We became the owners of 4 chickens about three weeks ago.
I have tweeted a little about it, and even tweeted a couple of pictures, but most of you probably don’t know that
My husband and boys spent about a month working really hard on a 4′ x 6′ henhouse, and I searched Craigslist until we found someone local who had chickens that were definitely hens (important!!) but were young enough that they weren’t producing eggs yet.
We wanted them to be young so they would get used to us and we could get used to them. Neither E nor I had ever really been around chickens before, but we want these:
So we got these.
Two Americaunas and two Leghorns. They are around 5 months old, are fairly mild mannered, and they’re really cute to listen to! They still sound like baby chicks (think peep, peep, peep) a lot of the time.
The black and white Americauna is the dominant hen in this house. She bosses the others around and is the leader where ever they happen to go. We can definitely see what “pecking order” means!
They’ve taken over our garden area. Right now they just eat, poop, and hang out under the raspberry bushes. So far they haven’t gone over either the 4′ chain link fence or the 8′ vinyl fence. We’re hoping they are happy enough where they are that they won’t feel the need. They have our entire 15’x 90′ garden area to free range in, as well as their coop.
For eggs, free fertilizer for the garden, and yes, meat eventually. We’ll eat them when they are about done laying eggs. We’re told they will lay almost every day for close to two years, then they taper off. I’ve even thought of borrowing a rooster for a day and letting them hatch a few in the springtime. We could sell the chicks. We’ll see.
The boys have learned how to mix chicken feed and soon they will also learn how to clean a chicken coop! They’re super excited about that last one, let me tell ya. 😉 They are also learning how to get them to come when they are called (bring treats) and how to catch them (carefully and quickly!) The girls don’t especially like to be caught, held or petted, but we make them put up with it. I want them to be at least somewhat comfortable being handled.
So those are our new girls. They don’t have names yet, except the brown Americauna. Her name is Helga, (say it with your best Arnold Swarzenegger accent) named by our 17yo daughter. The boys will probably come up with names for the rest of them shortly.