Friday, February 08, 2008

Peep PEEP!

I got the baby chickens! They're even more cute than I ever could have imagined.
Yesterday, I went to the feed store and picked them up. There is a whole wide world of chicken breeds out there that I knew NOTHING about, but those of you who know me well know that I have now totally obsessed and know a whole lot more about chickens than I ever thought possible. I definitely wanted to get an Ameracauna chick because they lay blue or green eggs. I also wanted a Rhode Island Red, usually prolific layers, and a Buff Orpington, who are supposed to be quite docile and friendly. All the chickens but the Buff Orpingtons were arriving this week and after conferring with friends-with-chickens, I decided it was better to get all four at the same time than try to introduce a baby chick to a few older chicks. Apparently, Buff Orpingtons can get picked on quite a bit and introducing a younger baby would just make that situation worse. So, I got: two Ameraucanas, one Rhode Island Red, and one Barred Rock.

I've had them for a little over 24 hours now and thre personalities are already starting to emerge. The Barred Rock seems to be the bossy one in the group. She shoves the others out of her way when necessary and will sometimes stand on the feed bowl and block the others from eating. The Rhode Island Red is super sweet and I can't quite tell the other two apart yet.

Here's a group photo:

The Rhode Island Red is in front, the bossy Barred Rock is the black one in back, and the two in the middle are the Ameraucanas.

Here's a close up of the RIR:

They already look different than yesterday, and I'll get some more close-ups of the others tomorrow. There little wing feathers seem to be changing quickly. They make lots of noise and just peep away, and when I walk over to them (they're in the dining room) they all stop peeping and look up at me. I'm trying to handle them a bunch, though they don't want too much to do with me at this point. It feels a little awkward to refer to them by their breed names, but I'm not ready to name them quite yet. Two of these babies will technically belong to my friend Kim, so I want her help in naming them. I also want to make sure that a: they're not roosters and b: they make it, before I get too attached.

The coop is almost completed, but they won't be able to go out there for at least a couple of months.

Here is the framing:

The roof is up and the floors are going in:

A view of the inside:

Little chicken staircase:

More pictures and info this weekend. Wish me luck, especially in regards to the small furry poodle who has suddenly found his mission in life is to get as close to the chicks as possible. And cry about it the rest of the time.


Phil said...

Seriously, does Ollie know that you didn't just buy a bunch of little chicken nuggets, you know, for snacks?

patrick said...

That's a beautiful hen house! Is it your design? (I am the same person who complimented it on flickr)


Stephanie said...

Thanks Patrick! No, it's mostly based on a design in the chicken coop book. I had done a buch of other stuff on the house, so I had leftover siding and roofing to use on it. The one thing I regret is that I probably would have made the run bigger...

Elizabeth said...

Did I ever tell you we raised chickens in Maine when I was little? We had a huge coup and were constantly up to our armpits in chicks. PS - Roosters are terrifying and still haunt my dreams...