Rosey the Riveter

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

I'm a Chicken Mama!

Last Saturday, while Stephen was at home finishing up the chicken tractor, the girls and I trucked it down to Currituck to get ourselves some hens.  Lets just say there were a LOT of chickens in dozens of different tractors.  And the farmer didn't really know what he had.  So it took us awhile.  We finally ended up with a Rhode Island Red who is about a year old, a Blue Wheaten Ameraucana who is about 6 months, and a Blue Laced Red Wyandotte and a Lavender Orpington who are 4-5 months old.
This one is Rosie, the Lavender Orp.  They are kind of rare chickens, so I'm looking forward to watching her grow and fill out.  Orps have great personalities, and she is already showing that she is a people person.
This is Clara Belle, the Blue Laced Red Wyandotte.  She is always the first to find the treats I bring out for them.  She's also going to be the beauty of the bunch.
This is Scarlett, the Rhode Island Red, who is definitely top of the pecking order.  She picks on the others when she's bored, so I have to make sure they have lots of weeds or treats to keep her occupied.
And this is Extra Crispy, the Blue Wheaten Ameraucana.  She's a sweetheart, but definitely an introvert.

We got them home with no problems, and they spent their first night in the chicken tractor in the garage, since the wheels weren't yet attached.  On Sunday afternoon, they were wheeled out into the backyard and immediately started pecking and scratching.  I don't think any of them had ever seen a single blade of grass in their short lifetimes.

Within a short time, the girls came running in with an egg from Scarlett.  They were so excited!
A few minutes later, they came running in shouting "there's something wrong with Extra Crispy!"  So I headed out to the coop and sure enough, the poor thing was straining to lay an egg, which she finally did.  It was a huge blue one which, we later discovered, was a double yolker.

On Monday, I spent way too much time watching them.  We got another egg very late in the afternoon from Scarlett and another one today from Extra Crispy.  Look at the difference in size between the first one and this one:
I am very interested to see the changes in their eggs now that their diets have been drastically changed for the better.  Their first were very thin-shelled and yellow.  Now that they have oyster shells, lots of chlorophyll, and a nice compost bin of worms, the egg quality should dramatically increase.
Here's the finished chicken tractor.  I wanted to paint a barn quilt on it, so I chose the "Hens and Chicks" pattern.  I love the way it turned out and all the credit goes to my wonderful husband who built it mostly from plans that can be found HERE.  He added his own little touches here and there, including ventilation windows on the front and back that can be closed up in really cold weather.  The heat is more of an issue here, which is why we chose to add them.

We have a garden, we have bees, and now we have chickens.  I think I'm officially an urban homesteader!


  1. Yes you are deary! Kudos to you! Tell your hubby he did a fantastic job constructing the chicken tractor! Awesomeness!

  2. P.S. I love love love your Rosie the Riveter background!

  3. Love the chicken tractor! Your babies seem to be doing well and settling in nicely. Way to go, Chicken Mama!