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Angry Birds

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Our 10 hens are happy hens, they faithfully lay around 8 eggs per day and get to eat all the garden veggies they want. There are specific plants that I grow just for them, like my ginormous cabbage that produces leaves as big as a vampire’s appetite. Unfortunately, they also like my delicate lettuce leaves too, so we haven’t had much homegrown lettuce to enjoy for ourselves.

This weekend, Scott and the boys helped me clear out some of the raised beds – our broccoli has bolted, the lettuces bolted and it’s time to plant more heat-resistant vegetables.

Massive cabbage

While Scott is planning on building a greenhouse, I’m moving forward to expanding our animal family. First, a little about the greenhouse – we’re trying to find a suitable site on our 5-acres to build, his criteria was a little different from mine. Scott needed a site that was flat, had water and power access and big enough to put in a 200sf greenhouse with an 800 gallon fish tank for the aquaponics tank.

My criteria was simple. Don’t block my peaceful, lush, green view of the pond, dock and fruit trees from the house. That left only a couple of spots available. I don’t know what he’s decided yet, but I did overhear him on the phone with a concrete pourer asking for a quote to pour the slab that will serve as the floor of the greenhouse. I think this will all be happening in the next few days!

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Scott measuring possible site for greenhouse

This morning, I called for a fencing company to come out and take a look at the acre of land that I’d like to fence in for our current hens and future animals.

An acre-ish area to fence in for our animals.

There’s already wild duck that come everyday to hang out.


The kids and I would just LOVE to have our own little petting zoo or Noah’s ark. Two of each: sheep, goat, alpaca, angora rabbits. These animals would also serve as my personal fiber store – I spin yarn and knit voraciously!

In the very near future* we will also get some ducklings to raise for eggs and meat. Though the latter may or may not actually happen. I still haven’t had the guts to move forward with butchering any of hens.

On the north-west side of our property, we have a little pond and enough land for:

  • a brood of chickens
  • a paddling of ducks
  • a hurtle of sheep
  • a wrack of rabbits
  • a trip of goats
  • a herd of alpaca
  • a kine of cattle (okay, maybe just 1)
  • a romp of otter
  • a shoal of fish
  • Here’s more fun words to know about collections of animals!

*I just found out that our local farm store has 4 BABY DUCKLINGS FOR SALE!!!!! So “very near future” may = 3pm today. Squueee!! 

This morning, I told the hens about their possible future roommates. They weren’t very happy. Looked quite grouchy to me.

WHAT?! New animals? NO!

Seriously? Do we look like we need more friends?

Why would you ever want sheep? They smell.

We protest!

Even the hen laying eggs wouldn’t look at me.

harrumph!

Despite having 3 custom designed nesting boxes, each with a bed of soft pine shavings, all the hens lay in only ONE box. In the beginning, they all fought over this box. Now they’ve just learned to take turns. I think they have an appointment book somewhere.

This morning’s collection so far:

 

 

 

 

 

Comments 20

  1. Caneel

    That is so funny! Our hens will only lay in one box as well – they take turns for the most part, but I have seen two hens in the same box on a few occasions. I want to get some girls that lay rainbow colors, as ours just lay white. Your nest takes a more colorful picture :) Congratulations and good luck on all your expansion of animals and the greenhouse. How fun!

  2. anna

    Appointment book! I laughed out loud. My coworkers are giving me weird looks. So funny that they share the same box. :)

  3. Holly

    LOL, our hens all lay in one box too. This can cause some problems…like yesterday, the dominant Delaware (Jenny) was in doing her business, and the lowest of the low Barred Rock (Betty) was waiting patiently at the doorway to the coop (because you do not mess with Jenny, or get anywhere near her, until she has excreted her massive egg for the day). Betty therefor dropped her egg at the doorway, and it rolled partway down the ramp before cracking. The hens were all very excited about this, ate up every bit of egg shell and all, and are perfectly fine with keeping the status quo. It equals special meals, after all.

  4. Michelle

    Oooo! So excited for you. Cannot wait to watch your ducklings grow up! You’ll have to document ALL the future adventures for us. Especially the ‘critters. ;)

  5. Gabrielle

    I think your plans sound marvelous, despite your hens’ disapproval. I hope you got the ducklings!

  6. Betty

    When I was little kid lived in Hawaii and love to garden. I had two chickens one roaster and a hen. The hen was spotted Japanese petting hen. They wander all over the yard and out to neighborhood people known them as a couple. Eggs was found all over the yard too. My garden grew lettuces and Chinese parley and green onions. I grew flowers also. One day my neighbor pet rabbit got out and came to my garden overnight. I was shock next day seeing all my flowers and vegetables gone to that salad bar buffet rabbit.

    I caught that rabbit and said to it I should make rabbit stew out of you! He look at me and was shaking. Well my neighber was sorry never again rabbit got loose. I have avocado tree, lime tree, lychee and banana and papaya tree in Hawaii and mango tree that every years bumper crop of it.

  7. Tanel

    About all hens laying in one box… Do you use the so-called nest egg (I’m not sure what it should be called in English)? My grandma also had hens, and her nests all had “nest eggs”, i.e., you don’t empty the nest completely but leave one egg in the nest (and also an egg in empty boxes). Of course you should mark the egg that is the nest egg, although after a day or two you’ll recognize it easily, since it will be darker than the fresh eggs. I guess you have to change the nest egg regularly.

  8. Sandra

    Great post as always! I love your hens-lovely pictures too. Good luck on the green house, I so want one too!

  9. Ana Lydia

    Angry birds they are, aren’t they? I can’t believe these ten hens of yours did find their own man-made haven to flock along. I admire your care for these little feather creatures!

  10. Kelly

    Those eggs are gorgeous! All of your plans are making me swoony. It’s like watching my own dreams come to life – very cool! BTW, my sister is on her second pair of cows (the first were DELICIOUS) and for some reason, they were told it’s best to raise them in pairs. Can’t remember why, so you might want to up your cow count. :)

    p.s. That cabbage is scaring me. I think it has plans to take over the world.

  11. Kathleen Conner

    Great post! I googled, but still don’t understand how you get eggs with colors like that. I see pink, blue, gray, and brown. That’s amazing! Would you explain please?

  12. The Omnivore

    How funny! This city girl (who can barely keep an aloe vera plant alive for a year) is extremely jealous! I love those beautiful eggs; do they taste differently from one another or is it only the shells that can differentiate? And thanks for that great list of the names for different groups of animals!

  13. angelitacarmelita

    Those are the most beautiful eggs! and beautiful hens too….. how lucky are YOU!?

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