Raising Chickens – Week Six

This post should have hit the blogosphere 3 weeks ago but things have been rather hectic of late so I’m running “a little” behind schedule.

The chickens or as I should rightly call them now “the pullets” are nine weeks old and thriving in their new digs.

So luxurious that even I was tempted to kip down there amidst those aromatic macrocarpa shavings …. just kidding.

One afternoon a few weeks back when I disappeared for 40 minutes or so my better half asked me if I had been taking a nap in the coop. With some indignation I replied that I hadn’t and that I had climbed the fence to have a chin wag with our neighbour.

I was amazed and amused that she even thought that of me … slept in hay barns, tents and other strange place in my youth but a chicken coop, no thank you.

When the pullets are not in the coop they’re enjoying what remains of our vegetable patch. I’m not overly worried about that as the season is mostly over and the cabbages and broccoli are secure behind bird mesh.

Raising these girls from day old chicks has been totally uneventful and the eight we started with have so far evaded disease and predators. One of the secrets to raising chickens is maintaining good hygiene standards.

One of our biggest concern has been our neighbour’s cats however now they are pullet size we feel our brown shavers should be able to fend for themselves. Having said that we don’t let them free range for too long and always keep an eye out for unwelcome visitors.

Two weeks after getting the chickens I began building the coop and a further two weeks later we moved them into their new digs. At that point they were six weeks old and very much in need of more space. Now that the coop is fully functional looking after our feathered friends is certainly much easier and less time consuming. All that remains to be done now is to build a fixed plus a mobile run so that they can be truly free range.

We’re really looking forward to the first eggs which I estimate to be about another nine weeks away.

I’ve never built a chicken coop before and upon commencement was a little apprehensive but I needn’t have been because it all went very smoothly. The coop was constructed mainly after work and on a couple of very long Saturdays. It proved to be a challenging but yet a fun project. So much so that I have grey matter plans for making another.

No not more chickens, it will be for sale.

If you’re interested let me know ….

When time allows within the next two to three weeks I will publish some photos of the new hen house and how it went together. The photo below shows pullets at 9 weeks.

Holding two pullets

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