Raising chickens last season went fairly well, but our flock dwindled a bit due to natural attrition and predators. Apparently, chickens sometimes up and die unexpectedly. This is why I absolutely refuse to name our gals, fearing I'll get too attached and have a hard time saying goodbye. Known as “sudden death syndrome,” they'll occasionally keel over dead due to unidentified causes. Most likely a heart attack or egg blockage in their reproductive tract. Chicks can also die of suffocation from piling up on each other, or from being attacked. Raccoons got a couple of ours before the coop was totally secured, and we had to make dinner out of a rooster that attacked Sidekick. We never intended to have roosters, but a couple of our chicks have been sexed wrong.
I'm now calling them “tasty mistakes.”
Anywho, we had to get some more chickens. Oma and Opa have been working on their coop for awhile, so they went ahead and finished it up and raised some hens from chicks for us with their own first flock. The best way to introduce new chickens is to raise them adjacent to the older hens so that they become familiar with each other. You combine them only when the new chickens are big enough to hold their own in a fight.
The other way to grow a flock is to give a broody hen fertilized eggs in hopes that she'll raise them up as her own. However, we didn't feel confident in our abilities to handle chicks from that delicate stage, and we didn't have the resources to have a second enclosure. So Oma and Opa got to foster.
The process of building a coop can be surprisingly creative. There are as many ways to set up a chicken coop as there are breeds of chickens. Opa opted to construct an adorable barn-style shed with a fenced run out front.
BEHR sent us some of their exterior Marquee paint in a color I am madly in love with. “Red My Mind.” Together with Premium Plus 1850 Ultra Premium Pure White, it makes a classic country backdrop.
We're wrapping up our home's neutral grey revamp, and I've been looking for a bright color to add some interest to our shed, outdoor furniture and accents. I think a splash of red could tie it all together. What do you think?