Monday, April 16, 2012

The Chicks Are Here!

We had a warm, sunny Easter and we brought a few chicks outside for some super great photo opportunities. My brother took all of these shots. We kept the chicks in a brooder in our house until they were 13 days old. They are now in the greenhouse in a brooder as the nights are quite cold still and they don't have all their adult feathers yet. They have moved from the cute and fuzzy stage into the ugly and awkward stage. Their feathers are growing but you mostly see the quills. They look like porcupines on chicken legs.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Green House

My daughter and I built this green house together - she sort of helped. It will house our hens in Winter and we'll grow food in the fertilized beds in Spring/Summer. My total cost was around $60. My husband is a carpenter so there was lots of extra wood lying around. I pieced together whatever I could find to make the base 14' x 10'6". This part took the longest because I did not have any pieces that were long enough. The metal frame, which my husband trimmed down for me (it was originally 20' long and 9' tall), is a vehicle shelter frame and was given to us for free. I bought new lumber for the 2x4 front and back construction. Here I am building the front frame. I held it loosely in place with string at the top to help hold the pieces while I attached them.After I pre-drilled the holes, my 19mth old daughter would get the screws and put them in the holes for me. Then, after the pieces were screwed together, she would say "oh wowww, mommy, wow". It was awesome! You can see her here bringing me the other drill.Here the frame is complete. I attached the wood to the metal with all-strap and screws, including the metal legs to the base as well. All-strap is so handy! I used cedar lath and nails to attach the plastic (6mm poly). Ready, Set, Grow!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

New Beginnings!

I have not posted anything for a couple of years and it is high time for some updates. Here is a quick summation of what has happened since my last post: I had my chickens for an entire year. During that year I became pregnant. In my 3rd trimester it became too much for me to look after the chickens, take care of the garden and prepare for my first child who was due in the middle of harvest time. I gave the chickens away in July, 2010. Present Day: 25 chicks are due to arrive on April 3rd 2012. We are building a greenhouse, a brooder and a super light-weight chicken tractor designed specifically for our raised bed gardens. I am so excited to teach our 18 month old daughter about raising poultry! Photo courtesy of

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Building Community Against the Odds

It has been a pleasure to get to know our neighbors since we moved here 2yrs ago. Whenever I am out in the yard gardening, neighbors passing by stop and talk to me and sometimes come into the yard. I give them flowers or produce from my yard and they usually return the favor. I can spend more than an hour each day conversing with neighbors, which means I get less work done. It is a slower, rewarding pace of life. My plants, dishes and laundry...etc., will forgive me if I don't get to them right away. That is how you build community - exchanging kindnesses, food, advice, a smile and a wave, time sacrifice, and "would you like to see my chickens?". The nay-sayers against the Urban Hen movement argue that chickens in the city will threaten our community, pitting neighbor against neighbor. Well, you know what I have to say about that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Civil Un-coop-eration

We have now entered the realm of urban agriculture. Not only am I growing edibles in all my flower beds and exchanging our front lawn for vegetable production, but we now have 3 feathered ladies in our backyard.
It looks like it will be some time indeed before our council allows Urban Hens, so a lot of us have chosen to just go ahead with it, by-laws be... well, you know. 
Bonnie Klohn came with me to pick up our "Miller Browns" on Saturday morning in a cardboard box (It turned out it's harder to find a cardboard box on a Saturday morning than it is to catch a chicken), while my husband put the finishing touches on the coop at home. We put the rustling box in the coop and gently turned it on it's side. Slowly the hens ventured out and waggled their heads at the new surroundings. Our dog Timmy took to them quite easily - that is until he got his nose pecked.  My husband has dubbed them "The Golden Girls" and their characters are already very evident. We have had 4 eggs in 2 days which is very good considering they just moved in. 
Our neighbors on either side of us approve of our chickens, but I am still a little concerned about strangers walking by and seeing them. But soon the coop will be moved to the side of the house where no one can see them.
I am letting them rummage in my veggie garden for cut worms before I turn over the soil, as I have already lost a few transplants to the horrible little caterpillars.
I will include detailed pictures of our chicken tractor in a few days.
Here are some pictures I took today:  
 A store bought "free range" egg (left) and our 4th egg, laid just this morning (right).
The Golden Girls have been eating my fall rye grass, dandelions, kitchen scraps, a little store bought feed, organic spelt(whole grain), bugs and grubs.
This one is my favorite, she is gentle and very pretty.
The Golden Girls feasting on my kitchen scraps.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Our Urban Hen Booth

 My husband and I built this booth for Kamloops Urban Hens to take to public functions/farmer's markets. We have had so many people come up to the booth and say why they think Urban Hens is a great idea and want to know why the city won't let us have them. They are also eager to sign a petition, although we don't have one going at the moment. 

We are collecting stories of citizens who are either neighbors of backyard chickens, have backyard chickens, or had a small backyard flock at some time. We hope to make a video about Kamloops Urban Hens featuring interviews with people who have stories to share. If you have a story, please share it with us.

The above picture was taken at the May 2 Kamloops Farmer's Market and it features the lovely Bonnie Klohn.