In the beginning...

I love starting projects, and I seem to always be in the middle of creating something new, especially in the yard. All of these projects start with LOTS of internet research, and after getting a lot of good tips from bloggers and forums, I can't help but begin my own! Maybe someone can gather a bit of helpful information from it, or I can at least look back to learn from my own mistakes along the way :)

One of my newest endeavors is backyard chickens!

Here is our little flock of seven Buff Orpingtons. This is their first day with us, and they are about two weeks old. They are so soft and sweet!

The chickens have to stay indoors for a few weeks or until the weather gets warm enough for them to handle it. They are supposed to stay in their box, but we have several who are much too social for that!

Having smelly chickens in the house was a great motivator for us to finish the coop as soon as possible. But once we moved the chickens out, they missed being inside with us. Our parrot, however, was very happy to have the house back to himself.

Now that the chickens are out of the house, they love to free range in the backyard, especially the mulched gardens.

A few observations as a new chicken owner:
1. They are SO low maintenance! I open the chicken coop door in the morning, let them free range in the yard all day, and then at dusk they go back into the coop on their own. I count their fuzzy heads and close the door for the night. I check to make sure their food and water containers are filled, and that's it!

2. They have personalities. My chickens are very social, have distinct characteristics, and are always up to the funniest antics. They follow my husband and I around the yard, and come when called (unless distracted). I was not expecting such fun from a bunch of chickens!

3. They like to eat garden plants. This was a disappointing discovery. I love to garden and spend a lot of time working with my flowers and vegetables, so I was horrified to see that they had eaten every green leaf off of my kiwi vines and strawberry plants, not to mention eating portions of my lettuce, kale, dahlias, jasmine, and others. They also like to take dust baths in the mulch, which means mulch gets flung everywhere! This also causes a problem with direct sown seeds as they get dug up and flung out of the beds as well. I would fuss at them, but they are just too cute! I have a feeling I will be a terrible mother one day...

4. They eat like pigs! They eat everything in sight! Bugs, plants, leftover food, you name it. They are constantly pecking, tasting, devouring. Maybe they will slow down once they have finished growing, but at this rate they are eating us out of house and home!

To read more about this flock, click here.