Coop 6: Henry's Coop
(1) When did you start keeping chickens and why?
I started keeping chickens Sept. 3, 2020. My dad and I picked them up at the post office, and I was smiling the whole way home. They were so cute and very, very tiny.
I like to take care of animals. The best part of it is the feeling of reward. It’s a big joy to have pets. Even though I don’t have a cat or dog, to me it’s kind of like having one of those pets.
(2) How many chickens do you have and what breeds?
Well, I have eight chickens; there are two Polish, two Buff Orpingtons, two Aracauna, and two Rhode Island Reds.
Favorites? OK, let’s start with Amadeus, who is Polish. Amadeus is very nice. When you hold her, she’s calm. She gets very excited to get back in the coop. She’s just an excitable chicken. She’s best friends with another of the Polish hens.
Buffy is very quiet, but she says something when it’s important. I don’t know how that is, but it does seem like it! She’s a Buff Orpington, very fast, and a pretty hen.
Henry Junior is a Polish rooster. I named him after me. He’s a confident, brash little rooster. He doesn’t run away as much as he used to, but he looks like a roadrunner when he runs.
(3) Do you consider them your pets?
Yes, I do consider them my pets.
|Henry and Henry, Jr., a Polish Rooster.|
(4) What are some of your favorite features of your coop?
- The long plank that they use to run up to the coop. It’s fun to watch them run up the long plank!
- The weed feeder. It’s made from an old bird feeder. It’s fun to watch them peck at their “weed salad.”
- I like their water feeder. It’s amusing to watch how they drink water.
- I like how big their run is. I can stand right inside of it with them.
The weed feeder, made from a repurposed bird feeder, is a favorite with the chickens.
(5) Talk a little about your feeding and watering systems.
For watering we use a five gallon bucket and lid with two little water access points.
My chickens eat organic veggies and fruit that we put into the food processor. They free-range and eat what they find outside. And we give them organic feed. We don’t give them tap water. They drink filtered water!
(6) Is there anything that surprised you about keeping chickens?
I was surprised at how much they like weeds!
Henry can tell what type of chicken laid an egg by looking at its size and color.
(7) Describe your coop maintenance regimen?
We add pine shavings to the nesting area once a week, cleaning out the old stuff when we do it. We take the older shavings from the coop and put them in their outside run. We clean their ramps every once in awhile. My mom and dad just fixed the door on their outside run so it didn’t have such a big gap. This is so they can be safe from other animals.
The coop has a variety of objects in the run, such as ramps and a swing, to help stave off boredom.
(8) Do you have any advice for people considering getting chickens?
I would not recommend getting too many roosters if you don’t have a lot of hens. They get competitive with each other, so be careful with that! Also, if you have a dog or cat, be sure to be around when you let your chickens out.