For the last week we have been hanging out at home waiting for EB to deliver. Having all the down time waiting gave us lots of time to work on our coop. We finished out coop on Wednesday and EB delivered early Thursday morning. On Saturday after work Ross and I drove to Puyallup, Washington to purchase 6 chickens to fill our beautiful new coop. We decided to get hens that were already laying so we didn’t have to wait the six months for them to grow. We found a lady who had too many chickens and not enough room and was selling off her extras. She had Ameraucanas and Rhode Island Reds. The Ameraucanas lay a green egg and are a white and brown color. While we loved the idea of getting green eggs, the lady warned us that her Ameraucanas were a bit skitterish and not very friendly so we decided to pass. The Rhode Island Reds lay brown eggs, are a hearty bird and were her tamest birds so decided to start with them.
We bought six chickens for $20 each and she threw in a rooster for free. When I told my 94 year old grandpa how much I paid for the chickens he almost choked on his Easter ham because back in his day a laying hen cost “no more than a few bucks”. I was not very excited about getting a rooster as I heard they can be a bit aggressive and the lady and her daughter both had a few stories about attack roosters making them bleed, but Ross liked the idea of the rooster offering protection and wanted to hear the rooster crow in the morning (I must admit nothing says farm like a crowing rooster).
We brought them home in a dog kennel and had a hell of a time getting them out as it was dark and we are far from seasoned chicken wranglers. Note to anyone picking up chickens, bring a top loading cage for easier retrieval. Getting the chickens meant we had to reach into the kennel, past the pecking beaks and grab each chicken. Both Ross and I had visions of the rooster attacking us with his iron beak and long talons and then flying out of the kennel and flying off into the dark night. So, we tried to tip the kennel up and make the chickens slide out into the coop. It didn’t work. Then we tried to shake the chickens out and that didn’t work either they just huddled in the back and we looked like idiots. Finally, we (or more like like I) decided Ross should grab a pair of gloves and go in. To ensure none of them got loose we draped a blanket over the top of the coop so they had to fly into the coop should they decide to make a run for it. Despite our greatest fears the chickens went easily and there were no attacks and no blood. In fact, even the rooster allowed Ross to pick him up and gently set him in the coop. It wasn’t until I did a little more research that I found out that chickens cannot see very well in the dark which is why nighttime attacks by predators can take out an entire flock. If they get knocked down from their roost they will sleep on the ground because they have a hard time seeing well enough to get back up.
Today is Easter Sunday and Ross and I enjoyed an adult Easter egg hunt in the new coop. We found four eggs in their nesting box and one egg on the ground (not the brightest chicken in the coop). One of the eggs turned out to be a double yoke egg and was twice the size of the rest. I brought two of the eggs to my Nanny and Poppi (my grandparents in their 90s) and Ross got a full chicken lecture from Poppi! Happy Easter Everyone!