I wanted chickens as soon as we bought this property but with so much to do and so many pepper trees to cut down it seemed like we would never really get “The Farm” on Crawford Family Acres started. Then Easter came and a friend brought 5 Rhode Island Red chicks to our Easter party and said they were ours now. How could I resist?!
So we had 5 chickens and no livable chicken coop. By chance, my husband and I had been working on a small coop. However, the coop we were building would only comfortably house about three chickens. So, desperation led us to the “run-down” chicken coop that was already on the property. It was much bigger than we needed but seemed to be fairly solid and well built.
In the mean time, I set up temporary housing in 2 large Tupperware containers attached together, a small roosting bar and food and water. At night, I brought this all inside (the bathroom) to keep the young chickens safe. Considering they were about 3 weeks old, I provided a heater just to keep it warmer than our house A/C would be. During the day, it was outdoors or if I was nearby, they would range during parts of the day. With small chicks, I had to keep a close eye on them as we have multiple Hawks and other predators in the area. One of those predators, my dog, in fact got the tupperwares open and played with one of my chickens. I say played because I don’t think it was malicious. Just a dog being a dog that has never been around chickens. I was mad. I was sad. I even cried and vowed to protect the remaining 4 better.
So meet the girls: Rosemary, Gertrude, Abigail, and Phyllis. My beautiful Rhode Island Reds.
Rhode Island Reds are a wonderful chicken to start with. They are good egg layers and are friendly. While they were a little nervous at first, I am definitely noticing they are happy to see me in the morning and aren’t afraid to range near me. They occasionally jump or “fly” at a loud noise or a rambunctious child, however they do not peck us at all. As they grow older, I know they will get even friendlier.
I’m looking forward to sharing with you all about our new coop, preparation, and ongoing chicken care. The Farm is just beginning and we want you along for the ride!