It’s cold today. The sky is dressed in a blanket of gray clouds. The trees have long been stripped of their flashy wardrobe. They look bleak against the gray of the sky. But there is a sense of beauty in a bare tree. A glimmer of hope for the coming spring. The smell of snow hangs thick in the air. The birds are low today. They are perched in the trees and sitting on the lawns. An old weather lore claims, “when birds fly low, expect rain and a blow.”
Speaking of birds, I want a chicken farm.
I said a chicken farm, not a chicken ranch guys.
After scouring the internet, perusing magazines, and reading old books for information on everything I need to know about chickens, I still have no idea what I am doing. But I’m learning.
So far I’ve learned I’m scared of chickens.
And the snakes their eggs might attract.
And racoons, coyotes, hawks, and owls.
Our new place already has a hand-made, southern-engineered, make-shift chicken coop and some nesting boxes, but it needs some work. My plan is to fix it up, but not buy anything new. I’m going to use all old materials that I can scrounge up.
I have a few pictures of what I have to work with.
This is the front of the coop, which I’m going to leave alone. I like these rugged, half-painted side board planks.
Here are 10 nesting boxes for the little layers. Throw in some straw and make it cozy for them.
This prickly pear needs to be dug up.
The back and the side is made of this old tin, also the roof is tin.
I’m going to leave that alone as well. There is chicken wire surrounding the coop and there is a little chicken run for the flock to get out to get some sunshine. I’m going to secure the wire and make sure predators can’t sneak in, I also plan on covering the top with chicken wire to keep the hawks and owls out. On the days I’m home, I’m going to allow them to free range out on the acreage.
I’m going to add some perches on the inside of the coop and I’m going to add on one side of the coop a little window with a ladder so they can climb in and get in their nesting boxes.
Kind of like this coop. But not at all, really. Isn’t this the most elaborate chicken house you’ve ever seen? It’s nicer than the trailer I’m soon to be living in.
Last night I ordered my chickens. I am giddy with excitement. They are expected to arrive on March 14. I scheduled them to arrive spring break, since I have to be their little chicky mama. They will only be 1 day old when they arrive. They will need a brooding box for several weeks while they grow. I had to get a minimum of 15, which is entirely too many for my little family of 2, but I am preparing myself for some fatalities. Death is a part of living. I made sure that I ordered cold hardy birds, with a docile temperment, who are decent egg layers. All female. I’m not quite ready for a rooster yet.
I got 5 Barred Plymouth Rocks,
5 Buff Orpingtons, they are the color of man’s golden pocketwatch.
And 5 Black Australorps.
Of course like everything else in my life, this will be a learning experience.
Boy, oh, boy, am I excited. March 14th can’t get here fast enough!!