Happy Homemaker, Ph.D.

A novice homemaker's attempts to use her engineering Ph.D. to serve her family

The Chicken Chronicles – New Quarters and a Smaller Brood

on June 4, 2013

It’s been a while since I’ve had any chicken stories to speak of.  Spring seems to be the busy time for changes in the hen house, and this year is no different.  Since Pepper and Wilhelmina died, we’ve just been enjoying our eight hens and the eggs they’ve produced throughout the fall and winter.  And, thanks to my husband’s grand ideas and handy work, they again spent the winter in their beautiful home, complete with heat lamps and glass windows.  (Did I share the story about the time they started a fire and nearly burned down their house?  Maybe that’s another post.)

Side View of the Chicken House

Side View of the Chicken House

We loved letting the chickens roam freely in the yard.  They loved it, too.

But we did not love their poop.  Especially on the patio.  Especially as we planned to spend more time outside.  Especially as our one year old was crawling, but not walking yet (and still putting many things into her mouth).  ICK!

So, one day, my husband took down the chicken house.  A flower garden is growing in that place now.

And, the chickens got moved to their summer house, a structure my husband had built a few weeks earlier.

The chickens' new summer house.

The chickens’ new summer house.

Alas, this new home was too small for all eight of the girls, so one day, Salt and Henrietta took a ride to go to a new home.  Shortly after that, Big Red Mama and the Rhode Island Red that I think was our infamous Toe Pecker (I don’t miss her going after my toes!) also moved on to grander adventures.

Now, Bandit (who is totally our alpha chicken), Ginger, Mary Ann, and the unnamed remaining Rhode Island Red have the house to themselves.   They still get to wander the yard at times, but it’s more rare.  They seem to be enduring the change.  None of the girls has seemed excited about it.  Egg production has gone down to nearly nothing, and for a while, they were pecking open and eating the eggs that were being produced.

They seem to be getting used to the new arrangement, and they were delighted when my husband added an extra feature to their home recently!  I’ll save that for another day.

To read more of our history with our chickens, check out these past posts:

The Beginning
The Surprise
The New Kids on the Block
The Eviction
Thelma and Louis’ Last Adventure
Making New Friends
The Pretty Birds Join the Brood
The Attack
A New Home and a New Beginning
An Update

7 responses to “The Chicken Chronicles – New Quarters and a Smaller Brood

  1. Susana A. says:

    Their homes are so cute! Is your husband an engineer as well? I remember growing up with a backyard full of chickens and my mother sending me to pick up the eggs for cooking. Mmmm, those were the days.

    • Dana K says:

      Susana, he is a heavy-equipment operator and truck driver by trade who has amazing ideas and the ability to put together something very quickly. 🙂 I’m so blessed by his many skills and abilities and his creativity! He has definitely spoiled me with the fresh eggs. Now, store-bought white eggs seem really unsatisfying. I hope my children grow up with the same happy memories you have!

  2. I really enjoy seeing your backyard structures. I know what you mean about the poop piles all over the place. Our free range chicks leave us presents all over the place. Fortunately we have hazed them enough they stay off the deck.

    • Dana K says:

      What kind of hazing did you use? We have sometimes turned on the sprinklers to get them out of the vegetable garden, but I would love to hear what you did!

  3. indytony says:

    We had an Amish man build us a chicken coop. It opens into a 1 acre fenced in pasture, so our chickens still have much room to roam. It’s the best of both worlds.

  4. arizonachad@gmail.com says:

    From the husband, I tried to move the old house to the back of the yard but that attempt was a total failure. It was built on old pallets and began to fall apart. Also we were going to get rid of the chickens entirely and buy a couple of ducks for Clara. As Dana said after some store bought eggs she treasures the freash eggs so I guess the remaining four are going to stay.

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