If no one has told you yet, let me be the first.
Chicken keeping is addictive.
When you first start making your plans to add chickens to your world, you might start by saying something like this: “Three, yes. Three chicks would be the perfect place to start.”
Of course, then you go to the local feed store in Springtime and see the beyond adorable chicks. On the way home you find yourself thinking thoughts like, “Eight is probably a better number… Wouldn’t be that much more room to house…”
How you get from eight to twenty-two (including roosters that had to go away) is anyone’s guess!
Sufficeit to say that by the time you settle down to fifteen hens and NO roosters, things seem, well, comfortable.
Here’s the thing, though. When you’re into chicken keeping, you’re pretty much sure everyone else ought to join you in this wonderful pursuit! So, when a friend happens to mention that she’s been dreaming of starting her own flock one day – all she wants is some started pullets… You help!
Over the course of time things happen. Five go to friends. One dies from some mystery malady. Two get eaten by neighbor dogs. One goes broody.
Before you know it, you’re down to just four or five eggs a day.
That, my friends, is just not enough!
Especially not when you’ve got BiL’s Farm Fresh Eggs to supply!
So – you might start saying things like, “Well… if William is really going to do an egg business this coming year, just how many chicks should we order?”
You, of course, temper those statements with things like, “We probably shouldn’t get chicks – at least not this year. I mean I’m going to have major orthopedic surgery!” (This would be why you’re up to midnight the night before said orthopedic surgery placing your chick order!)
So… somewhere along the line an assumption is made that yes, some chicks should be ordered. Someone might have said ten chicks. Someone else might have said, maybe 12 chicks. And somewhere along the line the order gets morphed into – oh, thirty chicks!
Thirty adorable chicks.
Five Blue Andalusians (one was a rooster).
Five Speckled Sussex.
Five Delawares (two went missing, one came back).
Five Cuckoo Marans.
Five Amaracaunas (one was a rooster).
Five Minorcas – three buff (one’s a rooster, one died), and two black.
See? I NEEDED thirty chicks! J
And, accordingly, we needed a larger coop and run! (Particularly in light of our new neighbor dogs! UGH!)
This is not a job for the faint of heart! It might even require some blood, sweat, and tears! Or at least a blister or two!
John, my genius husband, has designed and drafted plans for the expansion.
Have I mentioned recently what a genius he is? Cause if not – let me just be sure to keep you in the know – he IS! Seriously!
The coop was the first structure he ever built.
It’s been nothing short of amazing and phenomenal. Many people have stopped to remark how nicely it’s built, and what a great design it is.
Yes, like I said – genius!
So, my genius husband has drafted – as in AutoCAD drafted – the plans for the addition. They’re pretty cool looking. But I’m thinking the built-out model will be EVEN cooler still!
This new addition will more than double the space of the coop! This wall will have six new nest boxes.
The new big door will open into the expanded, new, and improved chicken run.
And my brilliant husband even thought to build in a spot for a fan – for the hot days of summer. Last thing we need is a chicken with heat stroke!
I love this door! He built this all by himself! Isn’t it cool?
And here you can see that the cattle fencing has been stretched to it’s new anchor on the corner of the addition. The girls are going to like this so much!
And here’s a peek at the new chicken yard addition – an actual area with grass for them to hang out in! They’ve already tried it out and seem to think it’s a great idea!
So – now we wait. We’ve got 25 chicks who will begin laying sometime around mid-August. John’s got a schedule all worked out to make sure everything is finished up and all of the new nest boxes are in place in plenty of time for that!
In the meantime – we’re on chick hatch watch:
Shelly is on day 20 on Sunday. It takes 21 days of a hen setting consistently on her eggs for them to start hatching out. I’ll be sure to report any signs of progress!
So that’s it from Hip Chick Chronicles central!