Chicken Littles

What a crazy few weeks it has been with our new little additions! Our chicken saga has gone something like this…

We got the coop in mid February! Here it is on our trailer the night Jay picked it up. (He had to pick it up in a neighboring town.) Isn’t it the most adorable thing? I’m determined to find a way to make little chicken sized rocking chairs for the front porch….

IMG_9271Alas, we had the coop, but no where to put it yet. Jay still needed to move some rocks where the coop needed to be so he left it on the trailer behind our stables for a couple of weeks.

Flash forward to late February. To celebrate Edith’s birthday (a week late so Mommy and Daddy could go to the beach…), we decided to go pick-up our new chicks and then have my brothers help move the coop from behind the stable to its new spot since everyone was coming over for the birthday party. We’re sooooooo smart!

Anyways, we drive to our new ‘chicken lady’s’ house and pick out twelve fluffy chicks. Four Rhode Island Reds, two Golden Comets, 2 Marans, 2 Austalorps, 1 Barred Rock and 1 ‘Olive Egger’. Watching Edith dote on her ‘baby chicks’ was and has been adorable. Watching Stonewall and Huckleberry salivate at the sight of them has been less adorable.

IMG_9467 IMG_9470 IMG_9477So, back to us moving the coop. Well, it had rained the day before. And apparently that was going to make things harder than anticipated. As I’m getting ready for the party, I look out yonder and see the car, the trailer, the coop and a super frustrated husband all stuck in the mud. While trying to move it closer to it’s new spot, the car got stuck and slid backwards, now making it perpendicular to the trailer. Not ideal. Here’s a little picture I took from inside the car (while said frustrated husband wasn’t looking)….

IMG_9483We called a neighbor to see if we could get it out before the party started. No such luck. So then as my brothers started arriving we sent them all out back to free the coop. Poor guys – even if we did repay them in pizza and beer. It took a little army, but they did it. Victory!

So then we partied the night away and all were happy!

Now, enough people had warned us that chicken life can be a rocky start so we weren’t terribly surprised to wake up the next day and find one of the golden comets, ummm, ‘sleeping indefinitely’. Poor little girl just couldn’t handle the stress! Since it was within 48 hours, our chicken lady gave us another little chick to replace her. When I went to go pick her up, she told me to just put it in my pocket. So I did and the whole way home I was stressed out about it. If you are wondering if she pooped in my pocket the answer is yes.

IMG_9532A couple weeks went by and we loved watching them all grow and get more feathers! They are silly little creatures.

And then it happened. Coccidiosis. We woke up on Sunday to find one of our sweet Marans had passed away. We just kind of chalked it up to chicks being fragile and carried on. Then on Sunday a Rhode Island Red was found dead. Yikes. Then I noticed bloody droppings (gross, I know – sorry) and immediately knew what it was. We hauled over to Tractor Supply Company (what is my life?) and bought the antibiotics and began administering immediately. We made it through Sunday, but on Monday we lost a golden comet and the olive egger (heartbreak!). The only funny story that came from that is Edith saw her pass and as she was having her final little seizure Edith exclaimed, “she’s dancing!” Suuuure. Let’s go with that.

It’s now Thursday and I think we’ve got it contained. We’re down to eight girls and they look happy and healthy. The learning curve has been steep, but we’re starting to get the handle of it. Also, cannot wait for the day they are fully feathered so I can kick them out of my house. Stink monsters. All of ’em.

In the meantime we’re still chipping away at the chicken/garden run as seen below. I’m excited to see how it all comes together!

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Gettin’ Ready for the Girls!

A new little baby boy won’t be the only addition to our farm this year! By the end of next month we hope to have a whole gaggle of little chicks! I am SUPER excited about this. A farm doesn’t feel all too legit without livestock, am I right?

I’ve always dreamed of having hens in my backyard and this felt like the best time to make that happen. While I’ve been researching breeds and chicken care, Jay has been busy getting the girls’ space ready before we bring them home. We’ll have the coop up by the end of next week. Spoiler alert: it’s going to be adorable.

In the meantime, why not share some super dreamy inspiration pics of other backyard chicken farmers:

Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 1.48.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 1.48.39 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 1.48.50 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 1.49.15 PM Screen Shot 2015-01-28 at 1.49.30 PMAll images can be sourced on my Farm Living Pinterest board.