Monday, July 12, 2010

Chickens and coops and runs

I keep trying to separate our chickens into groups that make sense.

*We have our big coop that John, the kids and I built last year. We still need to do a few things to it, but only finishing kinds of things. In the big coop we have our layer hens (Plymouth Barred Rocks, Dark Brown Leghorn, Black Leghorn, Black Australorps) and a couple fancy roosters(Black Australorp and Black Sumatra). The roosters need to be pulled out and given their own little rooster huts, but I haven't quite organized my ideas on this yet. We are getting plenty of eggs from these ladies, so I am quite pleased with how it has worked out. I am a little ready to thin the Barred Rocks out and get a few more new birds in there. But since the Barreds are the first chicks we ever got, this is a little more difficult for me to do, they are almost like pets to me.

*We have the bantam coop which houses 6 little bantam birds of various breeds(white
rock, partridge brahmas, buff brahma, mille fleur belgian bearded d'uccle, black silkie). This coop is perfect for the kids, none of the birds are aggressive, the coop is small and all things can be handled by the kids, they do 100% of the feeding, watering, cleaning, egg collection, run raking..all of it. All of the birds in this coop are super sweet, 3 of them are about 6 years old, so this is just a coop for fun and kids to enjoy their poultry experience. Last summer, the boys even built the run and gate themselves out of welded wire and J clips. I always love when you can give kids materials, let them know what you have in mind and walk away.

*A few years ago Anthony and I built an 8 foot by 8 foot pen for the kids to sit in with their rabbits and be ab
le to play with them, with out worrying about them running away, or any predators. We only have 4 rabbits left now and they don't really try to run now when they are handled, so we turned the pen into a run and used the dogloo that came with one of our dogs for a coop. Our dogs are not outside dogs, so a dog house is useless at this point in our lives. Anyhow, we are using the dogloo with a modified door for our silkies we have them in black and white. Until the fair, our broiler birds, Dark Cornish, a dual purpose breed are living in with the silkies as well. We do not much care for the temperment of the Dark Cornish, so hopefully the kids will sell them at the small animal auction after the fair.

* This weekend we finally finished putting together our coop and run for the Black Copper Marans. It has been one of those we will get around to it projects, a few minutes here and there, no big hurry a
nd a grouping of dog crates to fill the gaps in the interim. Black Copper Marans lay dark brown eggs, and have a wonderful

*Carmen has 2 little BB R
ed Modern Game Birds that she adores. They stay inside when it is cold, but during the summer they have this cute tiny little coop they stay in.

*And I am working slowly on "The Beach Cabana", made solely out of recycled materials. It eventually will house the silv
er phoenix trio we have.