Chickens!

Our family has been in the process of building a chicken coop or egg mobile, whichever you prefer to call it.  It is movable so we don't kill the grass where it is put, and it is also absolutely the best fertilizer because they will be scratching in not only their poop, but the horse manure that is in this particular field.  This field come spring should be the best.  We feed them our scraps which is great, we seem to have lots of scraps, and my dad made a continuous feeder for their feed.  They have spent several hours on this project and when my family does something, it isn't half-heartedly done, (that is actually why we don't get some things accomplished), but that's ok.  Having a husband as an engineer, a father-in-law who is a builder, electrician, plumber and my dad who can do positively anything, they have to make it really look good, and it does look good.  We were so excited!  Now, don't get me wrong, it isn't perfect, my father-in-law kept saying how it really wasn't level, but it IS a chicken coop, right, they'll never know! *grin*

Another wonderful thing that came from this was the multi-generational faithfulness that comes from 3 generations working, learning, and building together. Go here or here to see another couple of posts on multi-generational faithfulness.  I LOVE to see the grandfathers, the dad, and the son, AND daughters working together.  They learn alot from the older generations, which is exactly how God's Word says for them to learn.  What a wonderful idea!  God is so good, He always knows what is best for us.  As for the girls, they are equally preparing to become that help meet for someone some day and will be able to help their potential husband however he needs them to.   

Enjoy the pictures of the building process!  Here is my dad on the left and Steve's dad on the right.  The "Masters."

Jamin helping dad.



Jenny is helping Poppy D.  Let me tell you, the Poppy's LOVE to have their grandchildren helping and working with them.

Sarah is in on the floor.  We didn't want a solid floor so the chicken poop would go through and we wouldn't have to continually clean the mess.  So far, so good.  The ONLY thing we may have to worry about is a "critter" trying to get them from underneath.  So far nothing but coyotes have been around, but have not bothered them yet... 





Julia finally came out of the kitchen and the house to help some.  The Poppy's and our friends kept calling them Julia's chickens, so she had to come help!


Thought this was cute.  Comet was in just the right spot for it to look like her "barn."  Some day Comet...

Steve was helping on a day he was off work.  3 generations at work.


Jenny was drawing the arches for Poppy D. to cut out for over the nesting boxes.


Jamin's putting the last touches of paint on.

Ok, this was funny.  They had measured the gate so they could build it in our yard and then pull it through, BUT they did not allow for the nesting boxes on the outside.  It DID fit, but it was a WOW! Thank You, Lord, moment.  The other options for getting it in the field were not great.  



This was the lot for the chickens to be in when out of the coop.  Looks great, right?

We were suppose to be able to move this with the 4-wheeler, BUT, did I say our family builds things well? We also build with what we have, or at least as much as we can.  The runners on the bottom are 2x10's, and then 2x4's and my dad had about everything we needed in the barns, we just had to go around and gather the supplies.  He even had plywood and tin for the roof!  Steve's dad had the metal for the corners on the roof and the roof of the nesting boxes.  We DID have to buy the outside paneling and the gutter for the front.  The lot is made out of 4x4's which my dad had, and chain link fence which a good friend of my parent's had.  We still need to thank them!!!  Jenny and I painted the frame for the lot with diesel oil, because that is what you use on the farm to weather proof wood.  The only problem is 2 weeks later, it is STILL WET!  So, this turned out to be quite HEAVY!  We did try the 4-wheeler and it wouldn't even budge it!  Now we have my dad's Farmall A to move it around.  We just hook up the cable and pull it forward a bit, and as of right now we have to move the lot forward by hand, actually about 3 or 4 of us, and we move it every 1 or 2 days, depending on how much grass is there.  We are looking for some wheels for the coop and the lot.

The nesting boxes on the right and the arches are to keep them from roosting on their nesting boxes and making messes in them.  The roosting poles are 1 up high on the left and 2 in the back near the door where they go in and out.

These are the chickens our wonderful friends were giving us.  We ended up with 11, 9 New Hampshires and 2 Arracanas.  The Arracanas lay blue eggs.

Here they are!  Some of them, aren't they cute?  That is their waterer beside them.  As much as our family LOVES naming animals, we haven't named these, yet, because they look sooooo much alike.  Maybe later when we catch their personalities.  For now, they come to us when we say, "Come on girls."  Already spoiled.

