Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Introducing the Chickens of the Chicken House

By far one of our favorite features of our new house, are the chickens.  They are such a delight! I find it so soothing to sit and watch them strut and peck around their pen or the yard.  Their soft coos and clucks are so sweet!  They are the only animal I can think of, besides a cow, that tangibly gives back as much as it takes.  We have four chickens, and get on average three delicious eggs a day! 

Just look at the difference in how this store-bought egg looks next to our organic, farm-fresh egg!  The shells and the inner membrane are noticeably stronger, and I've never seen that orange yolk color in a store egg before! 

We've found that in addition to their feed and grazing around the yard, they like cooked bean seeds, corn on the cob, grapes and bananas.  It's so funny to watch them scramble for handouts, then try to hold it and run to safety before another one tries to steal it.  It's sheer entertainment, I tell you!

Each of the older kids took two to name.  Diddles calls them all "key-keys".  We have to remind her to be nice and not chase and terrorize them, so she'll call them "key-keys...friends."
(left to right)  Red Round, Lilly, Blue Sailor and Ella

Yaks we found wasn't as creative as we thought, and ended up naming them the same names as his friend Peter's chickens:  Blue Sailor and Red Round.  Boo named hers Ella and Lilly.  Classic.  I've got to say that Ella (the blonde) is about the sweetest chicken you'll ever meet.  I think she's at the bottom of the pecking order, but she'll even let you hold her!  Don't ask me why you would want to hold a chicken, but Josh and the kids think it's fun.  Just wash your hands, please!

When we do let them out of their chicken yard, they seem to like to travel around in a loose pack.  They peck and scratch and take dirt baths between the tomato cages and have done a nice job keeping the weeds down in there!  They are really beautiful chickens. I know Blue Sailor is a Barred Rock variety, Ella is a Buff Orpington and the other two are some sort of Rhode Island Red variety. 

The coop is pretty awesome.  It's enormous, and they built it in the same design and color as our house, which is so cool! 

It has a door that we can go in and out of to collect eggs and change their food/water and straw bedding.  There are two entrance doors for the chickens to come in and out of their pen.  Each of those doors have a sliding door to cover them and keep the house warm in the winter.  It also has windows up above and down on the floor so they can check the weather before they head out for the day!  

The kids have done a great job (so far) of caring for the chickens and feeding them and making sure they have water.  Collecting eggs is like an every day treasure hunt and they get so excited to find one!  Let's hope the novelty continues when winter sets in! 


Sarah said...

What a great place for you guys! The landlords are lucky you love them...because I'm certain not everyone would. Fun to see know that not only the kids like them but that YOU find peace in watching them wander around. :)

Dianna said...

It looks so fun to have chickens! And I love their names.

Marie' said...

Those eggs are so pretty and what fun chickens! We can't wait to meet them. Is there a way to raise them so they like to be held, or do some just come that way?

vocho amarillo said...

My neighbor has five chickens, and I find holding them quite soothing. I can't explain it!

To Marie: my neighbor and I held each of these chickens pretty much daily from their first week, and now (they're three months old), you can continue to hold them. Some like it more that others, but they'll all sit quietly for at least a time before they start struggling.