We have got chickens!

Open Air chicken coop

Open Air chicken coop

I’ve finished the open air chicken coop by the end of January. When I started to search for chickens ready for winter, I discovered there none for sale! All chickens, even hardy breeds are kept in heated coops (or at least under a heating lamp). My first reaction was to reschedule the chickens for April. But then I recalled that the new greenhouse on the main farm is standing empty from Autumn.  After consulting with Benoit, the next simple design came out:

Greenhouse Chicken Shelter

Greenhouse Chicken Shelter

I call it a “Chicken Toaster” because of heating fan and a temperature sensor at the top. It took 2 hours to make the whole “system”.

Now I could buy chickens. I found a advertisement on Kijiji about young laying hens for $7 each, that is cheaper than usual. There was some suspicion about the place, because chickens are usually sell fast and those were still available for more then 2 weeks. Olivier called them also and also didn’t like the answers.

After some hesitations I decided to go and see the chickens in Saint-Lin.

Just the view of the farm confirmed my hesitations, but when I saw the poor, beak-mutilated orphans with frostbitten combs and crooked fingers my hart broke and I bought 15 hens and 1 rooster. I probably had to buy (actually to save) more, but there was a lot and I couldn’t save all…

Transporting chickens

Transporting chickens

Chickens are very compact! They packed for me 15 chickens  + 1 rooster in 5 grocery boxes. The rooster was alone, in one box there were 5 chickens, how other were placed, I don’t remember.  All chickens were extremely calm and submissive. All the way they were so calm that I started to fear if they are still alive.

15 chickens on a single slade

15 chickens on a single slade

They calmly allowed to pool them in one ride to the greenhouse,

Hungry chickens at the feeder

Hungry chickens at the feeder

and were very happy to have some food and water. I decided to start from their usual feed and later slowly switch to more natural diet and food scrap.

Chickens in the temporary shelter

Chickens in the temporary shelter

They also accepted their shelter. Poor things are not accustomed to roost. So some of them went to sleep on the floor this night.

First egg!

First egg!

When I returned home I discovered in one of the boxes a humble present from my chickens – the first egg!

It was slightly broken by rough handling of the boxes, but still very tasty!