work. Our dog can’t get to them since his electric fence ends near their coop. When we kept them closer to our house, Diesel, our dog was very interested in them and kept running circles around their coop which scared them! We are watching him close to make sure he doesn’t suffocate any of them.
Oh, and I mentioned that we ordered 20 chicks and in the beginning of this post I wrote that we have 19 chickens. What happened to the one chick you might ask? Let’s just say it was a very sad accident! My husband let the chicks out one evening when they were still small so that they could explore the dirt around them. He was digging up worms for them to eat and did not notice that a chick was right behind his foot. I won’t go into the details, but you might guess what happened. Amelia was very sad and ran up to our bedroom while I was feeding Nathan and was sobbing. Other than that incident, the chickens have been thriving. We got them at the end of May, so hopefully by early fall we will start seeing them lay some eggs. We will keep you updated on the construction of their larger coop! Do any of you have backyard chickens? How would you describe your experience with them so far?
Don’t you love how this chicken is modeling? It’s a perfect shot with the glow of the evening light in the background.