Lessons Learned In Chicken Rearing

In no particular order – here’s what we’ve learned in our chicken adventures.

1 There will always be one chick in the lock that is the most friendly and forward.  Here is Snowball, our first favorite.

skylerchick
She quickly became a he, a rooster.

littlerooster

2 A large pumpkin box can make a great brooder, enlarged with several more boxes here for one long room.

brooder

3 Building a daytime grazing pen with you kids for the young pullets can be fun, but not really necessary.

grazing pen

4 The construction wasn’t that great, they kept escaping, and seemed crowded in there. Better to free range instead. Fun project for the kids though, with all the tools involved.

grazing pen2

5 Nesting boxes should be kept dark and private. They prefer to just all lay in the same box. No matter how nice the second one looks… Here is Midnight, checking out the nesting box, when it was brand new.

midnight

6 Pretty much any decorations added to the chicken area will get eaten, or ruined by the weather. Here is our freshly painted coop with a lavender wreath I made on the door. It is falling apart now of course.

coopsummer

7 The first egg will be really exciting.

first egg

8 We also learned that the first eggs are usually not all that perfect. Some can come out with completely soft shells in the beginning, even two at a time!

soft shell

9 It won’t take long and they will all come out normal looking.

eggs2

10 Keeping chickens will also inspire the kids to make artsy projects.

eggart2

11 Some stranger than others.

eggart

night lights

12 We also learned that adding night lights for chickens, as seen above, in the fall to get to see them out after dark a bit in the early evenings is not really a good idea. We had ours on a solar timer and when it went off, the chickens were stuck out there and couldn’t find their way into the coop and had to be hand carried inside. They don’t see very well in dim light.

13 All chickens will gather on your patio and be in the way as much as they can. Here they are at Christmas time looking especially festive.

christmas

14 All coops must have embellishment. Ours has a make shift chandelier made of a recycled ornament.

chandelier

15 Again, any decorations will be ruined quickly. We made the mistake of putting in some wallpaper. It is gone now. Here is Marshmallow checking out her nesting box.

wallpaper

16 Nesting boxes do not have to be fancy. Ours have a lot of cardboard, which can be thrown out when it needs cleaning.

nestingboxes

17 Golf balls in the nesting boxes makes the chickens lay there, pretty much every time. Here is Goldie, wanting some privacy.

golf balls

18 Home made vinegar concoctions make for a great cleaner for chickens and their sensitive respiratory system. Ours has apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, vanilla, orange rinds and tea trea oil.

Cleaning solution

19 Night lights in the coop in the winter work great to extend the egg laying period. Just a few battery candles on a time does the trick.

Night Lights in Coop

OK, that’s it for the chickens. Promise not to torture you with more chicken posts!
Happy Easter Everybody!