First of all, before we talk poultry, this weekend was Cinco de Derby. After a 3 hour bike ride outside with Allison, I headed down to a new brewery that just opened up in town where a lot of this…
was going on. (Yes, that’s a bottle of Elijah Craig 12 year she’s pulling out of her purse at the taco truck.) The tacos were DEEELicious. And then a Mexican jockey won the Derby, which was appropriate.
Then on Sunday, after a year-long saga, guess what I found sitting in a box when I came home from coaching.
Meet Romy and Michele.
A family acquaintance has a whole flock of chickens and said she’d be happy to give us two to “try out”. If we still want them in a week we pay her $16 for the two of them. So these two are year-ish old hens that have been laying eggs for a few months. Perfect.
You may remember our coop from the spring.
It’s small and humble, but total cost was $14 for scrap lumber at Home Depot, $16 for chicken wire, and $4 for hinges. We were fortunate enough to have an almost-certified architect home for spring break (Paul’s brother Karl) who designed and helped build the whole thing.
During the day we’re going to let the ladies out to wander around that back area, which is fenced in and has a million grubs to eat. At night they go in the coop, where there’s still enough room to strike a pose.
The arrival of chickens also meant a big trip to one of the best stores in town.
I seriously love this place and am always blown away by the employees’ farm knowledge. And yes, that is an animal hedge cut into the shape of a horse wearing a decorative flower wreath under the sign. And no, we didn’t get a limited edition University of Kentucky knife.
After picking up some hay for the egg laying box, a 50lb bag of chicken feed (that was the smallest they had, should last us…oh, 5 years), and some pine wood chips…plus a few other plants were not on the shopping list (this always happens, it’s like the Target of garden stores), we headed back to finish accessorizing the coop.
Paul, being the resourceful guy that he is, hammered together a makeshift feeding trough for them, but they keep knocking it over, so we still have to figure that out. For water we actually bought a slow drip chicken water thing from SS, which was a good call. (Apparently a chicken can drink up to a pint of water a day. Who knew?) The big challenge will be to see if they can figure out how to crawl up the ladder into the roosting area to sleep.
So, how is our other farm animal dealing with this?
Pretty much like that. He spends a lot of time doing this.
Fortunately there’s no way he can break through that fool-proof gate wrapped in chicken wire being held up by a piece of plywood and a rock! (We’re working on the fence.) We did hold him up to a chicken and he just smelled it, didn’t try to bite. So that’s a good sign? I think more than anything he’s just curious why all of our attention was not focused on him yesterday.
One other thing is when you look out into our backyard…
Magical hidden chicken farm. The coop is in a shaded space behind the garage and the big tree in the right hand corner…which is actually really nice because we don’t have to worry about them getting too too hot in the summer.
That’s all for now, we’ll see if they survive the first few days.