I've shown you my coop, now it's time to show you it's occupants. I'd like you to meet MIss Maisey, Ruby, Liza, and Olive, or as I call them, the girls. The first picture is what they looked like the day I got them. They were only a couple of days old. They lived with their brothers and sisters (54 in total!) at my daughter's house for the first 2 months, then I brought them home to their own coop. The second picture is what they look like now.
As you can see by this picture, getting four chickens in one frame is no easy feat. I tried, but I couldn't get them all to look at me...
So now it's time for individual portraits and formal introductions.
First up is Miss Maisie, a Buff Orpington. Buff's are very friendly and are great mamas, even though that won't be a part of Miss Maisie's life because I don't have a rooster. All of the girls are just over 2 months old, so they aren't finished growing. Miss Maisie will be a big fluffy girl when she's mature. When the time comes, she will lay brown eggs.
Next up is Ruby. Ruby is a Red Star and a reliable layer. She also lays brown eggs.
My third girl is Olive. She's a big Americana. Her comb will never get very big and she will have feathers that will come out of the sides of her face. They are just beginning to appear now, but don't really show up in photos yet. I'm very excited to see what color her eggs will be. They can be either blue or green.
I've saved the best, or at least the funniest, for last. Meet Liza, my Silver Polish. She has a big floppy hat of feathers that covers her head and most of her eyes. She's a tiny little bird and she likes to keep to herself. She won't be a regular layer but when she does lay, they will be small white eggs.
I love my girls. They each have a different personality and are so fun to watch. I won't get any eggs until spring, but when I do I'll show you how beautiful they are with their vivid orange yolks.
Now, in case you're considering getting some chickens of your own, I'd like to give you some advice. You see, I went into this adventure not really knowing what I was doing or what to expect. The first thing you should know is that chickens eat everything in sight. Maybe not literally, but when it's your beautifully landscaped yard, it seems like everything. That's why I decided to build my chicken run. Now I can control which parts of the yard the girls have access to each day, and I can rotate and therefore, limit their destruction. The up side to their appetites is that they love kitchen scraps, everything from meat, to fruit, to veggies, so now I have almost no waste in my kitchen.
Secondly, they poop a lot and can be a little smelly. That's easily remedied by keeping their coop clean. The poop is great fertilizer, so I put it in my flower beds when I clean their coop.
They have plenty of predators even in the city, so make sure they are well protected. Cats, dogs, raccoons, foxes, and skunks are all city dwellers who will kill chickens. It is imperative that they be closed up at night.
Lastly, make sure you are allowed to keep chickens wherever you live. In my area we can have chickens as long as they are confined but we can't have roosters.
If all of that sounds okay, then go for it!
I'll keep you posted...