Will and his friend, Jack, have been asking for chickens for a new 4-H project this fall. A friend of ours gave us two - a Rhode Island red bantam and a barred rock cockerel. The cockerel is a little deformed in the legs, so he needed to come to a home with less chickens to pick on him.
John and a friend built a great chicken tractor. If you've never heard of a chicken tractor, they're pretty cool. It's a contained area that we can move around the yard, so that the chickens keep getting fresh grass and they don't tear up the yard as much. Our house has a lot of coyotes, hawks, and other predators, so we need something pretty secure for them. John built a chicken tractor big enough for probably 6-7 chickens. It's got three hen nests off the ground and it's covered in wire all the way around. The nests have a door that opens in the back to let you get eggs out pretty easily (although the chickens haven't figured out how to get into the nests - dumb birds).
Will is admiring the new chickens and chicken tractor here. The chickens have been a great project for him. He goes out and feeds them every morning and is checking on them in the afternoon also.
Will and Rocky are "bonding."
I love Henrietta. She's a beautiful banty hen, but, boy, is she noisy. She can out cluck Tebow when he starts barking at her. She's also really, really fast. I haven't let her out to roam the yard yet, until she figures out where her home really is. We're not letting them out when we're not there - just too many predators around (including the yellow lab puppy).
I also got the chickens as another method of pest control. They love bugs and will eat just about any that they're fed. Once we finish the garden, I may put their tractor on top of the raised beds to help scratch it up some.