6 Weeks In…

This is a small coop for just 4 hens. The coop itself is no bigger than a doghouse. It has 2 roosts inside and an egg box. While they’re still pullets there’s plenty of room to roam. Today we did a cleaning, added soil because they do scratch the dirt away from the corners. When we finished we threw in a piece of sod for good measure, they love it! We use pine shavings under the coop for odor control and it gives them something to scratch in. Powdered it all w/ DE before I let them back in.

The hedge view is approaching the coop from the yard. We use our natural landscaping to conceal it. You can’t see or hear the girls until you get to the entrance to the garden. Even then, it’s just quiet chirping. The bottom line is the only way anyone would know we actually have chickens is if they saw them. You can’t smell them, you can’t hear them. If you were to walk directly up to the coop to ┬ásee them, well you’d hear them chirp. They smell like pine chips. While we cleaned the coop today what we heard were wild birds and neighborhood dogs. Please take the “they smell and they’re noisey” rant and forget it. It’s a non issue w/ 4 hens.

Why go underground?

I do get weird looks from my friends when I tell them I want chickens. Most of them have never considered it cause, well…eggs come from the store right? Weirder yet, were the looks we got from city council after trying to get the current codes changed to allow for backyard hens. Not gonna happen. I can however, have a pot bellied pig (up to 2) or a ball python, which can grow over 9 ft. long and eat a child. So my family decided to go underground with our hens. Right now our backyard is divided, 1 part common area, 1 part garden. The garden has trees that border our property line which serve as a nice natural barrier. Hedges form a fence from the rest of the yard so no one can actually see the garden area. Perfect, that’s 2 sides already covered. We just need to do something about the back fence line. This week we’ll make a home depot run and get a few more plants to start on the fence line. By the end of the summer we should have decent cover. Not a big issue right away as that particular neighbor is rarely seen or heard.

We want hens for the same reason most people do: fresh eggs, they’re fun to watch and easy to care for. Easier than caged, inside birds! We petitioned the city, went to city hall several times to speak, got the press involved, made websites and sent out flyers. In the end this city is far to elite for hens. At least for legal hens. Over the next few months I’ll chronicle our move to the underground. I’ll post pictures of the growing chicks, the brooder and of course the coop. And if I get caught, I’ll chronicle that too. I’m not big on the city mirco managing our property and since they don’t want to listen to voices of reason I’ll just take care of this on my own. Setting up the brooder this weekend. Pictures to follow!