Monday, March 16, 2009
Chickens Are Here!!!
Spring has sprung around these parts. It is raining/snowing outside but inside we've got chickens growing under heat lamps and vegetable seedlings sprouting in the kitchen. This is the first year I've gotten a "jump" on gardening. I normally prefer to wait until May and buy my vegetables as small starter plants. This gets expensive and deprives me my choice in selecting our produce for the year. Lots of research later and I've done so far so good. I started the seeds in an old drawer with a heating pad and towels lining the bottom and plastic wrap covering the top. This provides a warm, greenhouse like environment which encourages seed sprouting. Once the plants begin to grow I move them into a counter top container where they are getting very leggy. Today I am on the lookout for a full spectrum light to encourage their growth, as the rain/snow combo is keeping the sun away. For anyone gardening in the Pacific Northwest, Territorial Seed Companies catalogue is essential. www.territorialseed.com
And of course....the chickens. Where to begin with the chickens? We've been talking about them for a long while and now we have taken the leap. With the help of copious online research and some really great books including this one (Keeping Chickens: The Essential Guide by Jeremy Hobson and Celia Lewis) that my mom got us for Christmas, we have some happy healthy chicks. We also took a class on raising chickens through Pistils Nursery here in Portland. In that class we learned that the city ordinance just went from 3 to 6 allowable chickens per family. That's great news since most of the coop plans we are considering accommodate up to 8 birds. Here are some great resources for anyone thinking about chickens:
*Wonderful store/blog here in Portland, these people have been so helpful and the chicks we bought from them are very
robust and healthy: http://www.urbanfarmstore.com/blog/
*Backyard Farming, great blog with lots of chicken info: http://backyardfarming.blogspot.com/
*Pistils Nursery: http://www.pistilsnursery.com/
Here are some photos from inside the brooder. The chicks are 2 1/2 weeks old now and are starting to enter their "awkward teen years". Their cute fluff is starting to go away as feathers are growing in.