Posts Tagged ‘backyard farming’

Last spring started the beginning of my “we-will-survive-the-zombie-apocolypse” plan.   We went to the feed store and brought home 6 chickens.  Originally we only wanted  4, but then we were afraid that some of them would be roosters, so we bought 2 more.

The original bunch of ladies

Then mid winter, I decided it would be a great idea to let the ladies out to free range.  Bobby the Bobcat thought it was a great idea too.   Poor Henrietta.  We saw him drag her into the forest.

Marshall:  Wow! That was very nature documentaryish

Me:  I was thinking of the theme song from “Lion King”

Mike:  Hakuna Matatata, means no worries.  Wait?  Why are you thinking of that song?

Me:  No, I was thinking the Elton John song, “The Ciiiircle of Liiiiife” but Hakuna Matata works well too.

McKayla:  Aren’t you going to go rescue her?!?

Me:  No way.  I’m not taking a chicken away from a hungry bobcat and I am definitely not taking a chicken to the vet.


Once Bobby got a taste for our ladies, he was unstoppable.  The next day Mike came running in screaming that the bobcat was inside the chicken coop.  Awesome, just awesome.  There went Pooper McPooperson.

We had a bit of a reprieve because Dave chased the bobcat around the yard with a look of menace in his eyes.  Whatever he did worked, and the bobcat was scared into hiding.  Yet when Dave went to China, Bobby came back for some more.  My cousin was spending the week.

Him:  Um, cousin, are your chickens supposed to be out?

Me:  No.

Him:  Oh man!  Bobby is back!  Marshall bring me your baseball bat!  We’re going to protect these chickens!

Somehow Bob had scared the ladies out of the coop and was picking them off one by one.  There went Ducky and Big Momma.  Poor, Poor big Momma.

Now we’re just down to two.  And though we’re not supposed to have favorites, I am a little upset that Mrs. Noisy was the one that made it.  I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s part rooster.

We're the queens of the roost

We’ve bobcat proofed the coop and bought 18 baby peeps.  I don’t know what it is about peeps that makes them so darn adorable.  It makes me sort of forget how disgusting adult chickens are.

Aren't we a little bit adorable

I’ve already started naming them.  Collette, Francesca, Henrietta the second, Katherine, Elizabeth, Genevieve, Victoria…

Nate:  Those are girly names.

Me:  These are girls.  And they’re the only baby girls I’m going to get to have.  If my ovaries can’t overact, I’m going to have 18 babies chickies.

Jake:  How are we going to know who is who, they all look the same?

Me: Maybe we could tag them.  We could write their names on the tags.

Dave:  You’ll be hard pressed to write Genevieve on a small tag.

Me:  Maybe I could crochet them little bonnets.  How tolerant do you think they’ll be of Harry Potter sweaters with their initials on them?

Turns out I wasn’t the first one to think of it.



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I chose lime green and purple because I need something bright and cheery to look at during the long dreary days of winter next year.  It was not the most popular choice among the boys in my family.  It doesn’t matter though, I love it!  It turned out much better than I could even imagine!

The day before my Dad left we went to the feed store and bought 4 chicks.  This coop is supposed to hold 4-6, but I figure they will probably want a little space.  This way they can each have a corner and look out and pretend they’re alone.  I can only imagine what it would be like cooped up with a whole bunch of girls.  Someone would be loosing some feathers and I’m sure it wouldn’t be me.

The kids are enamored with these little gals. They are very fun to watch. We are keeping them in the garage to save them from Frank the cat.  Plus, these little guys are noisy!

The boys wanted to test out the coop on the grass today.  Marshall and Michael carried it from the garage to the grass.  It was heavy, and Mike needed to rest often, but they did it.  I’m glad because the weight was something we were concerned about.  The chicken tractor needs to be moved every few days to give the ladies some new pecking ground.  This job will most likely fall to the boys.

Nathaniel really wanted to crawl up into the roosting part of the coop, but I’m not sure if the ladder is load tested for a preschooler. In order to assure that we wouldn’t break the thing on the first day out of the garage we secured the ladder in the up position.

After putting the kids in, we thought about letting them test the security of it over night.  You know, make sure the coyotes couldn’t get in.   Nate wasn’t a huge fan of this idea.

The kids are very excited to put the little gals in here, but we have quite a few more weeks before they can regulate their own temperatures. It’s like we are running a NICU unit for baby chickens.  Plus, we chose one who ended up with pasty butt.  Aren’t we lucky.  Of course, we got one with a nervous tummy.  We get the pleasure of wiping her hiney and feeding them some yogurt/feed mix.  Thankfully, she seems to be on the mend.  She is the one that Nate and Jake chose.  They named her.  Pooper McPooperson.  Poor thing.

Nathaniel still afraid of them up close.  The whole time he was saying “Okay, Pooper McPooperson, I’ll let you sit in my lap.  Okay, you can stand in my lap. Oh no, Pooper, don’t move.  Oh no!  Pooper don’t flap your wings!  Oh no!  Mom, I’m done!”

Jacob, on the other hand was much braver.  That is until Ducky here decided to poo all over him.  It was not fun.

Mike named his Spot because she has a small brown spot on her head (completely unseen by anyone but Mike).  Hopefully it’s not a piece of dirt on her head.  Marshall chose a beautiful bird.  She has feathers on her feet and an amazing stripe down her back like a squirrel, hence her name, Squirrel.

Hopefully these little gals will make it to adult hood.  Honestly, some days it’s questionable if these kids make it to adulthood some days.


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