Thursday, February 2, 2017

The Fun and An Not So Fun Parts Of Raising Chickens


It's a beautiful day in at Creekside Cottage!  The sun is shining and it feels like April more than February!



 When we step outside from the kitchen door, the chickens greet us, with lots of clucking, and then come to the end of the chicken run nearest to us.  They are nosy and cute.




 One of the roosters in is the front here.  They have beautiful coloring.  The roosters are both Partridge Cochins.

The hens are different breeds.  We have Partridge Cochins, Silverlaced Wyandotte, Marans, Ameracuana, Australorp, and a few mixed breeds that we've bred. They are funny in their personalities, and they give us great eggs.  

We moved them in the autumn to where they are now, closer to the house rather than next to the barn, because we wanted to keep them nearer to the house for the winter.  I'm not sure if we'll move them back because this has worked out very well.

We used to let them free range all day, and they loved that, but they began laying their eggs in a mystery spot that we never found!  They had a few favorite spots that we knew, and when the eggs stopped being found during peak egg laying time, we began to hunt for their new spot, and never found it!

We don't have the chickens just for pets, we have them for the eggs, so this was not an acceptable thing.  It went on for weeks - no eggs to be found!  So, Tim moved them and now they have the protected, enclosed run to hang out in until the mid afternoon, and then we let them out.

This has worked very well.  They are laying great, in the nesting boxes, and are happy.  We're happy, too.

Now if we can just train them to stay out of my front garden...

 They love to scratch around in these flower beds, and its great for the soil but they make a mess!  


They also like to sleep up against the house in the sunshine.  They make these little cozy spots for themselves, while the roosters keep watch over them.   Its cute, but its a mess, and they have ruined all my tulip bulbs.

Everyday we are vigilant to chase them out of here with great noise and scare them, so they won't want to come into this space.  It works for a while and then they will try to come back in!

This is the reality of chickens, but obviously the benefits outweigh the negatives!

Do any of you raise chickens?

8 comments:

  1. I've wanted a few hens for years, but it's never worked out. We have the land, but the neighbors dog has adopted us, and he'd likely have chicken dinner til they were gone.

    Leash laws you say? Haha, I answer. No such luck, and we don't want a neighbor war over it. Besides, with chickens, you def can't go away a few days without making arrangements for their care. :( We like to vaca too much for that. lol

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  2. I adore chickens! They are beautiful in my eye! I cannot imagine what work goes into this however! I'll bet those morning eggs are divine!

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  3. Deanna...Your chickens are gorgeous...I have loved chickens and roosters since as long as I can remember. When I was little we got a box of baby chicks that grew into hens. I remember one got it's head caught in the expanded metal fencing one time and had to be killed...we ate her for Sunday lunch! My son has chickens and so do my back yard neighbors so I enjoy theirs (and at times their eggs). I am holding out on getting my own for a year or two when we build our farmhouse in the meadow when we relocate to TN. I have a Pinterest board just full of coop ideas, and all kinds of info about raising chickens! Can't wait!

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  4. I love the dusting baths that the chickies take. It is funny how some hens find a spot and you can never find it. We think one of the hens lays just for our big dog to snack on. She goes out, he follows and the rest is yum history for him. You have beautiful chickies and I think it is so right, the benefits of chickens do outweigh the negative!

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  5. No, but my niece does. I have some of the joys without the headaches. Recently, I took them some cabbage and apples...they flew to me. Literally. Until then, I didn't know that they could fly. Perhaps yours are leaving behind some valuable deposits for your flower beds. Lovella calls it "liquid gold." 🙂

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  6. we have no chickens so i continue living vicariously through you and others who do own hens (& roosters). you have very cold winters - how do the hens keep warm? do you put a heat lamp in a little hen house?

    i'm sorry to see your once lovely garden in its current state. sigh.

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  7. I know they are dirty messy creatures! We do critter duty when at the ranch and I am thankful for the eggs.....but chickens are a lot of work! There are some young chicks that stay in the brooder at night and we have to take them out every morning and put them back in the evening. Since it is a ranch - there are threats from coyotes and owls and other predaters. I won't even start on the goats!!! Oh, those GOATS!!! The ducks and geese also have to be fed and the ducks go in their pens at night - due to the coyotes. Still, no matter how careful one is - you still lose an animal from time to time and that is hard.
    Chickens next to your house reminds me of when Dean and Sherry had GOATS next to theirs!!! They were young and fiesty and noisy!! Oh, the country LIFE!

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  8. No - no chickens here....
    Looks like they keep you hoppin'!

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