The First Step to Recovery is Admitting You Have a Problem

I am addicted to chickens. Big chickens, little chickens, white chickens, colourful chickens, roosters and chicks.

I had always known that I wanted a little hobby farm of my own one day. I didn’t need a large scale production, I just wanted a small flock of my very own animals to love on. I’d imagine myself like all those little videos you see online, loving on baby animals, taking funny videos of my animal antics and perhaps even teaching them tricks.

Last Spring when I moved in with Dan, he got the ball rolling on my dream. We fenced off sixteen acres of land surrounding the house with a section of pasture included. We spent a month of “team-building” and had built our first coop. We had a total of eleven laying hens and one rooster in our coop throughout the summer and this past winter. They have been great! We get on average about five or six eggs a day and some days are better than others and we end up with ten. The chickens are spoiled as far as chickens go. They get our veggie scraps from the house, the odd treat of meal worms and of course watermelon now and again. I got into the habit of trying to hand feed treats, and my determination has paid off. We now have several hens in the coop that will jump for treats. How can your heart not be happy with jumping chickens?!

With work being a little slower lately for Dan, we have had more time together here at the house. We’ve been trying to keep busy and get things done. How I know that I’m not the only one in the house with chicken fever, amidst his time off, Dan suggested we make another chicken coop. He had a plan, made some drawings and we began. Yes you heard me right, it was all Dan’s idea! We took an old truck canopy from his dad’s farm, fixed it onto a wooden frame and wired off the bottom for a covered run. We then decided to keep with the truck theme and construct a truck looking coop to accompany it. I couldn’t be more happy with how it all turned out, and believe it or not this time went a little smoother. I think we are definitely learning more about each other and working better together. I can’t wait for the snow to completely disappear so we can get this Polish Pickup Palace parked in the backyard.

This coop will serve as the introductory coop for our newest little flock members. It will fit perfectly inside of the big run we are planning on building for both coops to use. Introducing new chickens can be stressful for the birds and for the humans, but this should help to alleviate some of that. The already established flock we have will get a chance to interact with the new chickens through a wire screen before we let them all free range in their together. It will also help to keep any bugs or disease out of our flock by having this quarantine space.

And speaking of our newest little flock members, everyone is growing like weeds! We have six Polish babies that are currently residing out in the window of Dan’s man room which is attached to our garage. They will be the first bunch to make the move into the new coop. Inside in our laundry room we have six little Copper Maran babies. In a couple of weeks they will make the move into the man room to  get used to cooler temperatures before we also add them into the new coop.

We began the chick process with eight Polish babies, but with having any kind of livestock,

IMG_20160317_221940
Scissor beak

there is always a chance too for deadstock. Sadly, one of the little ones had what is called a scissor beak, meaning that the bottom and top beaks don’t align. The bottom beak on this
baby was skewed off to the one side and it makes it hard for them to be able to eat and drink. Try as we might, we gave it a chance but unfortunately lost this little one. We had two other little ones with other beak deformities, where the bottom beak hadn’t grown in properly and

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Lower beak deformity

was much much shorter than the top beak. This again makes it hard for them to eat and drink, and creates almost a double chin look which can cause food to become impacted. Again nature took its course and we have lost one of these two babies.
While we hold on to hope that the other will make it, only time will tell. That put’s us down to six Polish babies, who are all growing up so quickly. They are starting to get in the hair tufts or head feathers and continue to change daily. I can’t wait to see how they all grow.

 

Here are some updated pictures along with the names we have for some of them so far! Enjoy 🙂

 

One thought on “The First Step to Recovery is Admitting You Have a Problem

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