Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Sky Is Falling! The Sky Is Falling!

The world was supposed to end on Saturday, but it didn't. Now the impending doom has been rescheduled until sometime in October, or so I heard. Actually, this doesn't surprise me, because something happened at our house yesterday that I once thought never would. And my husband is the one proclaiming that the end times are near.

I've been wanting chickens for quite some time now. A few years ago, our neighbors' chickens (and a rooster!) came visiting and I fell in love. They were gorgeous and quirky and walked about Our Little Acre like they owned the place. They were pretty well-behaved, too. No pecking around in the garden or tearing things up, as chickens (and roosters!) are wont to do. No chasing the homeowners, either. They came and went and that was the beginning of me wanting some of my own.

I'd mention this from time to time to various people - including my husband - and most said that I was crazy - including my husband. I put the idea away for awhile, but it would resurface every now and then. We take care of our neighbors' chickens (and roosters!) on occasion, when they're out of town, so we both knew full well what's involved with their care. I still wanted them and my husband still thought I was crazy.

As winter moved into spring this year, I got serious about lobbying for chickens (no roosters!) of our own and my husband protested, as usual. I presented the arguments for getting them, but he was not easily swayed. I reminded him of how much we like to eat eggs and how much better our neighbors' eggs taste than the ones we buy in the stores. I enlisted the help of others who have chickens, having them tell him how easy they are to care for, and I promised to take care of them.

Despite what some people might think, I do NOT always get my way. No one hears about the times I don't. And besides, I know my limits. Some things are just not worth even asking about. But I really, really wanted the chickens and he finally relented. I knew I'd won when he said he'd help ME build the coop.

Choosing my chicks.

I had done my research. I wanted good layers, cold hardy, quiet-tempered hens (no roosters!). My first choices were Golden-Laced Wyandotte and Dominique. Buff Orpingtons were high on my list, too. From the time the chicken project was a go, until we actually got them, much time passed. So when I went to Rural King yesterday to pick them out, the pickings were pretty slim. Area "chick days" are over.

Buff Orpingtons at Rural King. There are three of my babies in there!

But five Silver-Laced Wyandottes were still available, so I snatched them right up. (P. Allen Smith told me  they're better than the Goldens, anyway.) And there were several Buff Orpingtons, so I took three of those.  I really only wanted four hens (no roosters!), but things happen sometimes and the coop we're building will hold twelve, so eight seemed like a good number.

We started building the coop tonight, in the garage. We'd gotten the materials several weeks ago, but things have been rather hectic around Our Little Acre this spring and I've been gone a lot. For now, the chicks are in the conservatory in a large Rubbermaid storage crate that some people use for storing their artificial Christmas trees. Our neighbor let us use their brooder light to keep them warm at night, but it's warm enough during the day that we don't have to use it.

Our chicks are almost three weeks old already and are trying their wings. A few of them can get a few inches off the ground and they're wanting to break free of their confined quarters. Hopefully, the coop and run construction will go quickly and we'll be able to get them in their cozy coop soon.

I just checked on them for the night, and I tried to notice differences in their markings so that I can tell them apart and start naming them. One of the Wyandottes is now known as Pippa. She's the one with the bright white stripes on each side of her back. As time goes on and they mature, the rest will earn their names, too.

So, I'm now officially a chick mama with a brood of eight hens (no roosters, we hope!), and my husband is still speaking to me. Life is good.


Annie Haven | Authentic Haven Brand said...

Your going to enjoy them and the Fresh eggs well they just start your day right and make your recipes taste better Glad you got your chicks Annie

The Dean is in... said...

You know you are going to love them and I hope you have 'no roosters'. LOL!

We have just the 4 hens and ours are crosses of some kind. I get 4 eggs a day and that is more than we can eat but we try. Keeping them from wanting to sit can some times be challenging, however. :D

Good luck!

David P. Offutt - The Gastronomic Gardener said...

No Roosters! - Have fun!

FilipBlog said...

They are all cute

Alison said...

Jealous! I am so jealous! We have the same discussion here at our house. I want chickens, but I am having a devil of a time talking my husband into it.

Erin @ The Impatient Gardener said...

Oh I'm just full of envy! How I want chickens, but alas, my husband hasn't come to the realization that yours apparently did.

I love both of the breeds you chose and they are adorable. I can't wait to watch them grow and read about their antics.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You lucky little chicken momma. I can't wait to hear about adventures of Pippa and her ladies in waiting.

Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

How fun! We've talked about chickens a few times, but just don't have the space. I agree that fresh laid eggs are so much better than store bought. Luckily we know a couple people with chickens and they share once in a while.

Unknown said...

I can't say I remember eating fresh brown eggs. So between you and Marybeth I will have to try some soon!

Anonymous said...

Oh, Congratulations! That is just wonderful! I am EXTREMELY envious. I dream of having chickens as well (and maybe a couple of goats too).

Your chicks look so beautiful and I love the name Pippa. Sounds like you might be able to exchange caretaking with your neighbor when you're out of town, which would be great.

It will be exciting to see them grow and check out the finished coop - can't wait for more news about these girls!

Carol @ OhWhatABeautifulGarden-Chicagoland said...

Some guys just don't know what they are getting into. I'm happy when Mike gets me a load of mulch, and you want chickens. No 'Diamonds are a girl's best friend' for us. We do make our men's lives interesting!

Carol at said...

Hey Kylee - How the your baby chicks doing?

Kylee Baumle said...

Carol ~ They're growing by leaps and bounds! Just coming out of the gawky adolescent stage where they have both chick fuzz and real feathers. Most feathers now. The coop isn't finished yet, but we're getting close!

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