Our Girls, Part I

We have eight hens.  No roosters.  Roosters are lovely and they help keep their girls safe.  They find bugs and then call out to their girls to come and get it.  They warn everybody when there is danger.  We don’t need a rooster though and it wouldn’t work for us here on our “somewhat urban” property.  They are too noisy for our neighbors and you don’t need a rooster to have fresh eggs every day.  You do need a rooster to have fertilized eggs that will provide baby chickens.  If we lived on a farm we would have baby chickens and roosters running everywhere.  Since we don’t, we will limit ourselves to our eight hens.  Eight hens provides us with more than enough fresh eggs for ourselves and neighbors.  The Polish chicken in the picture above seems to be in every picture because she demands to be picked up and cuddled. 

This is our chicken tractor.  This is how we keep our girls out of the garden when we don’t want them “helping”.  The top opens up for gathering eggs every day.  It has several windows that can be opened for ventilation or locked shut.  It has wheels so that the coop can be moved around the yard.  We move it about every two weeks or so.

 The grass looks dead under the trampoline.  After a few rains, the dead grass spot becomes greener than the rest. The trampoline has chicken wire around the bottom of it so the chickens can forage during the day and stay safe.  We have a five gallon bucket between the trampoline and the chicken tractor that the girls use as a tunnel to get from one side to the other.  To close off the trampoline, we put the top on the bucket.  (We bought a bucket that came with a top). 

The chicken tractor has wire on the sides and bottom.  It is predator proof.  The trampoline is not, so we lock up the girls in the coop at night.  Chickens will put themselves to bed, they just need help closing the door.  They have a nice view of the Intracoastal Waterway.  I have a string of white Christmas lights on the outside.  They’re solar lights so they move easily with the tractor. We have happy chickens.  Our eggs are the best in the world! 

Everybody should be so lucky to have a job they love.  Grayson is the sole caretaker of the chickens.  He takes pride in his job and he gets paid $1.00 a day.   When his friends come over they enjoy playing with the chickens.  The chickens love it too.

I called our local zoning department to get permission before we got our chickens. We live in the country, but for some strange reason the zoning department couldn’t give me a definite “yes or no” answer. The neighbors weren’t sure if they wanted us to have chickens.  The calls to the zoning department went back and forth.  Finally, a woman from zoning  told me to just do it.  She said, “nobody’s gonna come take away your pet chickens”.  I love this town. 

The girls have toys in their coop.  They play with them daily.  My absolute favorite website for checking out other people’s clever chicken house ideas is citychickens.com.  Even if you don’t have chickens, it’s fun looking at the pictures. The pictures on this chicken tractor gallery site are great for inspiration too. Did you know it is your right to be able to keep chickens in New York City?  The blog, Urban Chickens, is a great site to learn more about chicken ordinances. 

We have lots of eggs to share with the neighbors.  Although they may have been skeptical at first, I believe they like our chickens.  They really like them.  When the egg production slowed down, one neighbor suggested we play some nice music.  Not a bad idea.  Once you have a steady supply of fresh eggs, you’ll do anything to keep them.

Come grow with us!

14 Responses to “Our Girls, Part I”

  1. This is awesome. I have had these eggs and they are truly wonderful.
    It’s so inspiring.

    • Thank you. I’m going to drag you along with me to take lots of pictures of Jamaican chicken coops the next time we come. I bet there are some really clever ideas for keeping chickens contained. This would be an adventure! When we’re through, you’ll be keeping your own chickens!

  2. You are probably right , re some clever ideas here for keeping chickns.
    Ready when you are.
    PS . looking for my friend Greg in the family section 🙂

  3. Larry II and I were looking over your site and remembering playing with Grayson and the chickens. Someday maybe we will have property that we can raise chickens on as well.

    • Larry II can come play with Grayson and his chickens anytime. Whenever you’re ready for you’re own little brood, let us know and we’ll help you get started.

  4. […] can carry it with ease. It looks heavy, but it’s not.  We learned our lesson with our chicken tractor.  It ended up being way too heavy to move […]

  5. I’m still new to all this. The more sites i go on the more i learn. I spend more time trying to find good sites that are easy to use and this is one of the best so far. Thanks i’ve learned more today which is always a good thing.

  6. This is a fantastic site . I accidently found it, I’m hoping to move to a small place in southern MS soon. I have been dreaming of it for years and what you are doing is exactly what I had in mind, nothing major just eggs and fruits and vegetables and all the pleasures that come with them like the birds and bees and butterflies, I’m really looking forward to seeing what y’all do and how you do it. Thank you so much , God Bless You, Dotsy

    • God bless you too, Dotsy. (By the way, you have a great name!) We love our little hobby farm and I bet you’re going to as well. Just do one thing at a time and it all falls into place. Get ready… chickens can be hysterically funny.

      • Thank you so much.. I have been so encouraged . I looked at your stuff for hours and can REALLY see myself doing this. It’s so funny, I had 2 pet chickens as a kid.

        I grew lychees from seeds from the Whole Food Co (then kept them alive during and after Katrina on my front porch in Metairie, LA) but lost them outside of a FEMA trailer a year later. I had no idea it would take 20 years to get fruit so , I guess I’ll seek out a graft when I move to MS. Your site is just fascinating…thanks so much for the new hope…
        It’s funny there was a strange connection on your site …you made a necklace of Jasmine blossoms with your lovely child . After Katrina I was in mourning …living in 2 consecutive FEMA trailers (with container gardens ) and I would periodically drive through parts of the city which were recovering.I found a strange old vacant former convent overgrown with jasmine and couldn’t resist trying to root it. I didn’t have much hope but prayed over it and 2 pieces rooted and started blooming when they were only inches high in a tiny pot. Everytime I was sad, the smell of jasmine would fill my apartment (my 4th post katrina home).

        It’s struggled, sometimes, but has survived and is outside the apartment now, blooming. I pray it makes it to MS and blooms there happy at last. ( by the way I hate sweet potatoes, but they are so nutritious, I eat them all the time, I’m going to try to get some leaves growing, I always wondered if they were edible, I probably would like them.
        Thanks so much ,

  7. Really enjoyed this post and pictures! Well done!

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