Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gone Coopin'

One random May morning the thought came to me: wouldn't backyard poultry husbandry be just the thing to do? Fresh eggs, happy hens, cute coop and children raised raising animals...yes, most definitely let's try this.

That very afternoon, our first batch of chicken came from a local farmer, who sold us 6 Cochin chickens, each 7 weeks old. He was pretty sure they were all hens, but not 100% (more on this later). Soon after we added to the flock 2 Black Sex Links, 3 Rhode Island Reds at 3 weeks old, and 2 Buff Orpingtons and 2 Red Chanteclers at 1 week of age. These girls came from a local feed store.

And then we realized chicken keeping can be an addiction. And oh boy, we're up to 15 pullets. And no coop yet, much less an insulated one suitable to winter over these birds in the Alaska temps. Long story short:

  • We built a fancy chicken coop and run from entirely recycled materials
  • We integrated the three flocks who up to this point had been raised separately
  • Discovered that 2 Cochin and 1 Rhode Island Red chickens were indeed cockerels (farmer guy had a 33% error rate in sexing his Cochins)
  • Re-homed the Rhode Island Red because it was singled-out by the other two roos
  • Depending on level of crowing we may have to re-home the other two as well (by re-home I mean re-home to the stock pot) but roos are so regal and decorative, and fun to watch that we hope to keep them with the girls
  • The oldest flock should start laying any day now
  • So far we named 9 chickens: Disco Pants, Disco Pants Jr., Lemon, Peep, Dot, Beyonce, Cher, Celine Dion and Brittney Spears.

For the record, summer 2014 has been incredibly rainy. So rainy in fact, that sink holes began to pop up around town, including several small ones in our yard. Fairbanks broke a 100 year-old precipitation record, and all I could think was how spot-on my post was years ago about the summer plagues of the Interior.  But the biggest news this summer at This Alaskan Backyard was Big Fish's departure for a year to study in Europe. Yes, our beloved Big Fish has fled the coop. Perhaps there is something Freudian in my sudden interest in collecting chicks -given the fact that one has slipped from under my wings.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...