Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Chicks of Paradise- Backyard Chickens

We made the plunge into chicken raising! 

Remember this too was on my 2011, To Do List. 
I sadly thought it wasn't going to actually happen <I know it's only March and there's lots of time left in the year for accomplishing my list, however I was worried about the creatures that might begin frequenting my yard with the addition of chicken-Eh, we'll cross that road when we have to!> And then one gray day last week, Friday to be exact, Kurt and I had a productive day planned, with lots that needed to get done. Thanks to the wine and soaking pool at McMenamins the night before the priorities changed a bit! I asked Kurt if we could get chickens, meanwhile I had a little list made of what we had and what we needed, along with research on what breed we ought to get. He didn't even hesitate-- "Sure I'm going to finish making breakfast and get showered then let's go over there, in about an hour?" Uh what I didn't even have to convince him! I knew I loved him!!

So we headed to Naomi's Organic Feed Store near Sellwood. Lots and lots of chicks! Not the one's I had researched so ummm....what do we pick? There were meat chickens and layers and fancy, rare chickens. They showed us a book we could look through and we decided on 4 different layer breeds- 4 different color eggs. The Red Stars wouldn't be in until later that day between 12 and 1 so we bought our supplies and headed to get ready.

1 Waterer
1 Feeder
1 Heat Lamp
1 bag of organic food
1 bag of grit- Chickens use this to help their digestive tract
1 ginormous bag of pine saw dust
1 little thermometer
1 roll of chicken wire

At home we set everything up in a rubbermaid storage bin, turned on the heat and waited. It had to be 95 degrees in there to be perfect for the chicks. It was like waiting for water to boil while staring at the pot. Meanwhile we also stared at the phone waiting for the call to come pick up the chicks! What seemed like hours passed <Can you tell we were excited!> so we gave up on waiting on them! Took Coop to the dog park to wear him out and then to the feed store we went. The lady smiled and said, "I didn't even call you." I know we were too excited {impatient} to wait!

Drumroll please meet:

{from Left to Right}
Buffett, Mango, Marley, Coconut, and Coral          -->The Chicks of Paradise!

I love the constant chirping when they're awake, it makes the house feel like a spring morning all the time! The chicks have to be under the light in the house for 6-8 weeks while they "feather out". We've had them for 5 days now so they range in age from 1 week to 2 weeks old. They're trying to fly in the brooder and make a big mess of their food and water dishes. Last night we took them out and let them explore a bit. 

Marley Meeting Cooper-Their Brother

Too much for Mango-She's out, standing up, per her usual!

We crated Cooper for the chicks to be out, but today I trusted him more. I took each of them out one at a time, made him sit or lay down and put the chick between he and I or held her up to his nose. He did very well! Hopefully each day we make progress and gain trust on everyone's side :) Integration will be crucial. Stay tuned for stories and pics. 

OH and of course stay tuned for the Chicks of Paradise Hen House we are building! The base is an old cabinet..... Re-Create project...MY FAV!


If you have any thoughts or ideas, please comment by clicking "0 comments" and that will lead you to the comment section! Thanks for reading!!

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Would love to see your projects and hear your thoughts!!