Archive for Chickens

Our Girls, Part I

Posted in Chickens with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2010 by PickMeYard

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!

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Gardening: A Family Affair, Part II

Posted in Meet our Family with tags , , , on February 26, 2010 by PickMeYard

This is my daughter Loring and her favorite chicken “Sweetpea”. It is definitely mutual.  Loring is her person.  She always lets Loring pick her up and wants to be snuggled.  Funny how they are both the smallest and both rule their coops. 

Loring is an avid gardener too.   Three years old and she can identify each plant in our yard and knows whether or not it can be eaten.  She knows to always ask mommy first to make sure it is safe to eat. She holds it up to me and says, “is it okay mommy?”

Come grow with us!

Gardening: A family Affair!

Posted in Meet our Family with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 20, 2010 by PickMeYard

Gardening is fun…so are chickens.  Meet my son Grayson and his favorite hen  “Floofy”.  Most days you’ll find Grayson deep into a new project.  Sometimes it’s a homeschooling project, but most of the time he’s in his garden.  His latest project is researching and planning a huge butterfly, bee and hummingbird garden.  We have removed the sod and will be planting on Wednesday. 

Grayson completed a six-week beekeeping course through the Lee County Agricultural Extension office  .  Now he  is a backyard beekeeper and is a member of the Southwest Florida Bee Association.  We have 2 boxes of bees.  We can’t wait to harvest our honey! Did I mention he is only eight?

Come grow with us!