Friday, August 30, 2013

The Ladies

Six ladies have settled in nicely at our home in the city. This family addition has put us further into urban farming than we've ever been before. Until now, we've been slowly changing our ways around the house, trying to teach our children what it means to be self-sufficient and eco-friendly. While it does seem to be the trend these days, we've been adjusting our lifestyle for as long as I can remember. My husband and I are absolutely creatures of habit and comfort. We don't mind new routines, but we certainly like our old ones. So, we do tend to take our time making big changes. Well, "the ladies" (otherwise known as six hens) sort of put us on warp speed for progress in the yard.
Two ameraucanas, two rhode island reds, two barred plymouth rocks

We had been discussing when and how we'd eventually obtain some laying hens so we could stop spending what seemed like a small fortune on organic eggs. When a sudden opportunity arose for us to adopt six laying hens, which were already laying eggs daily, we simply couldn't resist. My dear husband got to work immediately (despite the repeated days of rain) and built our ladies one of the prettiest little coops I've ever seen. We gathered tips and suggestions from experienced hen keepers, researched different coop styles, and eventually came up with this design. The coop provides the girls with two indoor nesting boxes and open air perching all constructed like a fortress to keep out those pesky predators and egg snatchers! In fact, it was built so well, when we accidentally closed it up with a rat inside - it could NOT find a way out until we opened the door in the morning. We learned our lesson and thoroughly check every night before lockup now.
The hen house inside their private free-range yard, which connects to the end of the house

Neither one of us have ever taken care of farm animals on a regular basis before. This has been a tremendous learning curve but luckily we live in an information age and I can find answers to my questions at a pace faster than ever. We've had the ladies for more than a month now and I look forward to interacting with them every morning. My children wake up early on their own, just so they can be ready for school early enough to go help with the morning chicken duties. We've also noticed the children want to spend more time outside in the evenings and they argue about who will do which chicken jobs because they want to do them all (except clean the poop).
Nothing tastes better than farm-fresh eggs
Overall, inviting these ladies to our home is turning out to be the best decision ever. Yes they are work. Yes they tie us to the house more. Yes they are loud. Yes the poop stinks. But we LOVE them anyway and those fresh, never refrigerated organic eggs are simply delicious.
Barred Plymouth Rock kicking up dust

Rhode Island Red looking for grubs

No comments:

Post a Comment