Updated: Mar 15, 2019
Because embarking on a boutique lavender farm wasn't enough of a challenge, we decided to throw some chickens in the mix. Dad always loved animals and shared that love with me, so naturally we leapt on the opportunity to raise our own chickens. These ladies were rescued from their fate at a restaurant supplier when we swooped in.
Look at the eggs we've gathered from our ladies! We were surprised to learn that one of our girls laid green eggs! Fun fact: Chicken eggs depend on the color of the chicken's ears, so a brown-eared chicken will lay brown eggs, while a chicken with white ears lays white ones. And every now and then you find a chicken with green ears...
But before we collected all of these eggs, we had to build our hens a coop! Our little farm came with a shed that would make for a perfect chicken coop. We outfitted it with nesting boxes, numerous perches, a heat lamp, fresh hay, food and water. It may not seem glamorous, but it provides a comfortable home until we can renovate it. Dad plans to expand their outdoor run and redesign their interior - but let's not get ahead of ourselves!
There is a small outdoor run for the ladies, however, we try to allow them free range of the farm whenever possible. This improves their quality of life by providing mental stimulation as well as alternative food sources. The earth worms learn fairly quickly to avoid the coop, but when our girls are on the prowl no bug is safe!
The blue bin in the corner is filled with sand to allow the hens to take dust baths. Before we had the dust bin, the ladies would take turns digging themselves a dirt bath. While we didn't mind their dirt baths, sometimes they chose to take them in inconvenient locations - like under the tractor!
Our flock includes two Guinea Hens, which for those of you who don't know, are the closest living relative to the dodo bird. What they lack in brains they certainly make up for in volume! These ladies won't be ignored or forgotten, but they also serve an important purpose as they alert the rest of the flock to the presence of any predators. They also eat ticks, which is a nice bonus for those of us working in the fields.
We are always looking for new ways to improve our coop and plan a large renovation for next year! This past summer we added some chicks to our flock. They weren't big enough to be added to the coop until mid winter, but we will share plenty of pictures soon.