Sunday, 9 October 2011

What Really Came First - The Chickens or the House?

I called my first blog post – The First Step and it was about building our house.  The truth is the first step was building the chicken coop.  I was so eager to have chickens that we built our chicken coop and bought our first layers before our house was built.  We spent many hours researching chickens and chicken coops on the internet and it’s fair to say we started this exercise from scratch with very little knowledge.
Garry designed and built two boxes for the chickens to roost in.  We then got started on building the chicken run.  For me it was important that they had plenty of space to free range.   We got our first layers a couple of days before Easter and our first egg on Easter Sunday.    We spent many hours just hanging around in the chicken coop watching and learning about what chickens do and after a few weeks we would let them out of the coop each day to roam free around the property but if we were outside they preferred to be with us.

They were very happy chickens but unfortunately we weren’t aware of just how smart foxes could be.  One night we lost 2 chickens to a fox who managed to scale the chicken run fence.   This was heartbreaking  for us and I wasn’t going to let that happen again.
We did some more research and ended up buying two mesh cages that we have joined together.  We attached the nesting boxes to the sides and can still retrieve the eggs without having to enter the cage.  The chooks put themselves to bed at night and we go up later and close the cage door.    The cage is completely enclosed so they are now safe not just from foxes but snakes as well.

At the moment we have 9 very happy healthy chickens who supply us with amazing eggs each day

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