Tuesday, 3 April 2012
The Mini Chicken Coop
Our little chicken coop has arrived and the husband, aka 'Hubster', spent an afternoon setting it up and building a sturdy platform for it to sit on off the ground. It's quite exciting to see it sitting out in the garden, waiting patiently for some chickens to come live in it. It will still be about a month or so until we bring the birds in but until then we've got plenty to do.
First off, we're building a sizable run and seeding over the ground so that there will be grass growing by the time the birds arrive. The seed has been spread and raked over the area and the Hubster has been keeping a close eye on it over the last week, watering it on dry days and looking every day to see if any seed has sprouted yet. Watching water come to a boil springs to mind ;)
The idea is that we're dividing the run into two areas - one the chickens will be able to roam around in and one which is recovering. This way we hope to keep the chickens in regular grass and for the eggs to be as delicious and orange as they can be. If a run is kept open all the time there's no chance for any greens or grass to begin sprouting since the chickens will be scratching it up on a regular basis.
If you haven't noticed so far, our chicken house is small - tiny actually. It's more of a hobbit-sized hen house than something fit for full sized birds, no matter what the advert says. Considering this as well as advice from several sources we've decided to go for Bantams rather than conventional hens. Their eggs will be smaller and they can apparently be the devil to catch if they get out of their pen but they should suit us better at this point.
And in my search for hens on the island I came across a young boy about eight or nine years old who breeds Bantams as a hobby with his family. He made me a deal to sell four hens to me for £20 plus he's holding them for me for the next month. I didn't realise what a great deal this was until I spoke to a few people and so I think I'll put in an extra something for him as well. What a cool kid though - how many kids his age have such a productive hobby?