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Wednesday, January 16, 2008

How we got started with chickens (Part II)

If you remember from my last post (Part I) We started with 2 baby chicks. Refer back to the last post to see what happened to them, I would hate to rehash all the gory details. Even with that rocky beginning, I was devastated but not defeated.

A few months later, I think it was in August I was browsing around Craigslist. (Craigslist is a free service where you can post items you would like to give away for free, sell, or even items you are looking for. You can choose your city and everything is broken up into categories for your convenience. It is really easy to use and is fun to browse around. It can be a great resource to get you started in backyard farming at a lower cost.) As I was browsing Craigslist, I saw that someone was giving away 3 free chickens that the had given to their kids for Easter, and of course, the novelty had worn off of the kids. I immediately called her, grabbed our cat carrier and drove right over there. The family was so nice, they even gave me all the chicken feed, a feeder, and a waterer - all for free!

My kids were so excited. The two oldest got to choose which was going to be their chicken and what their names would be. There was one left so my husband named that one. My son named his Sam, my daughter named hers Princess Jasmin, and my husband named his Dog Food. As you can tell, my husband did not have faith that these chickens would survive for very long!

From left to right: Sam, Dog Food, Princess Jasmin
Now, I wasn't going to repeat the same mistake I made the first time I had chickens, so my husband built a gate to section off the side of the house for the chickens. That way they could be safe without being tormented by the dog and it would also help protect them from any predators that might be in the neighborhood. For the hen's house we used a large breed dog house that we propped up off the ground. We had heard putting it up makes them feel a little safer. We went to the local feed store and bought some wood shavings for the dog house to keep them warm and comfy at night. We kept them well fed and watered. Then we waited - waited for our very first egg.

~Marisa

5 comments:

Beachcomber said...

This blog is going to get national recogonition/ awards, I can just feel it. How ingenious and applicable everything is! I love it!

Kristi said...

Marisa, I am totally scared that my dogs will eat chickens! Do you think if I build a coop they will be safe? I don't think I could handle a chicken massacre...

m. & m. said...

Kristi - while Marisa had a problem at first with her dog - my dog who weighs in around 50 lbs. never went after my chickens. She would sometimes try to play with them but they scared her more than she scared them! And yes, a secure coop would do the trick even if your dog was hungry for more. When you think about it, chickens and dogs have lived on farms together for a long long time.

m. & m. said...

p.s. That doesn't mean I haven't lost a few chickens to raccoons and hawks! But that is pretty avoidable - I'll go through my troubles on another post...

marisa said...

Jada has actually gotten in with the full grown chickens a few times. It scares the chickens pretty bad, but she hasn't hurt them. Like Megan said, if you have a secure coop, it will protect them from any predators in the area.