Tales From The Chicken Coop

Organic Eggs

The whole reason we decided to raise chickens was because we wanted free organic eggs everyday.  We eat a lot of eggs and we thought to ourselves, we have a big back yard why not get some chickens, raise them, and get eggs for free?  We also love the size of our back yard and feel we have plenty of room for growing veggies and raising chickens.  And since we have 4 kids who love animals and love to learn, and since Julia belongs on a farm and seriously is so gifted with animals this was a no brainer of a choice.  I mean we raised butterflies for 2 weeks during homeschool science last year...how hard could chickens be?  

Rosa, Sophia, and Kiki (Spikey is eating in the coop)
On July 9th we picked up 4 chickens for $2 a pop, our friend Christa and Jason who moved gave us their chicken coop and fencing which was so helpful and we became that weird chicken raising family which kind of makes sense when you think about us anyway.  Everyone knows we love the farm life.  So a few months has passed and it has gotten slightly cooler and so John needed to build a bigger, warmer, more insulated (Spartan-like) coop.  At 5 months old chickens start their egg laying duty...we are a few weeks away from getting eggs!  Our Rosa, Sophia, Kiki, and Spikey are about 4 months old now.  They eat ALL the time.  They are always hungry.  They are super easy to care for and the best part is that John cleans all the chicken poop out every weekend, without me even asking him.  Did I mention that the chicken raising was ALL his idea?  

John built this coop in 2 weekends...it's pretty amazing.

The coop is in the way back part of our property behind our shed and next to our vegetable garden.  I have no idea why John spray painted a red Spartan helmet on the door, but it makes him very happy so let's just let him have it.  He says we are raising Spartan chickens.  

Some things you may not know about chickens are that they are very quiet.  We never ever ever want a rooster because they are loud and because we only want 4 chickens.  Having a rooster would mean we would have baby chicks in the spring...and we only want to manage the 4 right now.  Plus, my neighbors would not appreciate a rooster.  Let's be real.

All chickens lay eggs at 5 months for a time...I still have to research how long they actually lay eggs for...I'm guessing at least a year or two...maybe more?  They lay one egg a day and I can't wait for the day to open their coop and actually start collecting organic brown eggs...side note, Mark's chicken is an Americana bird and she will be laying blue eggs!  

The chickens come out of their coop during the day to hang out in the pen area and they eat bugs and grass and love pecking the ground in search of yummy bugs like ticks and spiders (another reason to love them).  We make sure inside their coop where they sleep at night has shelves for hanging out, hay for keeping warm and water and food.  Each morning I feed them organic chicken feed and it looks like wheat germ.  Soon they will start eating kitchen scraps...and I've heard they love watermelon and strawberries.

Julia and Mark have helped feed the chickens after school, but last Friday, Julia fed the chickens and left their food latch open...all 4 chickens flew right out of the coop and in the morning I had a lovely surprise in the backyard.  I had to rally 4 chickens into the coop and let me tell you I was a sight for sore eyes.  I had my nightgown on with a t-shirt thrown over it, leggings and my Toms on!  My neighbor Cesar lent me a hand.  I caught 2 of the chickens and returned them to the coop but Rosa and Spikey were too hard to catch.  I put extra food in a smaller coop and by 2pm they wandered in and I closed that coop shut.  Let's just say it wasn't their finest hour.  I really thought about eating chicken for dinner.

The kids love the chickens.  They are part of the family now.  Even if they tried to escape and forced me to run around crazy like a lunatic in my own back yard.  


Let's here it for the boys!

Let the Fun begin

This Friday it is Mark and Micah's turn to have a few friends over and the girls will be with Grandma Judy.  

We are having a superhero theme because that's what boys in this house love to be.  We have costumes, legos, and outdoor activities planned.

I still need to pick up some sweets and goodie bags for the boys but it will be less boys than it was girls because I think I can only handle 6 boys!

Our Agenda:

4:30-5:00 Lego playtime
5:00-5:15 Pizza and carrots
5:15-6:00 Outside time
6:00-7:00 Dessert, Superhero dress up, super hero battles 
7:00-7:30 Quick superhero episode and Popcorn

I'm looking forward to some loud playtime.  Most of all I just want Mark and Micah to feel special and loved.  They really are the best sons a mom could have, even if they love their Daddy more than me!


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