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Yesterday, I alluded to needing a quick dinner because we were going to be busy doing exciting things (the casserole was yummo, btw) – well, the exciting thing was this: we got chickens!

ISA Brown chickens
We’ve been planning to get them for about 18 months and a chicken-facilitating garden was on my desirable-but-not-necessary list when we were looking for our house. In anticipation, I read loads about them and went on a course about keeping chickens in April last year, and got super excited about having them ASAP – then the house purchase got delayed and delayed and delayed… When we eventually moved in, it was late autumn and we couldn’t do that much in the garden. Then our plan from just having a random coop and a wire fence around the bottom of the garden evolved into levelling up a section of earth and building Fort Chicken (pictured below) – and, well, we’re slow and disorganised, with a billion other jobs needing doing at the same time.

Chickens in a coop
But anyway, anyway, they’re here now. We went for point of lays – more expensive than hatching eggs or day old chicks but better for first timers and when we expand/replace in the future, we can look at those options, letting our existing chickens do the hard child rearing work for us*. Following a recommendation from a friend, we went to Edward Boothman near Silsden to get them and brought four home last night. Fort Chicken’s coop can apparently hold 15(!) chickens but we think the space in there and the run is more suited to 6-8 — we’ll get settled in with these girls then get the others as POL in the late summer/autumn (spring chickens come of age).

chickens5
These girls are ISA Brown/Warrens – Edward’s recommendation for first timers as they’re good layers (300-325ish a year each!) and have friendly personalities. I’d like a few different types eventually but these are good to start with. Names to be confirmed when we get to know them but likely to be either chemical elements (if we follow our main pet naming scheme) or Buck Kar, Stanley Chicken (my best friend’s grandfather’s name), Warren Buckland (a lecturer of mine at uni) and Warren’s Song, Pt. 7.

chickens6
As it was already getting on the evening when we brought them home, we had to put them straight into the coop and so they got to see their run for the first time this morning – they were a little unsure about leaving the coop at first but after one brave soldier broke cover, the rest soon followed. And when they’d all left the coop, I had a quick peek in their nesting boxes and what did I find….?

chickens7
Our first egg! I do hope they’ll be happy in their new home!

(More on the economics of the chickens to follow tomorrow. And more pictures too!)

* I mentioned this to John’s dad yesterday – about how we’d need an incubator for hatching eggs and he mentioned that he’s had an incubator in his cellar for about 20 years and he could dig it out for us if we wanted it. He’s has never had chickens, never planned to have chickens, has no use for an incubator but really really really likes to hoard stuff. John laughed heartily when I told him this story.

 

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5 Comments on Chickens!

  1. [...] 3. The size of the towns & villages decreases the further we move out from the city but soon we’re there. The fuzzy black dog wanders around lazily in the sun, unperturbed by the loud turkey and when he opens the barn door, she sits down inside amongst the chickens. He bundles four of the ginger birds into our box and we take them home. [...]

  2. Jane says:

    Hi – We have that breed too and they are by far the best chickens we have ever had- easy to keep, friendly and an egg each every day even during the Winter!

  3. [...] Noise from the chickens wakes us before 8. It’s not too loud (quieter than the birdsong but more persistent like the [...]

  4. [...] – if I had a spare doormat right now, no matter how tatty, it would go outside the door to our chicken run so I could wipe my feet on the way out before traipsing back up the garden. Or, I made a wellie [...]

  5. [...] the chickens don’t seem to like courgette/marrow – a shame because there is a lot of it to go [...]

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