Meet the Ladies

Okay, as promised, now that the chickens come running to the end of the ark where I am even if I don’t call them (they’re hoping for scratch, and today was their lucky day), and now that I can even hold one of them regularly, I can now introduce them to you properly, ready?

From left to right we have: Roxy, Tilly, Sadie, Bonnie (the barred rock hiding behind the others), and Henrietta (Husband really wanted a Henrietta ūüėČ )

So, close up, here’s Roxy, the audacious Barred Rock.

And here’s Henrietta, the one that lets me hold her, and thus she’s rapidly becoming my favorite chicken. I picked her up Sunday and let 5-6 people pet her and she was pretty chill. ¬†And her feathers are so soft!

Tilly, the talkative one ūüėõ ¬†You can always tell where she is because she keeps up a near constant monologue.

Bonnie, the shy barred rock. ¬†But she’s not too shy about scratch, she just tries to stay out of the others way…

And look! someone left me a present :-) Yay! I like presents! ¬†It was still warm too. Now that’s a fresh egg.

By the way, this makes for great identity theft protection… not only do you shred all your papers, but then you use it as next box material. ¬†And when the chickens get confused and poop in the nest box, you compost the whole thing… yeah, no ones putting THAT back together.

The Chicken or the Egg-Part 2: the chicken!(s)

My chicken ark has chickens in it!

The girls arrived yesterday with my friend Shari (thanks, Shari! :-) ). ¬†They are all just about 1 year old. ¬†The big yellow ones are Buff Orpingtons and the black and white ones are Plymouth Barred Rocks. ¬†(never heard of an Orpington? it’s okay, neither has my spell checker ūüėõ ).

The birdies like scratch. (mix of cracked corn and grain). ¬†It’s like chicken crack.

Can you hear them? They’re saying, “Scraaatch, Scra, Scra, Scratch!) (or maybe that was clucking, but I’m pretty sure I heard them enunciating).

You looking at me?

mmm, wet stuff!



The Chicken Ark Saga (or "An Ode to my Husband")

So Friday night my ever patient and long-suffering husband went out of his way on a Friday to go pick up my chicken ark with me. He had a conference to go to down in west Nashville (Belle Meade for you locals) way, and we live in Hendersonville (north east of the whole shootin’ match for you non-locals).

We drove both cars cause I needed the truck for the ark, and he needed to not be stranded in west Nashville all night. We had the oh-so-brilliant idea of leaving the car at a mall that was on the way from the guy with the chicken ark’s house and the church where the conference was, even though it was slightly out of the way. But it shouldn’t have been more than a 10 minute detour and would leave the car in a great spot for Jody to sit and drink some java while working on sermon notes before the conference.

It was such a good plan.

Poor plan.

By the time we’d gotten about 7 miles down the freeway from where we get on, the plan was in critical condition, and life support wasn’t helping. A huge traffic back-up going the wrong way for a friday afternoon greeted us. Who goes into a city on a friday afternoon? I thought everyone was supposed to abandon ship and head for the suburbs. But not that day.

After inching our way down 65 S (something I’m not accustomed to in Nashville, but this was accident like inching, only I never saw an accident), we managed to sneak off onto a different freeway and all was well for a few minutes.

Then we were on to side streets and even my favorite back way to the mall wasn’t traffic free. By now we were late, much later then we thought we were going to be.

Well. we dropped of the car, called the dude to tell him we were running late, and hopped on the side road that should have been a 10 minute drive to dude’s house.

It took 35 minutes. No joke. More inching. I’m allergic to traffic after 7 years in LA, but poor Husband hates it with a passion. The fact that he braved it to help me fulfill my lifelong… okay long term… okay crazy thing I’ve wanted to do for about two years… dream just shows how much he truly must love me. Cause he sure doesn’t love chickens that much. Though he will like the eggs, right, honey?

The things we put our men through.

Here she is folks… the ark!

The sides with the metal handles and all the ends on both stories are removable. ¬†Removing the long sides give you access to clean it from either side. ¬†Removing the upper story ends lets you collect eggs from the nest boxes. ¬†Removing the larger lower story ends gives you access to the run to change out the food and water or let the chicken out if you wish. ¬†The long handles on either end allow it to be moved by two people. ¬†This coop is 8ft by 4 feet on the bottom (10 feet with the handles) meaning that there’s 32 square feet of run space. ¬†That’s enough run space for 4-5 birds especially considering that you move this every couple of days to give them fresh grass. ¬†The smaller coop space will serve to keep them warm at night as they’ll be closer together, and there’s 2 nest boxes, which considering you really only need 1 per every 4 birds is plenty.

This is a close-up of the “coop” area with the sides off. Notice the roost down the middle. This is handily removable to make it easy to clean the area.

End to end in the “coop” area looking through one nest box into the roost area.

Nest box close up.

View from the run area underneath which shows both how the chickens can have shade at noon, and the handy ramp to the roost area which pulls up if need be with that wire the runs from the right side up through the roof and out the back to a hook (when pulled up, visible in the first picture at the top of the post).

This plan is a Catawba Converti-Coop plan, built by a local Nashville wood-worker for me. ¬†If you want the plans, click here. If you’re in Nashville and want this coop, but don’t want to build it, leave me a comment with your e-mail addy, and I’ll send you the e-mail of the guy who did such a lovely job building this one!