Thursday, November 4, 2010

Suburban Chickens

I have wanted chickens for twenty years and this spring we finally made the plunge. We bought six Araucana chicks while visiting our vacation house in rural Virginia. Araucana is a fairly common breed for home poultry keepers in the US. Araucana is a breed of chickens originally from Chile and which are though by some to be descendants of birds brought to the Pacific coast of South America by Polynesian seafarers who sailed across the Pacific in pre-Columbian times. We got them because they were available and because they lay pale blue/green eggs.

Araucanas are medium sized chickens that are known as good egg layers, being friendly and calm, and able to handle both low and high temperatures, which is important where we live.

The pictures in this posting are of our suburban coop. The chicken house measures just six feet by four feet. It contains a four-foot long roost (for roosting and sleeping at night) and an egg box with two stations. I pre-fabbed the hen house at our vacation house, transported it in pieces to our regular house in my pick-up, and re-assembeled it there. The run is six by ten feet and is about 4.5 feet tall and was built in situ.

The house and run are enclosed in a brick garden that is located off our bedroom. The brick makes a very effective sight and sound shield. It is essentially impossible to see or hear the chickens even when you are just a few feet away outside of the brick wall. The chickens are extremely quiet anyway.

The chickens have been in their coop since early September and all seems well. They started laying eggs about three weeks ago. I will post about eggs next.

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