Seems like only yesterday we picked up 6 sweet balls of fluff from Tractor Supply and took our first steps into the lives of urban farmers. That was March 17.
They started out living in a rubbermaid tote in the house... getting bigger, and bigger each day. Needed to be sure they were warm, safe and full-grown before being exposed to the elements in their outdoor coop. The house was full of cheerful chirps and a film of cedar chip dust covered pretty much everything in the room that wass their home for the first 2 - 3 months. (The kitties were far too intrigued with their cuteness and possible tastiness.)
My boss was also interested in rasising some hens, so the girls were split 3 and 3.... with 3 now happily living at her house, and 3 staying with me. Splitting them up was tough, but I knew they'd be well taken care of and loved. And I get to see them every now and then and always get updates on how they're doing.
But, I wanted a bit larger chicken family. When I saw an ad posted on Craig's List that someone had barred rock hens and easter eggers of a similar age to the girls that were free ranging, for only $8 each, I knew we had to add to the flock! And boy, am I glad we took a trip to this guy's house!
We saw a small flock of 20 or so chickens as we pulled up in the drive, and as we walked towards the back with him I casually asked how many chickens he had. His response - "Over 1,000"!!! Then they heard his voice and it was like the Pied Chicken Piper had played his magical instrument and they started coming out of the woodwork from everywhere.
He's a beekeeper and has the chickens to keep the area around the hives clean and pest free. It's the safest way to care for the lawn aroudn the hives as well. The chickens also provide eggs whech he sells to support their care.
Meeting Gertrude for the first time. She flew right up on my arm and rode around almost the entire time we were there. It was love at first site and I knew she picked us and was going home that day.
So, here's the entire flock:
Gertrude, my sweet zebra girl. She still likes being cuddled and enjoys riding around on a shoulder or arm.
Opal, who gave us concerns as a teen. Her waddle and comb were oversized compared to her sibilings and bright red. We were afraid she was a rooster (which is nto allowed in our city). Was so happy when she laid her first egg.
Betty White, the trouble maker of the bunch. She likes to escape from the pen and runs around delgithed with her accomplishments. She also tends to be bossy.
Beatrice, the ringleader and queen hen. She rules the roost and the other girls follow her lead. She is also very affectionate.I love watching their quirky antics and am so glad we added them to our little family. We're currently working on building them a bigger and better coop, and may add one or two additonal flockmates once that project is completed. Watch for updates on that soon!