We finally did it...built a chicken coop and filled it with chickens. Hallie pronounces it "shee-shons." This is something Cory has been wanting to do ever since we moved to the country. The timing was never right (and still isn't), but Cory went ahead and built a coop and finished it the night before his major back surgery. He wanted something to occupy his time while he was off work for four months. I didn't really agree with the timing, but if it would keep Cory happy during recovery, I was all for it. And guess what...it turns out I LOVE these chickens!!! And the fresh, organic eggs they lay! After Cory had recovered enough to ride in the car, we collected 11 chickens and one studly rooster from various sources...neighbors, craigslist and my facebook chicken talk group. The first three chickens we got were a gift from our country neighbor, Amy. They are four month old Rhode Island Reds and we named them Ethel, Lucy and Betsy. They are so sweet and let me pick them up and cuddle them. They should start laying eggs in the next month or so. She also gave us a bantam rooster - Martin - who was being picked on in her coop. Let's just say he is loving his new accommodations.
Then we picked up two Americanas (Dorothy & Lolly), one Barred Plymouth Rock (Trudy) and one "unknown" (Rudy) from a family on my "Omaha Chicken Talk" Facebook group. We named them Lolly, Dorothy, Trudy and Rudy. They are already laying eggs - about two a day. Martin, our rooster, is head over heels in L.O.V.E. with Lolly. He follows her around 24 hours a day and they are never apart. He's a pretty faithful guy, too. So far, Lolly is his only lover :)
We got three more bantam Americanas (Sally, Gwen & Hildy) and one more Barred Plymouth Rock off of craigslist. Wynonna, the Barred, is fitting in nicely. The bantams, however, are really skittish and prefer to chill up in the trees behind the coop. Every night, Cory and I have to get Sally, Gwen and Hildy down out of the trees and heard them into the coop. The rest of the chickens spend their days hanging out in the tall grass and head on into the coop on their own at dusk. They're not stupid. They know they're nice and safe from the foxes, coyotes, raccoons and such in Cory's deluxe coop :)
Hallie is a HUGE fan of the chickens. She can see the coop from her room, and one of the first things she does in the morning is point out the window and say "shee-shons." She absolutely loves going out to the coop and getting all up in the chickens' business...sometimes naked. Let's face it, what's the point of living out in the middle of nowhere if you can't run around naked once in a while? :)
One last photo of Hallie picking flowers out by the coop one morning...just because I can :)