7 Heavenly Hens GARDEN | blog

We are an urban homestead based on natural, holistic and sustainable principles. Our livestock includes chickens & honey bees and we cultivate fruits, vegetables and kitchen herbs.

02 – Urban chickens; The Year in Review at 7HH-G

10457796_10204299374517521_3546903031491972627_n

Dried meal-worm treat time gets everyone’s attention.

 

They will turn 2 years old this coming April 2016.  Our chickens have been quite a hoot. We received them as day old chicks in the mail – hand picked breeds from My Pet Chicken.com. Seven different breeds would give us the chance to experience a good cross section of laying hens available – each one selected should do well in our arid, high mountain home of Albuquerque (hot dry summers with cold some what snowy winters). Unfortunately, 3 of our selections did not make our chosen hatch date – not a problem as there were several local feed stores with peeping chicks galore for us to make up our goal of seven. Besides our chicken coop that our family built together, we also constructed our brooder together as well. We had read several books and scoured numerous YouTube videos ; we were ready for chicks !

Here is a run down of the 7 Heavenly Hens +1 which comprise our first flock:

  1. Scrambled – a Sicilian buttercup (white eggs).
  2. Melanie – a Cuckoo maran (dark brown eggs).
  3. Hennifer – a Barred Plymouth Rock (brown eggs).
  4. Claire – a Golden buff (brown eggs).
  5. Ginger – a Rhode Island Red (brown eggs).
  6. Trinity – an Australorp (light brown eggs).
  7. Buttercup – an Easter egger (light green eggs).
  8. June -a Silver Laced Wyandotte (light brown eggs).
10325659_10205017971521997_8330736543820360862_n

Clean water is always available.

 

The +1 is due to the thought that we believed, after only one week of having the chicks, that one of our original 7 chicks was a cockerel – which was not something we wanted. So we picked up an extra chick, the cuckoo maran. The chick we original thought was a cockerel ended up not being one, hence, 8 instead of 7 .

We love the eggs we get from these birds – we have become egg snobs as we swear by the taste and quality of our farm fresh eggs. And only now during winter , as they have stopped laying with the shorter days and lack of sunlight , do we really miss their eggs.  Longer days cannot arrive soon enough. We don’t look at these hens as production / income generating egg layers for our family so we don’t add artificial lighting now during the winter months – we also feel the natural cycle of the seasons and allowing their bodies to focus on replacing feathers as they molt during this time is better for them.

11164694_10204337103491557_5327294157554891093_n

Farm fresh eggs at the peak of laying during the summer.

 

Feed and water are always available for the flock – DIY projects converted 5 gallon buckets into containers that they use in their secure run. These are filled every couple of weeks and minimize waste and spilling.

934791_10203992191038126_7750536510479405248_n

The watering container is hung in their run – 3 steel nipples are used.

 

11879049_10206978196726402_8503519882967260201_o

PVC sewer elbows are used for the feeder bucket – zero waste here.

 

Our thought for letting them free range when not confined to their spacious run, is to let them out into their paddock which is surrounded by ag fencing. We also allow them out beyond their open-air paddock into the eco-lawn area where they truly love to forage on the grasses, insects and other plants of the main green space. The only area they are not allowed into is the potager which is where we grow herbs, flowers and vegetables in raised beds.

12191379_10207296617806730_5504580540925136929_o

Run door opened but paddock door closed gives them open air access to do their thing.

 

12034320_10207013155920360_1204081882307585303_o

Tending to his flock as they free range on the Fleur de Lawn.

 

10012692_487685154728343_1350751679395044195_o

Urban chickens in their GARDEN.

 

Besides the eggs they provide, the other major benefit for having chickens here at 7HH-G is that their poop (and there’s lots of that ) is a constant source of nitrogen for our compost bins. Both bins are located in the chicken paddock very close to the coop. So when their poop board is sifted clean every day or so, it goes right into the compost bins.  Also their hen-house shavings or straw goes into the compost bins when they are cleaned out in the spring and winter.  And earlier this year, we switched to a deep litter method for their secure run and that gets cleaned out and put into the compost bin as well.

image (143)

Sifting clean the poop board literally takes about 60 seconds.

 

10885449_10205078374752040_3703679903066202248_n

The compost bins are adjacent to the chicken coop for obvious reasons.

 

We’ve been very happy with these breeds of chickens – can’t complain about anyone in particular. Some are shy , some are friendly and some are just plain old chickens. Scrambled, the smallest hen, happens to be the most charismatic one and is also at the top of the pecking order. One other friendly one is Hennifer , the BPR. She’s curious and gets along with all of her flock-mates.

10653821_10204268971557466_7842398399311600481_n

Scrambled is the head-hen at 7HH-G.

 

1614012_10206324918874864_4570125314811785930_o

Hennifer is one of a kind.

 

We will most likely add some more hens to the flock next year – space in the coop and run would allow for 3 more to be introduced. They will probably be the breeds we missed out the first time around;  a Golden Laced Wyandotte and a Welsummer. And we would include a Buff Orpington.

10806419_10204977287624925_2317982555756685528_n

A young lady alone with her thoughts & her chickens.

 

Our urban chickens are an integral part of our urban farm;  they provide farm fresh eggs and supply a constant source of nitrogen for our compost bins. They feed on insects and keep our Fleur de Lawn mowed – they earn their keep every day and provide cheap entertainment for our family. We would highly recommend keeping backyard chickens to anyone interested in them.

Advertisements

2 comments on “02 – Urban chickens; The Year in Review at 7HH-G

  1. Rene Rogers
    December 27, 2015

    I loved reading this…and seeing all the hens and all the names…and the people, too. 🙂

    • sam3abq
      December 27, 2015

      Thank you Rene ! I would think you know all of that already as you follow us 🙂 I’m not Mark Twain with my writing but I try – haha !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Information

This entry was posted on December 26, 2015 by in Recap posts.
Patti Says...

Causing dialogue and eliciting responses about living design while presenting various observations for critique, consideration, solutions and some good humor!

Spirited Rose Homestead Dairy Farm

Happy Cows ~ Quality Milk ~ Healthy People

The Farm Barbie - Real Food for Health & Wellness

Ready for a fresh approach to healthy living? Or maybe growing your own food, roasting deer legs and stuffing mason jars sound like your idea of fun.. Come join the food revolution! Be inspired, empowered and encouraged to eat real, live healthy and enjoy everything!

grassfood.

discoveries along the grassfed life

digging with Dana

My southern style of living through gardening, cooking and diy projects. Stop by often to see what I am digging into during my free time.

Urban Overalls

Celebrating the urban homestead

Mucking Moms

Horse Showing, Stall Mucking, Kid Raising, Garden Growing, Animal Rearing, Creative Crafting, Home Cooking, Penny Pinching, Coupon Clipping, Family Loving Moms

The Toy Box Suburban Farm

Living off the land when the land is a small suburban lot.

Comfort Chickens Homestead

"Farm Fresh Fragrances"

The Source News

Brisbane News, Australia News and World News

Simple Bees

Bee-centred Natural Beekeeping: Information, Hives and Courses

Adventures in Natural Beekeeping

Bees, Hives, Swarms, and Everything under the Sun

Lewisham House and Farm

Exploring sustainability in Sydney, and down south

Oxfordshire Natural Beekeeping Group

Honey bees holistically - bee-centered, low intervention and chemical-free

The Wicked Chicken

Sharing the often fun, sometimes tragic but always fabulous life in the country!

thecraftycreek

Making and creating

Willow Creek Farm

High Altitude Homesteading

A Girl & Her Chickens

A dive into all things feathered and farming...

%d bloggers like this: