Our chickens are to be shipped to us on the 6th or 7th of June, and should be delivered by the 9th. That is exactly two weeks from today! Excitement is mounting around here as Chris and I both do more research, more learning, and more preparations for their arrival.
Chris in charge of building (well, I’m doing a lot of the construction and design, but he’s doing the research on what’s required and recommended) and preparing the coop for our three girls, while I’ve been working on the brooder. The brooder is the indoor temporary home of your baby chicks till they are old enough and developed enough to go live outside in the coop (between 4 and 8 weeks of age). Since the girls will not be living in the coop for at least six weeks, but will need the brooder as soon as they arrive, that means my deadline for preparations is less than two weeks. My goal is to have everything ready and waiting for them one I get the notification they’ve been shipped so that as soon as I get the chicks from USPS I can get them in their home and comfortable ASAP to help reduce the stresses of shipping.
That means I’ve been doing A LOT of research on the care and requirements for baby chicks in the last week. No joke, I checked out 6 – 10 books from the library this afternoon all about chickens, and before that had been doing a lot of reading online. Today, we actually set up the brooder in it’s location. It’s in no way prepared for the girls to set up residence, other than it happens to be where it’ll go, but that simple action made this REAL in a way that even starting construction of the coop didn’t. I’m excited, and more than a little nervous, I didn’t realize how precarious three little chicks would be, the only experience I have is when I would visit Nick’s farm growing up to play with the chicks and ducklings, and I remember once my cousin martin raised a bunch of chicks for a class project. So, basically, nothing! lol I can’t wait to see the little balls of fluff though – one yellow, one brownish, and one almost black, and hear the chirp chirp of little baby chicks just days old.
I forgot to take pictures of the brooder this afternoon while it still had good light, but I can show you the very basic skeleton of our coop design that we finished last weekend.
I know it doesn’t really look like anything, but the top half is going to be the hen house, where the chickens will sleep at night and where they will go to lay eggs. The bottom half will be connected to the run that will extend out from the front of the house (which in this picture is the side closes to that black patio chair) and their food and waterers will hang in that section from the bottom of the hen house where they will hopefully be in the shade. Obviously, this isn’t where it’s going to be in our yard, it’s actually going to move back into the grass about 6 feet to be in roughly the same location, but on the other side of Chris’ garden right between the orange tree and the blackberry bush (which I think we are taking out). Obviously if you’ve never seen our backyard that didn’t help much to give you a better picture. This weekend though I think we are hoping to finish putting the sides on the hen house before we paint and trim and put in the hardware cloth (aka kinda like chicken wire) then build the run next weekend.
It’s been really fun trying to design the coop, and looking at lots of pictures online of what other peoples coops look like. Chris has done all the actual designing/making of plans because the math involved there makes me want to cry, but I’ve got the over all picture of how I want the coop to look. I can’t wait to see it done, I hope I’m not disappointed since the picture in my head never seems to be what the end result of a project looks like. Either way I’ll try and have more/better pictures soon. 🙂
Tomorrow I should have our next post in the Canning 101 series ready, but either way I’m taking the weekend off, so if I don’t see you tomorrow I’ll see you back on Tuesday. 🙂