29 July 2009

Chicken coop

Our chicken coop is finally complete, okay, almost complete, and it looks great beside the board and batten garage. From the kitchen I can walk onto the porch and right to the girls' coop, which is convenient for me. It's situated beneath a deciduous tree on the south side to give them shade all summer and more sunlight in the winter. We will dig holes for the run posts this week and probably cement them in place.

So far the girls seem pretty happy with their coop although they like to roost on the step to the nest boxes instead of on the actual roost. I'm going to use some of the branches we had to take down recently to make a lower roost for them since I think that's what they're trying to tell me... They roost in our rhododendron all the time but they prefer the lower branches.

Here are the twins roosting in the rhododendron with sister Lacey.

And little Goldilocks roosting under the protection of sister Sylvia.

Here are the girls in their usual pattern: The twins, the pair of Rhode Island Reds (RIRs) that are always side by side. I can only tell them apart by their eye color - one has slightly green eyes, the other hazel. Curious Katie is the other RIR. She greets us when we come home, comes running when she sees us walking up the driveway from a walk, invites herself in the house if we leave the front door open for too long. Katie is just the kind of chicken you want to come home to. Her curiosity sometimes gets the better of her though and when her sisters are no longer in sight, after she has wandered off chasing some speck of interest, she cries in distress until she is reunited with them again. Sometimes Savannah will pick her up and pat her and carry her over to her sisters, which Katie loves. Lacey is the Silver Laced Wyandotte with more white on her wings and although we didn't raise her, she is more trusting than her sister Sylvia. Sylvia often protects little Goldilocks, the Buff Orrpington, but they are both nervous nellies and won't let us near them. Goldilocks is the baby of our pullets and often tags behind, following her sisters. She never strikes out on her own. Each has her own personality.

Savannah holds the door open to welcome the chickens in for the first time. Behind her you can see the two levels of nest boxes on the north wall.

The brave chickens encourage the two timid ones (Sylvia and Goldilocks) to walk the plank (that Kevin built last night) for the first time. Did you know that chickens could be, well, chicken?

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