Well, I did it! I got my coop built just in time to accept three new additions into my home! The man who sold me the birds was impressed with how nice the coop was, and frankly, so am I. The coop weighs like a million pounds and will be hard to move outside but I should have plenty of extra hands to help with it when the time comes.
I ended up with three, year-old Australorps; just the way I wanted! They are three very distinct birds. One of them struts around like a rooster, head high and feathers gleaming irridecent green. This bird just pushes past the other two and walks over them, but clearly isn’t desperate to be in-charge or assert her authority. Not actually sure where she stands on the social ladder. One of the trio has an underdeveloped comb and is constantly calling with a cranky voice and hanging back, but she is also pushy and moody. Her smaller comb will be less-prone to frostbite. The third is kind of boring and inbetween. She is exactly what I would expect from a chicken.
They are currently staying in my finished coop in the garage and what would normally be their outdoor pen is just one of the grow-crates for weaned rabbits. As such their space is limited but they seem to be comfortable. They got half a seedless watermelon that I got and couldn’t finish earlier in the month. They were very excited.
The good news is that these birds are the calmest chickens I think I have ever met. While they seem to call almost constantly, they let me pick them up, hold them down and pet them without a fuss. These are well-socialized birds and did not even make a fuss when Nukka came barreling to see what was making the crazy noises in the garage. The dog was scolded and sent back in without incident but she keeps trying to get back out. The door to the garage is passed the kitchen, which is forbidden territory so she is in a lot of trouble.
So far we’ve gotten no eggs, though that’s harly surprising. Today is the greyest, gloomiest day ever with the whole city wrapped in cold fog and rain for the past few days. Between that and the fact that they moved it’s no surprise that they’d take a few day’s break from laying eggs.
Still, I have high hopes for these chickens and I keep feeling like I should pop out and check on them to look for eggs. It’s unreasonable and I never expect to find one but I keep doing it anyhow. I had a couple of procellain salt shakers that were white and about egg-sized. I put one in each of the nest boxes. Maybe tomorrow I’ll find a brown egg next to them! If nothing else I think a little chicken poo would not go amiss in my yellowing tomato plants. I think they’re a little desperate for nitrogen!
Later I will update with a full post on how I built the chicken coop. But for now, I rest. I seriously need it.