Sunday, July 8, 2012

The Gangs All Here

 A few folks have asked about our flock of chickens.



We have a mixed flock currently consisting of twelve adult hens and five pullet.  Here is the run down of our current birds: 4- Polish (a Gold Laced, two Buff Laced and a Splash), 3- Mille Fleur d'Uccle and Easter Egger Crosses, 2- Australorps, 3- Easter Eggers, 2- Silver Laced Wyandottes, 1- Blue Orpington, 1- Barred Plymouth Rock, and 1- Barnevelder.

Australorp, Easter Egger, Mille Fleur d'Uccle Easter Egger Crosses, Blue Orpington, Silver Laced Wyandotte, and Gold Laced Polish   
 
They live a comfortable life in the backyard in their coop/run.  We were lucky and our house can with a gigantic three bay shed.  We use the first bay as a shed,created a coop with nesting boxes in the second, and opened up the third as a chicken run.  We have also build an additional chicken run onto the front of the coop.  It's a great set-up that allows us to isolate the two runs.  Right now the babies and in the front coop and the adults are in the back coop.  Once everyone is about the same size we'll begin introducing the ladies to each other.


Our nesting boxes

We keep chickens for a few reasons.  Like many folks who keep backyard chickens, we like the fresh eggs (as do our friends, families and coworkers). Our egg production fluctuates throughout the year.  At peak times (spring and early fall) we will get between 4-8 eggs/day.  During the winter we get about 2/day and in the heat of the summer we typically get 2-4/day.  A chicken will lay 3-6 eggs per week for about the first two years, then she'll slow down.  We have plenty to eat ourselves and plenty to share with others.


Eggs still in the nesting box

The other reason we keep chickens is the fun factor.  Our chickens will chase each other all over the yard trying to steal bugs and treats from each other. They are funny little things that provide LOTS of entertainment as well as a sort of living art to the garden. 

When we were looking for a house to buy, we made sure to pick one that would allow us to have a backyard flock.  (I'm sure our real estate agent thought he was dealing with crazy folks.)  We really enjoy our chickens and have been known to encourage other to start a flock of their own.

Do you have backyard chickens in your garden? 

6 comments:

  1. I got back from vacation yesterday and one of my stops was a visit to some friends in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. They have quite a few chickens and couple of pigs. Their daughter loves the chickens and they also have lots of eggs to share.

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    1. We have decided to limit ourselves to only chickens as far as livestock goes. We could legally have some other animals, briefly considered a goat, and decided to stick with what we have.

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  2. I do, although I'm now down to two - one Black Australorp and one ISA Brown. The Black Australorp gets broody too often, but my ISA Brown is a consistent layer (daily) and is the sweetest hen I've ever had. I usually keep four hens at the max, which is actually more than enough as far as eggs, since it's just me and my husband. They are a lot of fun!

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    1. I had never heard of an ISA Brown before...Pretty birds. I can see the Rhode Island Red characteristics in them.

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  3. Hi! I'm visiting from a friend's blog, found the lantana pictures, and stuck around to see you're somewhat local as these things go. (Also to read about your tomato pie, as we've been blessed with more than our far share this season.)
    Anyway, I've been thinking about chickens someday - but not anytime soon. I did mention it to our realtor, and I definitely got the "Are you for real?" look. Do you give the chickens free rein of the yard? How much space is "enough"?

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    1. Our chickens have an enclosed run that they spend most of their time in. When we are home we will let them roam freely in one section of your backyard that is fenced it. This area has been designed to withstand the damage that chickens can do (a lot of scratching and munching on certain plants). There is a lot of information on how much space chickens need. Our two runs are about 200 sq feet. That does not include the coop which is 64 sq feet or so.

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