Meet Pox, Colonel, and Nugget. First line of defense against pests, and converters of said pests and weeds into food. These girls will grow up to be bug-eating, fertilizer-creating, egg-producing machines. Hopefully, at least. If not, at least they're cute?
Yes, we got hens. Well, chicks that will become hens. It took much convincing for the boyfriend to cave in and let me get these useful critters, and then also build them a home for when they grow up. In the end, I gave up on convincing and just told him to pick some names because we're getting chicks. After turning down several inappropriate names, including but not limited to "Strips", "Tenders" and "Fingers", he settled on the cuter but still chicken-themed names of Pox, Colonel and Nugget. If you didn't know already, the general rule in our home is that if I get a new animal, Tyler gets to name them. It usually works out, because I still have veto power over these names and usually refuse many, many names before he comes up with one we both like.
Pox is a Rhode Island Red, Colonel a Black Sexlink, and Nugget is a Buff Orpington. They have very different personalities that I've already had the honor to discover! Pox is the most friendly, though Nugget is catching up quickly. Pox can fall asleep pretty much at any moment, and Nugget can snuggle up after getting over being confused about whatever she gets confused about. Once she's in sleep mode she's pretty much out, but if she's awake her mouth is almost always open. Colonel on the other hand, is clearly the leader and can only settle down if the three of them are in a line and she is in the middle, certain that there are no threats. She is fast, and likes to run away, climb, and jump onto my hand only to leap off in a moment of epic flying. Nugget is definitely the most calm, though Pox is most comfortable with me. Nugget may pass up Pox soon in her snuggle abilities! Colonel might be the smartest though.
Until they're big enough, they're living in our laundry room in a small rodent cage. They will graduate to a medium dog kennel once they're too big for the cage. During the warm days they go outside to their outdoor kennel so they can get use to foraging on the ground through the wires. Lucky for them, it has been quite warm so they get to spend a lot of time out in the sunshine!
We wanted to be prepared for when they make the move to sleeping outside, so we spent our three day weekend doing yard work and building the coop. Using an old dog house we had already, and wood that we accumulated from used pallets and crates, we lifted the dog house and added laying boxes to the side. We made a makeshift door, and only had to purchase the hinges and locks. The bottom of the coop has chicken wire, with wood planks for them to walk on so that it is easy to clean.