clucking and scratching in the dirt. Just watching makes you feel that everything is well with the world. During early spring if you stop by stores like Tractor Supply - yeah they do sell a lot more than tractor supplies, or Southern States you would see baby chicks in bins ready for purchase.
But if the chicken growing bug bites you you could buy chicks anytime of the year online. Ours came to us in June via online purchase from McMurray. They came in the mail (US Postal service) just hatched. Cute little things chirping softly with instructions to be fed sugar water and the young chick feed.
Chicks in the coop
The chickens are the cutest when they are just a few days old. They grow up pretty quickly and are fully grown in about 5-6 months. The breed that we purchased were the Australorps with a beautiful black plumage and generally well behaved.
Before deciding to purchase chicks you need to have a coop and a covered run. You need wire netting or some protection to prevent predators like raccoons, foxes, snakes etc., from entering the coop and eating the chickens.
The chickens stayed in the coop till they were about 2 months old, only then did they start going into the run for short periods of time. At night someone had to go close the coop so animals won't get them during the night.
The coop and the small run.
They outgrew the small run that came with the coop, so DH and DD2 started building a new run. Between both their schedules it took about 3 months to build even though the actual time to build it was less than 5-6 hours in total. They were starting to outgrow the bigger run too. But by then the cold temperatures were starting to kill off the plants. The chickens could be now let out to explore.
The bigger run.
When they about 6 months they started being generous and giving us eggs. What started as pee wee tiny eggs has now almost reached full size.
The laying area.
When anyone opens the gates to the fenced in area they run towards us and some of these chickens even allow us to pet them.
It is amazing to see how the rooster protects its flocks. When a hawk swoops down they run around and collect the flock and make them run to the safety of the coop.
The run is places against the opening so they cannot go out. Now that they are bigger they are out in the open most of the time and sleep in the coop during the night.
Our way out and in. We like it here :)
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