Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Chickens!

Dan and I have been wanting to get some chickens for quite some time--for eggs, for compost, and also to have baby Pete have the experience of taking care of some animals.  Plus, they're legal in Lexington! (No worries, I checked the municipal code...just no noisy roosters.)

When the Rohe's came in town for spring break and baby showers, Timmy stayed with us to help build the coop.  I think the final cost was less than $100, as we used the leftover salvageable deck boards from ripping up our deck.  The deck was causing the house to rot and attracting termites--too low to the ground, north side of the house, etc. etc.  So, we saved what we could and the boys built this!  We even saved the glass panes from some large windows that rotted out, so the chickens have fancy sky-lights.

A celebratory glass of bubbly apple cider for Tumm-o.

 Molly checking out the chickens....not so sure about these little buggers.
 Enjoying some time outside.  We got them at 5 weeks, so they didn't need a lot of attention or heat.  They only got to be outside like this for a day or two--it was just too much of a time sink for me to move them outside, then try to catch them (a 20 minute process when you're by yourself), and move them back inside before work.  Furthermore, they were managing to nearly escape from the box in a matter of minutes.  I did not want to come home from work to 8 loose chickens in my house, and a chicken pooped family room!

 So, I moved them to their coop, all closed in yesterday.  They did great!  Eating breakfast here.  I think I'm going to need to feed them twice a day with their little feeder.  They demolished it this morning!


video
And here they are using their dust bath.  They were practically all in it this morning, dusting away and preening.  They still haven't figured out where their roosts are, but I'm thinking that after a week in their coop, they should have it fully explored and ready for some more space outside.