Thanks to the wonders of technology, I spent the past two weeks in the Green Mountains of Vermont while this website went on publishing without me. I know some of you were wondering why I wasn’t replying to comments, announcing posts via Facebook, and yes, even worrying whether I was okay. I’m sorry I couldn’t tell you in advance, but my husband (who already thinks I “overshare”) made me promise not to tell a soul, and a promise is a promise. We had a marvelous time on vacation, hiking, canoeing, swimming and being bitten by bugs. The one thing we hadn’t banked on? The chickens. We toted them with us, along with most of our menagerie of pets. They lived in an over-sized computer box, replete with food dishes and heat lamp. And they seemed quite content.
Until, that is, about a week in, when one of them came flap-flap-flapping out of the box. There’s something comical about chickens taking to the wing. At least when you’re sitting in a cabin, 200 miles from home, and you aren’t expecting a chicken to come sailing out while you’re watching a movie. By the end of the trip we knew the chickens were ready for their new home, and we were going to have to build it.
My family and I returned home, setting aside laundry and a mountain of email in lieu of coop construction. We’d found a photo of a coop we really liked in one of the chicken books we’d been reading, and even plans online.
Only problem? The coop as written is too small. My husband and I altered the dimensions of the general plan, using it more as a guide instead of law, and with financial backing from my Mom Central Grant, we set to build our own version. Four long days, multiple trips to Home Depot, and one visit to the ER later, the coop is DONE!
The chickens now have ample room to stretch their wings and YES, even fly! The coop is strong and secure and should protect them not only from the elements year-round, but from the bevy of predators that cruise our yard. We even hung a rope perch and dishes for our gold-capped conure, Kiwi, so she can hang out in ‘the aviary’ during warm summer days.
The chicks themselves have at least tripled in size since we brought them home a month ago.
They’re looking more and more ‘chicken’ like every day — sprouting feathers instead of fuzz, tiny combs and sturdy legs. It’s fun watching them scratch for bugs, dust bathe and go about their chicken business. And in ~14-18 weeks, we should have FRESH EGGS for recipes here on The Daily Dish!!