August 03, 2014

We've Had Chickens, Coop is Finished and Eggs are Being Laid!

On a typical morning at least 1 of 7 kids put in a request for eggs for breakfast. When just one kid wants eggs we only use 2 eggs but when we make eggs for the quads it is at least 10 eggs and if we make eggs for all 7 we go through 2 dozen eggs in one meal. It is crazy. I would rather feed my kids eggs than anything else though because I prefer giving a protein over a carb, such as cereal, but 2 dozen eggs is crazy and no one is over the age of 6. Can you just imagine how many eggs we will need when we have teenagers?

When we first looked at our home in the country both Paul and I were thrilled because we knew we had space for chickens. You may remember that at the end of March we got those chickens who were residing in our house. They made it about two weeks in my dining room before they had to be moved to the garage. A momma can only handle chickens jumping onto her windowsill and using it as a bathroom for so long. They then lived in our garage for many weeks while we Paul finished their coop.

My dad came in March to help us landscape our front yard but this project got put on hold two days into it when the flood gates opened and we had down pours during the remaining time he was here. On day 3 I was so excited when my dad decided to make a change in plans and he started working on our chicken coop. Our lot already had a 2 stall horse barn when we moved in so we converted one of the stalls into a home for chicks and the other side has become our wood pile and the 'anything else we can fit in there' space. By the time my dad left the framing was up and the floor was in. It then took Paul a couple more hours to get the inside of the coop ready for its new residents. Unfortunately a couple of hours in our world turns into a couple of weeks. I can't wait for the day when we can just let kids play without worrying about making them lunch at 11 or getting them down for naps or needing to entertain them every second they are awake. But for now that is not our life so small projects become big projects and big projects never get done (hence the reason my front yard is still dirt and the chicken coop took 3 months to finish!).

Who in the world goes outside in socks? I really think my brother does this to bug me just as my sister (Nicole) refuses to take her shoes off in my house. 
"Ummm Grandpa, I think the rain is moving in. You may want to get working."

The yard had 3 dry river beds running from the top of our yard to the bottom. I did not like the look of them so Paul dug trenches to place tubes for the water to run down. Bye-Bye river beds.

We barely got the plants planted before the rain came. The next day they were spreading rock soaking wet. 

Three months later...a couple more over grown trees and shrubs removed but the yard will be waiting for cooler temps so we can seed. I can not wait to drive up next summer to a yard of green. 
Paul then started on the enclosed yard for the chickens once they had a safe place to sleep and were evicted from my garage. By the time he was half way finished he was Done with a capital "D" with this new adventure. We had a half way enclosed yard, tools scattered every where and free range chickens because they had nothing to prevent them from being free range. Thank goodness Paul's dad arrived in June and one of the first projects on his father in law-do list was the coop. I think in two days he had it done and I wasn't risking our chickens lives everyday with the predators that live in our area. Somehow we managed to start with 13 chickens and end with 12 chickens and a very noisy rooster!

This is what the stalls looked like before we started turning it into a chicken coop instead of horse stalls. 

They have now been moved to the garage. 

Part of the reason it takes us forever to complete projects is because one of us is an engineer and everything must be done to perfection. If you happened to know or be married to one of these you know exactly what I am talking about. 

The coop had to be ready because I needed these ladies OUT of my garage because they knew nothing about cleaning up after themselves. 

The first night in their completed coop. 
Doesn't everyone wear a dress and Cinderella shoes when working outside?
And this is when he completely lost all interest in finishing the task at hand. 
Just last week I went to clean the poop boards and low and behold there was the tiniest brown egg. At first I thought the kids were playing a joke on me because we had talked about playing one on dad the next day using an egg from Costco. I seriously did not know if it was a real egg or a pretend one. We kind of laughed when we saw our first egg because it is so small that instead of taking 2 dozen Costco eggs it will take 5 dozen of our own eggs to feed our family. Since I wasn't sure how long our first egg was sitting in our 100 degree weather we made up a story that one could not eat the first egg that was laid. The kids believed us nicely! Since then we get one egg about every 30 hours. Unfortunately the one chicken who is laying prefers to lay her eggs on the poop board rather than the nest boxes so hopefully the other ladies are not watching her too closely. Getting the eggs is like opening a Christmas present and all of us wonder out to the coop during the day looking for new eggs. I wonder how long it will be before the kids argue with me that it is not their turn to check for eggs?!? For now I am going to enjoy their enthusiasm and be happy that my chicken coop can be checked off the to do list. Now onto the next project...

A boy and his chickens. 
So thankful for father in laws who come and complete a project that I had given up hope of ever seeing done. 

This stroller is pushed around all the time but never with anything in it. Such silly kids!
Best trash can ever!!

Grandma Lynn who spent 7 weeks with us this summer. The babies learned when they had boo-boos to go to Grandma because she always had cuddles to give. 
The peanut had her uncle chauffeur her to the coop. 

Missing a couple tires Tate. Wonder if I can do this to your car when you are 16? Will you still be excited to just sit in it?
Our first egg. The joke between Paul and I was before it took us 2 dozen eggs to feed our family but now with our own eggs it will take 5 dozen. Hope these eggs get bigger fast. 


  1. Congratulations on finally getting eggs, and a chicken coop!! The eggs will be large to jumbo size within a couple weeks of them laying (size will depend on breed.) Because ours are given only organic feed and are free range we often get giant eggs that don't even fit in an egg carton.

  2. We get fresh eggs from my brother,he keeps telling us to rinse them first and always break them into a sperate bowl, have you heard of this?
    Your kids are adorable!!

    1. I have never heard of breaking into another bowl unless it is to make sure they are not fertilized or whatever happens to make them into chicks! Fresh eggs are not usually washed right away because they stay good so much longer if the outside of the egg is not cleaned. So cleaning them before cracking makes sure you get anything off that the egg may have laid in.

  3. my grandmother raised chickens for years, the first and very last egg a hen lays are always really small


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