A dream of mine is quickly coming to reality! About 3 years ago I got a bee in my bonnet about wanting to keep chickens. The timing never was right until we moved into our current home - it came with a chicken coop. Could it have been any more perfect?
Every January, Washington experiences a very brief window of Spring-like weather and yesterday and today has probably been in the low 50's. It was enough to pull me out of my hibernation, get the kiddo outside and take a good look at our backyard that has been forgotten about for the last 4 months.
I decided that now is the time for me to begin our chicken journey. Am I crazy to start this endeavour when I am 4-6 weeks away from delivering Ruby? Maybe. But to be honest it won't be that hard or crazy because I've decided to start with poullets (adolescents), which will either be at the very start of their egg laying years or will come into that time once the weather warms up. No hatching eggs or keeping watch over a brood of cute fluffies. That can come when my girls are old enough to appreciate it!
Today I spent a good part of the afternoon cleaning out our coop. There was still old bedding and manure leftover from the previous inhabitants so I grabbed a shovel and a rake and got to work. A part of me is really wary - could this burst of energy be thanks to some extra Vitamin D or is Baby Ruby going to make her appearance soon? Hopefully not - my goal is to keep that little girl safe and sound inside until no less than 37 weeks, otherwise the birth center delivery that I have been planning on will not be an option.
In a very short amount of time I was left with this honestly quite glorious pile of organic matter that needed some attending to. My raised beds are still full of weeds and I didn't want to ask Adam to schlep the manure over to them only to have it all lay there for who knows how long (and increase the likelihood of Squirt rolling around in it). So I walked over to one of the families that we've gotten to know in the last couple months and asked them if they were interested in manure (kind of an awkward conversation - hey, how are you, so do you want some poop?). As it turns out they have a very successful vegetable garden and would LOVE my old poop. The mama sent over her two boys who loaded it all up, cleaned out the rest of my coop for me and that was that. Score! I look forward to trading poop for veggies this summer :)
The coop was left with pretty much all the supplies I need - milk crates for nesting boxes, a feeder and two watering thingys. All I need is bedding, food and .. chickens, of course!
I got connected with a sweet gal married a college acquaintance and we got to talking chickens for hours this week via facebook. She has been so helpful and I'm excited to have someone to talk chickens with as I begin my journey. I called around and have been connected with a farmer a little north of us who sells poullets and next Saturday Adam will be picking up 3 ladies for me (Barred Rocks) and the adventure will truly begin!
Here's what we're starting out with. You will never see it featured on Pinterest, but is structurally sound. I've got ideas on a chicken coop Pinterest board for when we have less projects on our to-do list. But for now it will suit its purpose.