The black ones are the Arracanas.

My sister's family was in and they certainly enjoyed watching them and getting our 1st eggs.  We got 1 the day we brought them to our home!  We put golf balls in the nesting boxes to trick the chickens into laying.  It works, for whatever reason!

That's my sis on the right, and her little ones and big ones.



This is my littlest nephew, Baby K, and he has Type 1 diabetes, you can check out his story here from my blog or here from my sisters' blog.

Hope you enjoyed seeing our chicken experience!  We are loving it!  Thanks to our friends, the C's!  Thanks to all who helped us with materials, and building!  Loving our fresh eggs!!!

Do you have chickens or have you had chickens?  How do you take care of them and feed them?  Come on over for a visit and you can see ours and we could even give you a hayride!  It's getting cooler, but we can still do it!!!  Leave us a comment and tell us what you think?

Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

9 comments:

Sammy and Missy Parris said...

We have been talking about having chickens for about a year now. Not sure if it will ever happen but we love the idea!!! These were great pictures of all your hard work. Enjoy all those eggs!!!

Jody said...

Thanks Missy! When you cook fresh eggs they are such a bright yellow, such a difference from store bought. We are loving them! We love to hear them too, they have such a gentle friendly sound especially when we go check on them. They already know us and expect scraps. It's neat!
Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

Jorie said...

What a wonderful post! We dont have any chickens...but we certainly eat eggs ;-) Jason eats 4-6 eggs every morning!!! We do have friends give us fresh eggs occasionally and they are so much better tasting! One day, maybe we will be blessed with some land and be able to do all the things we want to do. Until then, Ingles here I come.

Jody said...

We were afraid they would be too much trouble, but they really aren't and it takes care of most all of our scraps! That's been a good part. The feed they eat isn't very cheap, so if we were thinking it was going to save us money, it really doesn't. Actually our eggs probably cost a bit more now, but they are sooooo much better. We really are loving this part of our farming. I didn't do this as a kid, so it is new to even me.
Hopefully, you will be able to do this as well someday. Thanks for visiting!
Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

stacy harris said...

Looks like you are doing an awesome job with the chickens. We made a chicken tractor that we moved with old bicycle wheels. We have about 50 chickens now so we have a bon-a-fide chicken coop, but we use our chicken tractor to house our baby chicks that have outgrown the brooder, but are too small to be with the big chickens. All of our 7 kids love caring for the chickens. The eggs and chickens taste better than the grocery store chickens and make the best broth!~! Keep having fun doing what you are doing. Awesome! Stacy

Jody said...

Thanks Stacy for your encouragement! We sure are enjoying the chickens. Wish we were getting a few more eggs, we have had several friends wanting to buy them, but we haven't had that many yet. Not sure where we will go from here, but it's been fun!
Thanks for coming over to my blog to check us out. I feel so very honored! I will stay in touch and will be looking forward to your new book this coming year.
I am really just trying to learn to cook and enjoy the wild game. We have plenty, but we have been used to beef for so long, it has been hard to incorporate others. We have an abundance of turkey but have not tried cooking them. I will be going to your book soon to help me. My husband and son makes the absolute BEST venison stew that we all LOVE! It is really the best! Again, thanks for stopping by!
Always Experiencing Him,
Jody

Savories of Life said...

We just got chickens too! This is a blog I enjoy!http://fresh-eggs-daily.blogspot.com/

We eat 15 eggs every day so really need to get younger chickens. we were given some older ones.

You need a light in the house to get more eggs. Chickens need 15 hours of light!

Thanks for the note!! Tell your friends about giveaway!! New giveaway each Saturday!

momof3girls said...

Thank you for visiting my blog. Your chicken coop is so cute! I love it. I would have liked to do the tractor but we couldn't. I can't wait to start getting eggs. Until then we just go out twice a day and visit with our girls. :)

Jody Dake said...

Thanks for all your sweet comments! Momof3girls the eggs are soooooo much better than the store bought ones. The ones in the store just look fake to us now, and bleached. Anyway, so blessed by some friends who gave them to us, but yes, we will need to get some more sometime soon.
In His Grace,
Jody