About Me

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Lapsed anthropologist-turned-burlesque performer and post-modern punk housewife/homesteader living in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a hunky husband, gorgeous daughter, adorable corgi, fluffy rabbit, and three clucking fabulous chickens.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Bunnies, and corgis, and...chickens? Oh, my!

It's no secret that I long for the life of modern homesteader. I bake bread, I grow herbs, I spin my angora rabbit's fur into yarn. But with our semi-nomadic lifestyle, and settling down on to a piece of land of our own still over a decade away, much of my longing remains unfulfilled. To really reap the rewards of permaculture, you have to be, well, permanent.

Recently(very recently, in fact), Mr. Bear and I decided to take our relationship to the next level. We thought about it carefully, considered the possible consequences and decided we were ready.
We're in love, we're stable, we're getting chickens.

On our recent trip to Portland, we stopped by the Urban Farm Store, where I fell in love with the new baby chicks they had in stock.

That's chicken-smitten, right there.

We'd been talking about getting some chickens for a while. We contacted our city's zoning office to find out what regulations we're working under, and talked to our landlord and our neighbors. Luckily for us, in our area, hens are considered a household pet and allowed, and our landlord and neighbors were on board. Interacting with the chicks and talking to the people at the Urban Farm Store really got us thinking seriously, and shortly after we got home, I found a nice little coop up for sale on Craigslist. 

 The woman who sold it to us has a large flock of about 50 birds on her property, of all breeds and sizes! She has proved to be very friendly and a great resource when we have questions. Additionally we have several friends who have also kept chickens, and after talking over breeds with them, we settled on Easter Eggers, Silver-laced Wyandottes, and Cuckoo Marans. With some help from my generous mother, I placed an order with My Pet Chicken, and we should be getting a box of little peep-peeps in just a few weeks!

 We've decided to modify this coop into a chicken tractor. Mr. Bear and I will build a run to attach to the coop once we lift it up and put some legs underneath, similar to Butters' bunny hutch. Then we'll be able to move the coop around the yard every few days, sparing the vegetation the total annihilation that would come with a stationary coop, and providing the chickens with better forage. Since I'm home most of the day, they'll have full run of the yard(minus the raised beds, which will be protected by a hoop house once they've been planted) and only be restricted to the run when absolutely necessary.

 I'm looking forward to truly free-range eggs(don't be fooled by the labels on the egg cartons at the grocery store...) and clucking hens in the yard. Of course, I intend to paint the coop fabulously! After all, Easter Eggers lay such beautifully colorful eggs, and Cuckoo Marans and Laced Wyandottes are so flashy, their home should be just as fabulous as they are! 

To that end, I've been gathering some chicken coop inspiration:

Kippen House. I love the lime green, and the green roof!

Ana White. I adore the hanging plants, shutters, and contrasting lid on the nesting box. Do you love it, too? She offers the plans for this shed coop free!

 One Tree Photography. I love so much about this one. The white trim. The picket fence. The contrasting red and turquoise(our wedding colors, after all!).

Todd Bowser via Backyard Chicken. Todd spent a chunk of time and a pretty penny building this coop, and it is stunning! You should see the inside, there's a chandelier! I love the shingled roof, the clean white color, the gabled run, and the hanging ferns.

So much to think about...

In the meantime, my swagbucks tally has earned me enough to get start-up feed, grit, waterer, feeder, and diotomaceous earth for the new chicks for free! If you want in on that free action, scroll to the bottom of this blog and check out the Swagbucks widget. Sign up through that and you'll be helping your blogger out, too!

See you soon(maybe even with some baby chicks)!

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