I’ve been meaning to introduce you to our latest family members!
That’s right, we got chickens!
First, a little back story: As a kid, we always had animals–chickens, goats, horses, dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs. Six years ago when Brian and I moved in together, I told him that eventually we would be getting chickens. I grew up on farms, I eat eggs every day and I wanted chickens. I mean, who doesn’t love fresh eggs?? He laughed and agreed, probably thinking I was making a cute joke.
When the world turned upside down in March of 2020 due to COVID-19, I informed my poor husband that we would finally be getting chickens. Arizona had completely shut down and we were looking at an unknown amount of time to be home, staying safe. We had plenty of time to build a coop. He grudgingly agreed (honestly, I cant remember if he ever actually agreed, or if he just sighed and walked away and I took that as agreement).
At the end of April, we welcomed SIX plucky new family members. The original plan was to get four, but the feed store had three of the breeds I wanted and I couldn’t choose. I tend to be impulsive like that.
THEY WERE SO TINY!
The breeds we chose.
We brought home two Barred Plymouth Rocks (black), two Buff Orphingtons (yellow) and two Easter Eggers (brown). In retrospect, I wish I had just gotten four Easter Eggers, but what can I do? They’re family now!
All three breeds are know to be good egg producers and friendly family birds. The chicks were handled daily as they grew and we still chat with and pet them every day. Our Easter Eggers are my favorites. They are by far the friendliest and the smartest chickens in the flock. The Barred Plymouth Rock hens attitudes are sketchy and the smaller one tries to pick on everyone else, but most of the girls just ignore her.
Interested in more chicken shenanigans??
Follow me on Instagram to see the girls in action in my daily stories!
One of the Buff Orphingtons is, by far, the dumbest chicken I’ve ever seen. When she wanders away from the others and can’t see them (i.e. they’re behind her or around the corner), she makes loud honking noises and panics, wandering back and forth honking for them. The other Buff is a little shy, but sweet when you hold her.
Peanut, Chip and Ms Butters. Pidge, Lemon, Ms. Butters, Puff, Chip.
Not pictured: Peanut
What about our HOA? Are chickens even allowed in the city??
A question I’ve gotten A LOT! Chickens are allowed in our city, but roosters are not. As long as they don’t become “public nuisances, (i.e. noisy, stinky)” they’re allowed. What about our HOA? Well…. we didn’t ask them. We only have neighbors on one side of our house and they’re almost as excited for fresh eggs as we are. I clean out the chicken coop several times per week so that it doesn’t get stinky. Plus, our walls are 8 feet tall, so there is no way for our HOA to see and get upset by our chickens. Maybe that sounds a little rebellious on my part, but if you knew how much they charge us per quarter, you may be inclined towards a little rebellion yourselves!
When will they lay eggs?
At this point they are about 4 months old. Most chickens begin laying eggs by 12-16 weeks. Sometimes excessive heat can make chickens slow to lay and with temps reaching 115º regularly right now, we’re not expecting any eggs until next month.
Don’t worry, the girls are very well looked-after in the heat. Here’s our set up:
They have a fan blowing in their coop 24/7, we feed them frozen fruits and veggies, we freeze large ice cubes for them to play on every day and I even put a mister system in their coop. That’s right–our girls are spoiled. Here are some of the equipment we love for our chickies:
Our chicken coop and run aren’t meant to be permanent. As we finish the backyard, we will be moving the girls to the other side of the yard and we will build them a new, permanent coop. We have to wait until the pool is dug and built. The side of the yard we eventually want them on is right in the path the heavy equipment will have to take to build the pool. This set up may not be the prettiest one I’ve ever seen, but it works really well for now.
I have my eye on some super cute permanent coops built right here in the valley at San Tan Valley Coops! I wonder if they’d be interested in sponsoring the girls once we’re ready to move them?? These coops are TO DIE FOR! I wish I had found them before we started building ours.
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