Fresh eggs are wonderful. My wife has assured us this pleasure.
When we moved to Bainbridge one of the items on the The List was to raise chickens for fresh eggs. Today being Bainbridge’s Tour de Coop I feel compelled to show off my wife’s fabulous coop and beautiful birds.
First the birds. We (ok, my wife) decided on two breeds based on cold-hardiness, laying and temperament.
The Buff Orpington.
The Speckled Sussex.
When the local feed store got their spring chicks in we purchased three of each, driving them home in a cardboard box on my daughter’s lap. We hung a heat lamp over an old dog crate in the garage and waited for our birds to grow.
Overall raising the chicks wasn’t too bad but we did have one exciting moment. Bainbridge loses power – a lot. True to form, shortly after bringing the birds home we lost power. Since we’d recently lost power for 40 hours we braced for the worst. The chicks need it to be quite warm to survive so to keep them alive we had to bring them in the house and put them in a wicker basket in front of the wood stove until our power returned!
It became quickly obvious the days of living in an old dog crate in the garage under a heat lamp had to end so my wife got busy building an awesome coop in the orchard.
She’s pleased with how it came out. The coop is great, bright, clean and fortified with miles of hardware cloth to keep out the damn weasels, raccoons and other assorted local predators (aka the dog).
Finally, one day we were walking through their run, wondering when our fresh omelets would materialize, when we found a sole egg in a dusting bowl under a fern. After a “chicken egg hunt” we found ten eggs! My dad had the clever idea of leaving an egg in the nest box to attract the hens to lay there and it worked – we are now collecting 2-3 eggs a day.
I’ve just been informed we’re getting a goat or a cow next – stay tuned. Fresh chevre!