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Keeping Chickens

Keeping Chickens

When we relocated from the big city to the Athabasca area one of my must haves was chickens. I dreamed of a quaint little coop full of heritage hens that would provide our family with eggs of many colours. I desperately wanted to be able to serve our out of town guests green eggs & ham. The acreage we purchased came equipped with a couple of old storage sheds and I knew that with a little bit of creativity I could turn one into a perfect spot to house my flock. Ideally free range would be the way to go, but as my hubby constantly reminded me “we have 2 bird dogs & you want chickens??” I headed to our local farm store, purchased wood and chicken wire & got to work creating an enclosed outdoor area to keep the girls safe. I’d build a few walls, a door and I’d be laughin’. Out came the tools & after many days of blood, sweat and ample curse words my coop was complete. Aptly named the Fuster Cluck Coop, I was ready for some birds! My fabulous sister in law gave me my very first pair of Americauna’s – a stately rooster we named Foghorn Leghorn & a sweet hen called Duchess. I was thrilled to hear Foghorn’s crow and beyond ecstatic when Duchess presented me with my first green egg. A few days later I slapped my wellies on & headed out for my daily visit…compost bucket in hand. The sight that met me was one I will never forget – there was our beautiful black lab sitting so pretty, with a twinkle in her eye and one DUCHESS in her mouth!! What I failed to remember or contemplate was chickens are birds, birds have wings and can fly. Apparently Duchess had flown the coop and our lab was reaping the rewards. Needless to say my coop needed some modifications, like maybe a roof over the outdoor enclosure. Back to the farm store I went for more supplies. I built a simple “roof” using 2x4’s & chicken wire. No more flights of fancy were in my brood’s future. By this time I had also acquired a pair of overpriced silkies from a farm auction & they were fitting in quite nicely. My vision was all coming together. That is until our springer spaniel decided it was a good idea to slam his head through the chicken wire to get himself more acquainted with one of the newcomers. Did I mention I was a city girl?? Ugh. Thankfully I was on a first name basis with some of the employee’s at the farm store, so they didn’t even bat an eye when I came in and ordered myself up a truck load of 1x4. No questions were asked, which was a relief. The lower 3 feet of the outdoor enclosure is now encased and I can happily say that there have been no more incidents. At least with that area anyway…

Eye of the Storm

Eye of the Storm

OKC or Bust!

OKC or Bust!