This weekend we doubled the size of our family and brought home five chickens. Originally, we had planned on getting only pullets (chickens old enough to be outside but not yet laying), but when we looked on Craigslist Saturday morning the first ad was from someone close by looking for a home for their two chickens. A fox had gotten one of their chickens on Friday and they knew he would be back for the remaining two. So we got the Leghorn pictured above and a Buff Orpington. Unfortunately, the Buff Orpington was sick, so she currently is quarantined in our shed. Since she seems to be wheezing, Atticus set up a humidifier for her. She is now eating and moving around and not wheezing constantly, but still seems to be struggling. We are hoping she will get better in another couple of days. If not, well... Don't expect an update on that. The other three chickens are Wyandotte pullets: one silver laced wyandotte and two gold laced. We are hoping for a group of 6-7 chickens, so over the next couple of months we will keep our eye on Craigslist and add to the flock.
It has only been a couple of days, but so far I love having the chickens. They are quite amusing to watch and their sweet clucks make pleasant background noise. You can choose to interact with them or not. All three boys have also really taken to them. Finnan and Jude love to hold the chickens and feed them mealworms. Jude, in particular, just wants to hang out in the coop with them and coddle them. Rory is very interested in the birds and growls at them, as it is the only animal sound he has mastered. Only the Leghorn is laying eggs now, but it is such a treat to find those eggs.
I had assumed we would not name the chickens, but so far Atticus has named two of the chickens. Blanche is the white Leghorn. The smallest Wyandotte is Cuddles. Cuddles is the easiest to catch and hold.
Atticus (and Finnan) built this coop from almost all leftover materials that had been sitting around in our yard or at other construction sites. The only things he bought were the chicken wire and some of the hardware. There is a ramp that goes from the top enclosed part, which is where the chickens go at night, to the bottom. The top part was built separately from the bottom and can be taken off so we can more easily move the coop in the yard. When we know we will be outside for a while, we let the chickens out, but they already prefer their coop going in there when they are tired of exploring.