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Chickens & Coop

Christmas Chickens

Chs1
I made a Christmas wreath for The Girls front gate from free clippings I picked up at the Home Depot. Did you know they'll give you free tree trimming clippings? Just ask! They're perfect for making simple wreaths or to hang as swags over hutches, cabinets or picture frames.

When I first hung the wreath I got a few funny head turning quizzical looks from my hens….

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But they soon realized it wasn't fresh food for them to nibble. And now they just ignore it. In other chicken news…they have all completely stopped laying eggs due to the lack of sunlight. Hens need 14+ hours of light a day to lay eggs. A lot of people install artificial lighting in their coops to keep their hens in production but we're giving ours a break and hope they'll start strong in the spring. Boy do we miss their eggs and I feel like a traitor buying them. At least I purchase organic, cage free eggs. Makes me feel a tiny bit better about the whole thing.

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Q & A and a Chicken Update

Chickens25
I’ve been getting lots of emails from folks wanting to know how The Girls have been doing. I’m always afraid of posting too much about them that I end up not doing so for months. So yesterday we wrangled them up and took a few photos. Here’s Ruby (above) our sweetest girl who sometimes acts like she’s our dog. And even though she’s the runt she lays the biggest eggs. Don’t know how she does it! She’s also the most curious and I’ve even found her perched on the family room mantle. We get a lot of laughs with that hen!

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The Twins, Marshmallow (left) and Souffle (right) have had quite the summer. Marshmallow is our broody bird, meaning she sits on the nest all day and will even settle on top of the other girls eggs. We’ve had to “quarantine” her in an outdoor airy pen for a day or two to stop the broodiness. It works like a charm and each time she goes back into the flock like nothing happened. Her twin Souffle is best friends with Lola (below right). They stick together all day and at night Lola will sleep on the perch with Souffle tucked underneath her wing. So cute!

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Butter (left) is still our squawker. She sort of acts like a grumpy old lady with her quiet clucking murmurs when you approach her. Sometimes I wonder what the heck she’s saying in her native chicken speak. She’s also very greedy and fast with the treats. The others have to be very quick or else Butter will get the worm…or carrot or corn kernel. But she is very reliable laying petite pinkish brown eggs almost daily.

Which brings us now to our dear Lola. You might remember my shocking discovery a few months back, well Lola is still laying eggs without shells. We’ve tried giving her more oyster shell, more sunshine, calcium, etc. and none of it seems to work. The Man wants to barbeque her and taunts me saying she’d be very delicious because she’s so big and plump. Terrible!

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The Girls and their home Chez Poulet also got a very nice little feature story in Country Living Magazine this summer! Looks like the chicken craze has really hit the nation. Go homesteading!

And lastly, we’ve decided to add a perimeter fence around the coop. To be honest, dealing with the droppings on my patio just wasn’t for me. We still need to level the dirt and add lots of plants for them to wander about. I’ll be sure to post photos when all the landscaping is complete!

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And since I get so many chicken email inquiries…I thought it would be fun to take your questions! Do you have something you’ve wanted to ask me about the chickens, coop or our suburban farm life? Just ask away in the comment section and I’ll answer them there!

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Chez Poulet Coop Plans!

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Finally! We’ve spent countless hours with an architect designing a professional set of plans for Chez Poulet and for those of you who have been emailing and waiting….today is the day!
The plans include 8 pages with more than 32 architectural drawings, diagrams, measurements along with a materials & hardware list and coop photos.
To check out the plans visit CoopPlans.bigcartel.com!

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