It wasn’t long after we settled the goats in when we received a call from the family we adopted them from. They were getting ready to move and still had not found a home for their laying hens. Chickens were always part of the plan but things seemed to be moving darn fast! After a quick conversation with my husband we decided this was a good opportunity to get settled in with an older flock rather than starting with baby chicks.
Enter the Henrietta’s… and a rooster named Peanut
We ended up with 6 laying hens and a rooster named Peanut within about three days of the first text. I should probably mention here that we were in the middle of a kitchen demo so my husband was very clear he would not be building me a chicken coop! The plan was for them to bring them by on Monday which meant I needed to work quickly.
Tractor Supply and Amazon
We have learned since owning this little farm that when we are unsure of something or need something in a pinch to head to tractor supply. That is exactly what I did here. I took my husband’s truck and went chicken coop shopping. After looking online, I had a good idea what I wanted so the process was simple. Here is a list of everything we picked up that first day. Remember we adopted a flock that was already being cared for. This meant things like waterers and feeders were being provided, however I will include links for the ones we used as well.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Additional Items You Will Need
- Waterer – We received one from the previous owner however there are plenty of options out there.
- Feeder- Our chickens seem to prefer eating from a bowl, however try a couple different options to find what they like best. If we use something more contained our rooster just knocks it over
The chicken coop we decided on was large enough to hold 8 chickens. When I set it up I was absolutely convinced it wasn’t big enough. Specifically the enclosed area that we call “the apartment” However, with time I, like most new chicken owners, learned they don’t take up much space. There are 3 nesting boxes, however they all use one. Two small roosting poles inside the apartment, that they all squeeze to sit on, and one larger one in the run.
Daily Chicken Care
Our chickens spend the day in the pasture with the goats and pigs. However, for the first week we were instructed to keep them in their coop for them to recognize that it is their home. The very first night they went into the apartment on their own so that wasn’t an issue at all. We originally thought we would need to fence off a area in the pasture for them but decided not to. The first day we let them out of their run they were happy as can be running amongst the chickens and exploring the whole pasture.
Chickens are strange creatures. We love the fresh eggs every day but the things they get themselves into results in more laughs then I ever would have imagined. Interestingly enough a few of them seem to be independent. We have stuck with calling all the ladies Henrietta. There are days we come home and one is on one end of the pasture, two are in the middle and the rest are in the coop. Very different behavior then goats who are always together in a little herd. Overall, they are simple to take care of. We feed them in the morning with everyone else then when they are done eating we let them out for the day. Once nightfall comes, they go to their apartment to sleep and we repeat the process in the morning!
We are pleased with our little flock. They are low maintenance and provide us breakfast every morning! I have heard all the stories of “chicken math” but I think we have just enough for the two of us. If you have been considering chickens I would recommend it. Caring for animals is very rewarding, it’s a great way to teach your children responsibility, and you get eggs!