Just when I thought my life was back under control, Wendy decides we should have chickens. This idea was not completely foreign to me since I had raised chickens as a youngster. The chicken coop I built 25 years ago is still standing in my parent’s back yard, but is filled with maple sugaring supplies.
Wendy figured she had a source for birds since she was using chickens in her research on West Nile Virus. Since she could get five-week old birds, we needed a brooder. So, I spent my Christmas vacation, building one. This is what it looked like set up in the basement.
There were a number of problems. First, Wendy was not really supposed to have chickens at home since she might contaminate the flock at work. Of course, we found this out after we already had some. So, these had to go. This was not really a bad thing since the other problem was feline. I figured the cats would think of the brooder as television. NOT. Caterpillar was so scared of the sudden movement and noise that we had to move the litter box out of the basement. I would never guess that a cat that caught a weasel would be scared of chicks. Here is the weasel she killed.
I had been bitten by the "lets raise chickens bug and finally Wendy’s work with chickens ended so we could get back to having chickens at home. Of course, this meant more construction since the chickens would need a coop once they outgrew the brooder. Chickens start laying when they are about 20 weeks old. The chickens we acquired are White Leghorns. They are a very boring breed that lays white eggs. Some day we will get some brown chickens. Usually Leghorns are very flighty and easily spooked. The birds we have are very calm though.