My chicken coop is done! And it has chickens in it! Chickens!
It started as a Christmas gift from Alastair. We chose a part of the garden and he and Jeff dug in and cemented in the posts (this chicken coop is forever, baby).
It was halted by some bad weather.
But not for long.
And some Herculean effort by Alastair, Melissa and I saw off the coop outside completion.
Next came the hen house – built by re-using large elements of the twins’ now-outgrown playhouse, Alastair started work.
And then it got painted many times with weather-resistant paint.
It’s done really well – the roof comes off for easy cleaning.
The sides come up for easy cleaning.
The nesting box lid comes up for easy access to eggs and easy cleaning (if you see a pattern here, it’s because I “hen sat” for a neighbor who has hens a few weeks back, and there were valuable lessons learnt about the hens’ messiness).
And then my very clever stepdaughter painted the hen house to look like a gingerbread house, which I thought was a stroke of genius.
It was then time.
We went to a local poultry farm and brought back three chickens. The first one (an escape expert whose wing I clipped this morning), a breed called Campine which is thus named Charles Darwin:
A fluffy, dozy, docile while Sussex named Mathilda:
And a type called a Bluebelle, which has been named Rick Grimes.
I have a chicken coop. And three hens. And in two weeks’ time, three ex-battery, caged rescue hens are joining (they have already been named – they are Henry, Rapunzel, and Buffy the Vampire Layer. Every member of this family got to choose a name for a hen, some of the choices will be obvious who chose them!). We’ve already been told they’ll be in rough shape, will be timid, and will be without feathers. To which end my lovely neighbor has started knitting hen jumpers in anticipation, as they’ll be without defences for bit.
I have wanted to have chickens for years, it’s finally here, and I am beside myself.
PS – People have been emailing and asking, and no, I’ve not quit yet. I am going to stop blogging this year, that much is true. It’s not just yet, although trust me when I tell you that when I hang up the proverbial keyboard, I’ll be clear about it. I’m still here. Just.