It's done, our long journey to building our chicken coop is finished, and this weekend we moved the birds in. They LOVE it, and have all been waiting at the pop out door to be let out into the run each morning. We still have to round them up at night and put them in the coop, but I have read that in about a week they will learn to go in at night where it's warm. It is still getting a little chilly at night, so we have the heat light hung in there, but they all just snuggle up in the nest boxes anyway! I made a little flower bed and planted some marigolds, since it has gone from 'tractor' to 'coop' and will be stationary. I think it makes it look super-cute! The ducks are still being kinda jerky, mostly the Rouen, Guinness. The Khaki Campbell, Coco, is pretty chill with the chicks, until Guinness starts some trouble. I think Guinness will be dinner soon.
It seems official that we have 3 hens, 3 roos, so about the 2nd week in July our flock will lose the fellas. I go back and forth on whether to get more chicks then or wait till next year. It will probably depend on where we get more chicks from. The farm where our current chicks came from has a 10 chick minimum order, and so we will only do that if we split with the neighbors again. If not, be may try to get some Golden Comets, but we will have to drive a ways to get them. We will see how it goes, I guess.
I really like the Barred Rocks, though, because they are dual purpose, and we so intend to butcher every year or every other year and replace with new chicks so we have optimum, young layers. It might be best to just leave it to 3 hens and a duck this first year while we are adjusting, but we are really hooked on having chickens now and want more. Square foot wise, we have room for 6-7 birds.
We had the greatest time working, playing, eating and just hanging out in the yard with the neighbors this weekend. There was even a game of 'slips' (nighttime hide-and-seek) that the Hubs and one of the neighbor Dads joined in on Saturday night. Sunday I was going to make bird feeders (thanks Pooka Pages!) with the girls, and since we had a few extra kids we grabbed a few extra coffee cans and they made some too!
In other garden news, here are a few progress pics of the garden boxes and yard. Like I said, we got a lot done, and I just want to stand out there and look at the yard!
The Hubs is very proud that he got both the fountains cleaned out and running for the season, and I missed the sounds of the water over the winter. We have one in front, one in back so we can listen to the relaxing water from most of the yard.
We also broke in the new 'beehive' fireplace by cooking dinner Saturday night on it. Sausage and potatoes...YUM!
I know the cat that has adopted us was glad we ate every meal this weekend outside on the patio, the kids and the Hubs 'dropped' a lot for her.
I am tired, sunburned, and sore...but I am sad the weekend is over.