Eviction Order For The Chickens

Finally! We have finished the chicken coop enough so the chickens could move out of the garage and into their new home. We still have to finish a few things, but ultimately the coop is finished enough to ensure the safety of the chickens and provide them protection from the elements.

The chickens are 8 weeks old now, and have been handling the nightly temperatures of mid to low 40s well. I still haven’t let them out into the run during the day while we are both at work. I want them to learn that the coop is where they go for food, water, shelter. I have noticed since we moved them out, they still aren’t quite sure where to go for their water and food. I will have to call them into the run and then only a couple have caught on to go up the temporary ramp to get water. But then again I am planning on moving their food and water out of the inside of the coop anyways. Plus I still need to show them they need to go inside the coop when it is time to roost.

Part of me wants to really keep the rooster we mistakenly got at the feed store. I can see the benefits of keeping him. But city code says no roosters. There is this thing called a “No Crow Rooster Collar” But the Husband thinks even with the collar it will still disturb the neighbors and he doesn’t want to risk it. The benefits that I see him providing is the added protection to the girls. I can already see him starting to protect his backyard. There was a Blue Jay that landed in the yard and he was the point of the spear with 4 other chickens following him by chasing this Blue Jay out of their yard. Then Mr. Husband came home from work (he is a Fed Ex courier) and he came into the back yard carrying a package for “D” and the rooster ran to the gate to investigate this stranger with a hat on that was coming into his yard. Another benefit is that we can replenish our flock when we want too by allowing a hen to raise a couple chicks. Only thing I am truly worried about is it bugging the neighbors and then if he turns out to be overly protective or aggressive and attacks “D”. The neighbor to the right of us hasn’t been all that friendly to start off with. She hated our dog, even though he was the best dog ever that never barked at a thing. You wouldn’t know we even had a dog, he was so quiet. She made it known she didn’t like him and would loudly talk about us getting rid of the dog or how much she hated him. Mr. Husband caught her the other day spying over the fence at the chickens. So I am sure she is cursing the gods over the recent addition to our yard. The neighbors to the left of us don’t live in the house because they are elderly and live in a nursing home. The neighbors to the back of us I am sure don’t care. But it is the neighbor to the right of us I am sure would turn us into the city faster than her fingers could dial the phone if she knew we have a rooster.

I am already super excited about the benefits I am seeing from having the chickens. Our old and neglected garden beds that are filled with weeds and covered in old leaves have been brought back to life and look amazing from all the scratching they have been doing. The awesome part is I haven’t lifted a finger to pull a weed or rake it out! I really should take some before and after pictures of the work they are doing. I just recently convenience Mr. Husband that having chickens work a compost pile is beneficial. Slowly but surely I am spreading all the knowledge I have read to others. I am still trying to convenience my parents about the benefits of putting mulch on garden beds. Cover your soil people or nature will with weeds!  (Granted I haven’t gotten around to doing it, but then again we just became home owners a month ago) I am trying to get on a “chip list” for a local tree cutting service so our house can be a dump spot for a couple truckloads of chips. Then I can start covering my beds with free wood chips! This is a small portion of a conversation that I had with Mr. Husband of why I want to start composting our yard waste, instead of hauling it away. “The biggest take away from composting is that it rebuilds your soil. Today’s world hasn’t been rebuilding their soils, which is why we get soil erosion=landslides/inability to replenish ground water=drought=less drinkable water, nutrient depleted soil=nutrient depleted food=nutrient deficient humans. Why give away/haul away $$$$….Take mom and dad for example, they are ordering 5 yards of compost soil mix. That is $230 + Taxes+ delivery charge. Plus we have chickens meaning….. They do the work (turning the pile, aerating it), their poop adds nutrients to the compost, less we have to feed them in chicken food because of the bugs they find in it.” He is under the impression that a compost pile will stink, well that is only if you add things you aren’t supposed to and it is out of balance between nitrogen and carbon. Compost is supposed to smell like dirt or earth, and it will if it is being managed right. He is also wants it confined in a container. This has a disadvantage because the chickens can’t get to it to turn it and find bugs in it, which means it will be more work on our part having to manually turning it. Granted we will have to pile it back up every once and a while. Plus it will take a lot longer for it to decompose if it isn’t exposed to the elements. I might have to do a journal on it.

Looking ahead…

  • Do the finishing touches to the chicken coop and start a chicken garden around the coop with beneficial herbs and plants for chicken health.
  • Start doing some garden work and block off my garden area I don’t want the chickens in and scratching up.

 

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Almost ready to move the chickens in. Just need to lay down the pine shavings and hang the food and water.

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Almost finished. Just needs a coat of paint.

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The chickens first morning in the coop. They all look to be happy and in good health.

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Some of the chickens enjoying a good dirt bath in the somewhat warm sun. This is one of my neglected garden areas. You can see they have started to work this area along the fence lines. This area tends to be over taken with crab grass, weeds, and bindweed during the summer months. I will be interested in how much the chickens can tame in the coming months. The battle with bind weed has been a three year battle that I am slowly making progress with.

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A Chicken wants to help “D” pick me some dandelion flower so I can make an infused oil with them.

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Mr. Husband, the Fed Ex guy delivering “D” his package and the Rooster has come to see who has come into his yard. You can see to the left the chickens have been working that neglected bed. They have scratched all the leaves out onto the lawn and have been working on the weeds. There is a little bed over by the down spout with the flower pots that they have been working on controlling the weeds, which looks like they have done a good job with.