I’ve been MIA since my intro post because I have been ridiculously busy. Between all the things that comes with being a mother, wife, and homesteader the list of things to do is never-ending. The list is never completed either. Just as I feel like I might have a handle on everything, fate strikes and reminds me how much I don’t have my stuff together.
Over Memorial Day weekend while searching ads for used chicken coops for our chicks who were ready to go outside I found a deal I couldn’t pass up. A large shed/coop combo that was free, as long as I took the five hens she had with it. I jumped right on it. So on Memorial Day my devoted husband and brother-in-law loaded up and headed down to Portland to pick up the coop and chickens. It took them all day to load up the structure and birds and drive home. It was worth the wait. The hens made themselves right at home and enjoyed free ranging in the grove of trees that makes up my front yard. These five hens were the friendliest chickens I had ever met. As soon as I stepped out the door they would run up to me for treats or a quick pat. They adjusted so quickly and I started getting eggs right away.
I allowed the birds to free range, which didn’t cause too many problems. They did use my herb boxes as a dust bath but stayed away from the veggies. After two weeks though I learned a hard lesson about unlimited free range. A hawk got one of the hens, and nearly got a second one a few days later. Saddened, I researched run plans and different methods of protecting my remaining hens and the younger ones once they were integrated to the flock. I decided to get a rooster to help keep an eye out for predators and protect the hens. The rooster I got is extremely young. Less than a year I believe and so far is not impressing me. He’s skittish, runs away, and overall seems like a waste of feed. Plus, he started to lead the hens into my garden. After several decimated crops my husband and I went to Home Depot and bought fence posts, fencing and netting to make a pen for the hens.
Even with a run attached to the coop the rooster still finds a way out, then he stands next to the pen and squawks. He won’t go in if I open the door, and won’t allow me to pick him up to put him in. I have to wait until the hens go in to roost then open the shed and coop doors, and wait inside the entryway until he goes in. Needless to say his fate is uncertain at this time. I don’t have the funds to feed a creature that is not serving it’s purpose, I’m already keeping a hen that doesn’t lay. But, I am struggling with the idea of having him butchered.
On a more cheerful note, our chicks are happily inhabiting a new outdoor brooder pen near the main chicken coop, they seem to be enjoying the outdoors. I picked up the pen from a nice lady about an hour away. I got the pen for a good price and it’s exactly what we needed for our flock of chicks.
With the chicks in their new home, and the hens in their new pen, my herb boxes have been restored and crops have been replaced. I should be able to harvest some radishes and tomatoes soon!
That pretty much brings you up to date! Head over to Instagram and follow @lazyhousewife86 for daily updates! Keep an eye out for my next post!
Sarah, The Lazy Housewife