Yep, these are my girls.
The only ones I have, in fact. (Well, I guess I have to count Rosie, our dog as one of my girls too)
So, being a mother of sons, I insisted that all of our pets would have to be female.
Which made it easy when it came to choosing hens or roosters.
And truly these darlings are my girls.
They are my pets whom I love and enjoy spending time with.
here are the very first eggs they laid
While their eggs provide for my family’s breakfast
and all the other wonderful things I can bake with them,
I don’t mind the simple easy care that my chickens require because,
I get to spend some fun time with them which is so entertaining to me.
So if you’re considering getting your own crew of these cute little egg makers,
I highly recommend it.
I am having a ball with them!
But before you run out to your local feed store to pick out your little chick-a-dees,
(which now is not the season to get them anyways, spring people spring)
please consider their dwelling place first, the hen house.
Because honestly, that was half the fun,
just preparing for their arrival.
There are many hen houses available for purchase out there.
But to tell you the truth, I had this vision in my head of what I wanted.
It needed to be something pretty, yet practical too.
So I researched and planned and with my husband’s cleverness,
he built exactly what I wanted.
I never had a Barbie Dream House
and I feel like my husband was on a mission to make that up to me.
Not that any little girl needs a Barbie Dream House
and I don’t think I ever asked for one as a kid either.
But I have always loved to play house.
That included being a mama to my baby dolls and fixing the environment up
to make it just so. So, what? So pretty, so functional,
so just what I wanted during that day of play.
Sometimes it was playing “Little House on the Prairie”
with my brother Georgie and sister Jennie at our Grandparents’ Ranch
out in the old barn. Or other times it was playing, ‘Horses”
with my cousin Shelley at our Great Grandma’s yard
during our annual visit to southern Arizona.
It really didn’t matter where we were, the environment was a back drop to our play time,
which always included how we would create the home for us
and then we’d get down to the business of playing.
We’d often spend so much time creating the dwelling place,
that we’d have to go in to eat before we even got to play in it.
Now, that I’m all grown up,
(My husband got me a shirt that recommends we all don’t do that.)
(It says, Never Grow Up, It’s a Trap. smile)
I still love to play house. But instead of make believe horses,
it’s with real live chickens!
First of all, we researched that these lil’ darlins
need around 2 square feet per bird inside coop and 8 for their run area
for them to be at their happiest
and we wanted happy chickens.
Our summers get hot here in the middle of California
and in the winter it can get down to 30 degrees sometimes,
so we knew there had to be shade in the heat and a nice coop area
that would keep them warm in the cold weather.
We also wanted it to be functional for me to easily gather eggs and clean it out regularly.
The last and most important aspect was safety.
We live out in the country with critters.
I did not want to wake up one morning,
happily ready to gather my eggs and find a bloody massacre.
I’ve heard horror stories about that.
So here is what we came up with.
We have six hens, so our hen house is 6 x 10 giving us 60 square feet.
You can see the opening of the coop or roosting area open above.
Then here you can see how we lined the whole run area, even the bottom,
with heavy duty ¼ inch square galvanized chicken wire 23 gauge.
We got it at Home Depot.
We keep a heavy layer of wood shavings on the bottom
covering up the wire nicely.
The other fun part about it is the coop
(where they sleep and lay eggs).
It has this neat little hatch leading me to their nesting boxes
where I can easily collect nature’s bounty.
Isn’t it cute? Didn’t he do such a great job?
He is so sweet and always trying to give life to all of my dreams.
(Aw, Miranda Lambert’s “The House that Built Me” song)
I love this guy!
to you all.