Our Backyard Farmette: Six Chickens And a Stray Cat

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It felt like an eternity from the time that we got chickens until the time we found the first egg, but that time is here. We are still in the stage where finding eggs in the coop is like a treasure hunt even if chickens add daily chores.

Organic eggs (even cage free eggs, although I’ve learned that term is more marketing than value) are so expensive. We finally decided to buy our own chickens to save money + start the mini farmette dream. 😉 It turns out we still aren’t really saving that much if we want to feed our chickens quality, non gmo feed, but gathering eggs from healthy chickens in my backyard is still preferable to the grocery store.

My husband browsed online for ideas, then worked on designing our very own chicken coup over the next month or so. He is currently employed as a carpenter, so having the tools he needed was plus. He only paid for the wire fencing, staples, a few pieces of wood, and odds and ends like hinges and door handles, if I remember correctly. The rest was completely from scrap. Even the metal roof was leftover from re-roofing our backyard shop.

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I love how it turned out, and I am honestly so proud of his creativity. There’s a ramp up to the coop, a place to roost inside, plus four nests for egg laying. I can’t forget the ingenious poop tray that slides out from below the slats inside the coop. Makes for easy cleanup, which is great because chickens are stinky creatures.

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I have a love hate relationship with our little farmette consisting of six chickens which require child-like monitoring and a stray cat which insists on being a permanent resident around the house. Let’s get real, we all know it’s because humans have food. Her incessant mewing is very frustrating, but my compassion keeps me from rage most of the time. She definitely makes front porch relaxing less relaxing though. My husband can’t stand when she rubs against him or her pathetic begging or the fact that she reproduces more cats. I occasionally can’t stand the chickens, so I guess things are square.  🙂

I want the chickens to roam free quite a bit during the day to get exercise and peck on green things, but they have to be watched so they don’t go into the garden to feast or come on the front porch to waddle around and randomly poop. It is not fun chasing chickens out of mischief with a big belly. I’ve learned that it’s best to let them out in the evenings if we are outside or during the hottest time of the day when they gravitate towards the shade and away from the garden.

However annoying chickens can be, we do like them, mostly for their eggs and also their entertainment. I sometimes wonder if they have brains. It’s so funny watching them randomly charge (half flying) across the yard for no apparent reason or squawk at each other in a ruffle of feathers. We’ve discovered that instead of running like the others when being shooed, one chicken freezes in a squat and allows us to pick it up. It’s pretty amusing and cute.

I call them loony airheads. The other day, one chicken climbed on top of the coop and had a hard time not sliding down the slick metal. Why, chicken? I think I finally know the answer to the age old, “Why did the chicken cross the road” question. Here’s my answer. Ready? It didn’t know why either. 🙂

Happy Wednesday, folks!

© Brenda Kanagy

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