Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Life on the Farm / Meet our Chickens

I'm finally taking the time to introduce you to our chickens, the Trumps!
This is our rooster, The Donald:
And these are our ladies, Ivana, Marla and Melania:
Up until about three months ago, I could tell the ladies apart because of the differences in their comb (the red thing-y on top of their heads) sizes but now they're all the same!  They don't seem to mind me not knowing which one's which because they always greet me at the coop door when they hear my voice.
When we bought our little farm three years ago, we were so excited to fill up the existing chicken coop and run (caged "play" area) but it took us about two years to get around to it; so much to do on a farm!  Not only that, but honestly, this self-described "city girl" was a little apprehensive about caring for such creatures!  But I decided to be brave and could no longer stand mentioning we live on a farm and people asking, "Oh, what animals do you keep?" and having to respond with, "Our beagle."
Before we acquired the chickens, Paul set to work refurbishing the coop (wish I had "before" pictures) which was built with unfinished ply wood.  He replaced the warped wood with a pressure treated variety, replaced the coop roof with tin, added tarp to help keep the place dry and added new hardware on the door.  Looking at the improved coop, we were quite impressed but something was missing -- paint!  I waited until Paul was out of town on travel (I love to surprise people) and went a little crazy with the paint:
Now my favorite times of the day are my morning and evening walks out to the coop, situated out on the far end of our property, with our Beagle Twyla.  The wildly painted coop makes me smile and glad we don't have a homeowners association out here in the boondocks (no doubt they'd fine us for this splash of whimsy!).  When out there we visit with the Trumps, toss them scratch (cracked corn and seed that they love to snack on) and collect the girls' eggs.  The hens normally give us three eggs each day, more than we can eat so I share them with a couple of families in town.
Most people don't know chickens as well as they know dogs and cats, but these gentle birds are super easy to keep and care for -- just ensure they have plenty of food, water and shelter.  They spend their days scratching, making nests, flapping their wings and taking sun and dust baths.  I'm finding great joy in watching their daily antics -- flying up and roosting in the coop rafters, skwaking and clucking, and best of all, hearing The Donald crow!  No doubt The Donald is one happy rooster with the lovely hens sharing the coop (and, well, you know what he's doing!).
Paul's been talking about building a new coop designed with the nesting boxes elevated to keep the flock safer from predators.  I've done some online searching and found the most beautiful coop at http://www.heatherbullard.typepad.com/:
How sweet is this?  It's my dream coop!  Heather's blog is beautiful so please take a moment and visit.
Now that I've got you thinking about chickens, you may want to check into your neighborhood zoning rules -- many allow chickens.  For those not quite ready for this adventure, you may be interested in a Retro Revival "Farm Chic" apron:
This adorable number features, what else?  Chickens!  Visit http://www.retrorevival.biz/
to view over 60 apron options.
Please take a moment to leave a comment on this blog (and become a "follower" if you're not already) so that you'll be entered to win this month's free giveaway:
These kitschy, retro magnets are fun!  I'll randomly draw a winner on April 30th from all of the April comments.


Anonymous said...

love the names. hilarious! ~ Georgia

Paula said...

Cute coop - I love the paint job...

LAMusing said...

I LOVE all your aprons - fabulous!

Sharon said...

Just found your site by Googling "retro magnets" and just love it! How fun!