This is a journal of my vegetable gardens. Skippy was my first dog and he thought the garden was his, even though I did all the work. Now Suzie and Charley follow in his footsteps. We're located near Boston (USDA zone 6A). I have a community plot, a backyard vegetable garden, fruit trees, berry bushes, chickens, and bees. I use sustainable organic methods and do my best to grow all of my family's vegetables myself.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

new chicken coop

Since I'm waiting to start my vegetable garden - I'm getting some chickens!

Copy of IMG_5376 Today we set our new chicken coop into place in our new back yard. Its a small (3 x 4 feet), sturdy coop with an attached run. I've ordered 3 pullets for arrival midweek from McMurray Hatchery. Exciting! I hope I can figure out how to care for them.

The 3 pullets (hens 18-22 weeks old) I ordered are three different varieties: Black Australorp, Araucana/Ameraucana, and light brahma. I did a lot of reading on different varieties and in the end, not quite sure why I selected the ones I did. They look nice! I want to raise chickens for eggs, to eat bugs (especially the prolific ticks we have) and to help provide manure for the vegetable garden. The Araucana is a very good layer with beautiful green or blue eggs. The Australorp is gentle and also a good layer. Brahma's are heavily feathered, winter hardy, regal and beautiful. All should be good for our cold winter around the corner, I hope.

We placed the coop in a sheltered location near to our back door. Next spring, I think we'll move it down closer to the vegetable garden, but the current location will be easier for me to get to if we have a lot of snow this winter. We leveled the coop well, then I added pine shavings inside the coop and nesting boxes. I hung the waterer in the run and the feeder in the coop. Tomorrow we will put some poultry wire around the base for predator protection (I hear the Fisher cats are the worst around here). Then we will wait for the birds.... I hope they will like my dogs..... and vice versa ...

Copy of IMG_5366



Blogger Ashlee said...

Yay! That is so exciting! Chickens are the gateway drug to farm animals, so just be careful!

November 17, 2013 7:38 AM

Blogger Dan Huber said...

Consider hanging a non heat lamp in the coop on a timer to keep day length long to keep them laying during winter- works well for us although the rooster thinks it means time to crow every 15 minutes at night.
Great looking coop and run!

November 17, 2013 7:52 AM

Blogger Karen Anne said...

Really be careful predators can't get in. I'm a chicken blog voyeur, and losing chickens to predators seems all too frequent. They seem to be able to get through defenses that seem adequate.

November 17, 2013 10:45 AM

Blogger Renate Waas said...

We had chicken for some years. Great for eggs and manure!
We had a heatable waterer for winter. Very helpfull.
Good luck with yours!
Greetings from Munich

November 17, 2013 12:41 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your coop, where did you find it?

November 17, 2013 2:48 PM

Blogger kathy said...

My friend just lost half of her chickens to hawks. I think with the leaves off the trees now the hawks can spot them easily.

November 17, 2013 6:32 PM

Blogger kathy said...

We got the coop at the Essex Coop, in Topsfield MA. It was quite and experience to get it home since they don't deliver to Lincoln. We rented a U Haul trailer and it just barely fit! The good news is it did fit and we drove it home. Its got wheels and handles, but is very heavy and not so easy to move, especially on a slope.

We did get a heated waterer. Glad to hear that's worth getting.

November 17, 2013 6:35 PM

Blogger Stefani Bel said...

To me sounds like an adventure! I clicked in the links for the pictures of the chicken and they did look nice! lol!

November 17, 2013 7:00 PM

Blogger The Stay @ Home-Gardener said...

Beautiful Run. :)

November 18, 2013 5:49 PM

Anonymous Overall Gardener said...

I have always wanted Black Australorps, as they are supposed to be fantastic layers. As luck would have it the day I went to the feed store to pick out chicks there were no Australorps to be had. I currently have a Barred Leghorn and a Barred Rock. They have been delightful--fabulous layers for this first 1.5 years and full of personality (definitely wasn't prepared for what great personalities chickens have!). Another plus: since the leghorn lays white eggs and the Barred Rock lays brown, I always know who is slacking!

November 25, 2013 1:15 AM


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