Ah, the age-old question. While I'm on the side of the chickens, I thought in our household, the egg would win. But no. A pre-Easter trip to Tractor Supply (how did I not know about this store before?) with the thought of purchasing incubating supplies and eggs resulted instead in a boxful of six fluffy chicks. What's that other saying? A bird in hand....oh yeah, for the kids, the immediate appeal of chicks far outranked the delayed gratification of eggs.
But back to the first question. Which comes first - the chickens or the coop? If you know us, or have followed this blog at all, you may be able to guess. Remember the 100 little crabapple trees? Most are still in their "temporary" home dug rapidly after the trees were purchased. The puppy came before the house was done, the horses preceded the barn, the prairie seed came before the prairie site was prepped. Our poor garage has gone from dog house to tractor shed to chicken coop. Someday, maybe, I'll park the car in there.
So finally, we're building the coop. Lovely, isn't it? What a cool coop!
Wait. That's not our coop!
That coop is for some "city chicks". Not sure where you get the chickens to go with it - I really don't think you can put $2 Tractor Supply chicks in a $3,500 coop. Maybe you could re-write the fairy tale - you know the one about the goose with the golden eggs? Because chickens who lay golden eggs are the only kind who should live in that little coop.
This one - this is our coop. Shabby chick perhaps? Dad is building it - I'm assisting. There are no plans other than whatever Dad has in his head. The lumber is mostly from the leftover trees we had milled on site - to call it rough cut would be generous. The rest is all scrap wood from the barn. We'll use the salvaged metal roofing left from the house and barn - mismatched pieces originally used just to protect the actual roofing material. But it will be solid, dry, and safe from whatever predators might lurk in the woods at night, and I think the chickens will be happy.
And here's one of those happy chicks. This is our little easter egger, Bunny, who is supposed to lay pretty colored eggs in those handy nest boxes. Except that I have re-named Bunny "Little Roo". Based on zero knowledge, just a hunch, I think she's a he. You could play this guessing game for hours - and some do over here at www.backyardchickens.com. Coloring, when the feathers come in, whether the chick has a 3-rowed pea comb or a single row -- it's mind-boggling. So I'm just going with my gut. What do you think?