Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Two Lady Chickens and One of Questionable Gender

We love our chickens! They have brought us a lot of joy from the get-go. This summer, with the help of Mo and Dad, I built them a house of their own. A coop if you will. we looked at the fancy coops at the seed and feed, but it cost $300! So I took a photo of the professional one and copied it. Guess how much mine cost?...$294.78. So much for self-sufficiency and ingenuity. But here it is:

the coop that carrie built

Since we don't know that much about chickens we don't know what they need. For instance, they have begun to lay eggs (!!!!) but like to hide them in the yard (they LIVE for escape) or under the coop where it is hard for us to get them. I know this is normal chicken behavior, but I think I need to build them a "safe place" for their egg laying. (I actually SAW an egg come out of Pansy, it was awesome. She just laid it and kept on walking. I think she had been holding it for a couple of days.)

Here are the grown chickens:

Rosie, the Rhode Island Red...

the Rhode Island Red

Rosie lays brown eggs. Rosie is the most friendly and unafraid. She will always come right up to me and let me touch her and pick her up. She likes people more than Pansy or Basil.

Pansy, an Araucana, yes, she is supposed to have those crazy neck feathers...

Pansy dead on

Pansy was our first "layer" and lays blue-green eggs...very Martha Stewart... Pansy is the most "worldly" of our chickens. She was the first to become "a woman" and therefore holds a "motherly" role in the flock...

And this is Basil, the other Araucana...

Basil

Basil got an herb name rather than a flower name because I was suspect of her/his gender from the beginning. I suspected that she might be a rooster, which she definitely is not, but she has yet to grow a comb (the red wobbly thing) and she doesn't yet lay eggs. She is the most shy and unassuming of the chickens and I love her anyway.

Don't chicken have a "raptor" feel close up? Like you could mistake a really big chicken for a non-flying eagle?

the Aracaunas

They are sweet birds who love their chicken food and fruit. They hate being penned up in the dog run (now the chicken run) because they are used to roaming free. But Todd and I became increasingly concerned the farther they wondered. When our friends called us one day to say that they found the chickens crossing the road (hilarious...I know) we decided to contain them a little.

Basil's in the house

But now they have safety, and constant shade, and shelter from sprinklers and rain. If anyone needs fresh eggs...we'll put in an order.

13 comments:

Sean, Jen and Carson said...

I love your chickens and I find myself trying to catch a glimspe of them everytime I drive by your house. You should have seen us trying to chase them back across the road to your house...we looked crazy, but it was a lot of fun!

Sadie Lou said...

aaww i love your chickens! that must be so much fun! and you were very creative with ther names. how do you remember which one is which? and you did a very nice job on your chicken house:)

andrea said...

hmm. chickens. oddly enough, i find this interesting. not to sound sadistic, but will they ever be fried? or are they the kind you will just love and hold and call 'george'?

Megan said...

You have chickens?! That is so cool. They are quite astonishing close up I have to agree.

Suzie Petunia said...

Yes, very eagle-like indeed. So, what IS up with Basil? She/He's a "weird bird". (I'm killin' myself here with the chicken jokes!) But really, why do they have those red hangy-downy things and what does it mean if they don't have one? Have you considered genetic testing?

mo said...

I'm so proud of my lovely "Grandchickens!" I'm especially proud of the two who are earning their keep and we'll keep hoping for the best with Basil. Maybe the name is confusing to her/him. Is there such a thing as a hermaphrodite chicken? I'm so glad you finally blogged about your beautiful chicken palace. It's so nice!

emma jo said...

Your amazing projects never cease to amaze me...do you wash the eggs and disinfect them before consumption? Maybe you could do a little test with Basil...like putting a boy chicken and a girl chicken cardboard cutout in from of "it" and then see which one she chooses...on second thought, that wouldn't really prove anything except that some people in Utah are just as liberal as they are in New England. We'll just love and accept Basil for who they are, whatever that may be.

JP said...

oh, how you made me giggle with the "very Martha" comment. Does she knit or needlepoint while she does her thing? :)

Sadie Lou said...

oh and i am absolutely in love with your party shoes of the moment! they are just so sparkely and gorgeous!!! you have great taste. are those shoes really yours like you own them?

brittany said...

I can't believe you built that. That is very impressive. It's funny that it cost the same to make it as to buy it. in an ironic and annoying sort of way. But I like that you made it better than if you had bought it.

These comments about basil are cracking me up.

When we had Sally, it never failed to entertain me when she would cross the street.

Sarah said...

Love the coup!! It's very cute and I would be happy to live my chicken life there. As for Basil...maybe she's just a late bloomer. We all know one of those!

Carrie Ann said...

Just a little update: we think Basil might be laying eggs even though she does not yet have a comb. Come on little Basil! You can do it!

cotton_in_the_medicine_bottles said...

Hi there,
I stalk your blog on an irregular basis, but I had to comment on this post because I am currently reading "Chickens in Your Backyard." If you put an egg-like object where you want them to lay, they will think it is a safe place for laying eggs and will start to lay there. That's what the book says. I have yet to find out for myself. I need to talk to you in person...