Thursday, May 12, 2011

Silver Laced Wyandottes (AKA chickens) coming soon

The Husband has cleared out the yellow shed and prepared it for the arrival of some chickens. Our favorite shed is now going to be a chicken shack (yeah, I know it's called a coop, but this looks like a chicken shack) with a fenced area behind so they can wander a bit until they get used to where they live. There are still some details to work out, like getting water and electricity to the shed, but I think we can make do.

We also need to create some shade for them. You can see in the photo above how sunny it is out there, and the little gingko tree behind the woodpile did not survive the deer dining on its bark 2 years ago.

Predators are going to be our biggest problem. There are all sorts of critters who would love a nice chicken dinner, Lester the Critter Killer being the most immediate threat. We have also seen eagles, hawks, skunks, raccoons and coyotes, and just last week Dave (on a chance visit to The Dump) discovered 4 baby foxes under the trailer. Neither of us has seen a mink or bear, but we've heard enough stories of them being here that they could be a problem as well. And there are far too many stray (meaning hungry) cats in the area, not to mention the snakes and rodents who can steal our eggs.

Jim the Worker (as opposed to Jim the Builder) is going to sell us (or maybe give us) some older chicks, all hens. He has just the kind I want—Silver Laced Wyandottes. You can see in this borrowed photo that they are very pretty chickens, which would be enough for me, but they are also good layers and supposedly winter well in the frozen North Country. We are going to get 3 of them, and 2 "mixed reds". If our "starter flock" survives our care through the heat of summer, they will be well seasoned and bold enough to make it through the snowy winter. I hope.

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