Saturday, April 11, 2009

Chicks, Coming Right Up!

Since we're headed out on the Funky Chicken Coop Tour of Austin today, I thought I'd show you a chicken coop that's closer to, and farther from, home!

After we started talking about having chickens over Christmas, my mom decided to go for it! Her seven chicks, above, were new in early February. Chickens can be shipped by regular US Mail, but these were local. They lived inside with a little bulb for heat for several weeks, getting a box clean-out every day. Chicks are a little fragile, but they have been doing great!
Meanwhile, Mom built her own chicken coop, almost totally by herself and almost totally from recycled (upcycled!) materials. The exception was new hinges and help from my dad to hang the door. Here it the work in progress in its lovely desert setting. I think it was so cool to have made everything from scraps. I wish I had an ongoing set of descriptions and pictures of the process. She also made the other stuff chickens need, like the feeder below. Mom grew up with chickens and said she didn't remember much about keeping them, but I guess it's coming back to her, becasue between her innate knowledge and a collection of library books, she's all set up now.

And these are the chickens, almost grown up! When you get chicks, you can't tell what mix of hens and roosters you will have. These turned out to be five hens and two roosters, which was great. Mom is planning on giving the roosters away due to the noise factor, but she won't hear of eating them ("I've fed them out of my hand!"). The hens should start laying eggs soon, but they don't lay well in the heat and it's getting hot there. So, there may be a better egg production in the fall. In the meantime, I think they are pets. I need to ask if they have names!

We're excited to see everything next week when we visit, so I think there will be more pictures to come.


  1. It is easy to think of them as pets. My mom grew up on a working cotton farm, and she picked cotton before and after school right up until high school graduation.

    As a kid, I spent my weekdays as a city slicker and my weekends playing on my Grandpa's farm. I watched my Grandpa milk cows, collect chicken eggs, tend to his garden, and make homemade sausage. Best memory?

    When I was nine, my Grandpa picked up colored chicks for Easter. Essentially, one of the local feed stores had dyed the feathers of very young chicks with different colors (pink, blue, green, etc.). Probably not very PC, but this was a small hill country town in the eighties. All five grandkids had such a good time playing with the chicks that weekend.

    As they grew up, you could tell which ones were ours as some of the dye never quite faded with time. And, since they were like pets, I do not think they ever served as one of our Sunday dinners.

  2. How cool that your mom did that herself!! That is a very cool-looking coop.

    Gary's parents have chickens as well and the kids get such a kick out of going out to get eggs! The roosters kind of freak me out a little, though. =)