Honeychick Homestead

Homestead, Health, and Happiness


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Goodbye Mr. Rooster, Hello Rocky

My first experience with chickens has definitely been exciting! As I shared the last time I wrote about my chickens, we ended up with a rooster who we called Roadrunner because he ran so fast. Here’s the video of him getting out his first crow:

Because our home is zoned R-1 residential, we are not allowed to keep roosters, so we had to exchange him for a hen. I was bummed because I thought it would’ve been super cool to raise my own baby chicks from my flock! I am sure most of my neighbors were happy to see him go, hearing a rooster crow at 6 am isn’t everyone’s cup of tea!

My first attempt to catch him by myself to bring him back to the farm, failed miserably. Thankfully, we came up with a good plan how to catch him, this all happened before our chicken condo was built so we couldn’t get inside the coop. Chasing him around our orchard was another thing I tried but that was also a failure, like I said, he was fast! Continue reading

Check Out Our Chicken Condo! (aka Chicken Coop)

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It has been a busy two weeks since I returned home from my unexpected trip back home to Michigan for a funeral. I’ve finally gotten caught up on housework, homework, and yard work!

Although I had to travel home for a sad event, I was able to spend time with several family members and friends. I am grateful I was able to see several cousins, my great-aunt, and two of my best friends from elementary and middle school.

During the week I was away, my husband put the finishing touches on our “chicken condo” and I was able to have the ladies move in the weekend I returned. This new coop is a HUGE upgrade from the pre-fab one we had purchased from Pet Co.

One of the best things about this new coop is I can walk into it, which is key to having the option to get them inside the coop before dusk. It has been sooo nice not to wait for sunset before we could leave the house. Now I no longer have to make sure I’m home at dusk to put them in!

Another great thing is the bigger coop space means I only need to clean it once a week, the other coop required cleaning 2-3 times a week.  They now have ample roost space and the run is big enough leave them in all day. It’s rare that they don’t free range in the orchard but it’s nice they now have adequate space if we can’t let them roam.

My husband built the coop and run himself and it was the first structure he’s ever built. I personally think he did an amazing job! I think he was happy he got a new power tool to help complete this project 🙂 I did most of the painting. Our coop is three different colors and that’s fine with me! We used left over paint from our shed, house, and a cheap “mismatched” gray color from the paint store.

We loosely followed this design we found at Backyard Chickens (their’s is much bigger than what we built) and I used these coop dimensions and design criteria I found on Hen Cam. I really appreciate the detailed information Hen Cam provides!

My husband worked on it almost every weekend starting the weekend of August 7th and it was officially complete October 17th, so it took a little over two months to complete. He’s going to write a post with specific plans and share things he learned while building this coop. Take a look these photos documenting the process, start to finish! View the pictures →

This gallery contains 33 photos


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Introducing….My Egg Laying Ladies!

I FINALLY have hens! If you follow my Facebook page, this is old news 🙂

It’s taken me 2 years to add these ladies to my little homestead and I felt this summer was a good time to take the plunge. I’m glad I waited until I was ready, because the 30 days since their arrival kept me busy and it’s be huge learning experience.

In my humble opinion, I think bees are WAY easier and I’m so glad I started with bees!

I decided to skip the cute, cuddly chick part, and instead get 16 week old, ready to lay hens. I chose this option because I don’t believe in supporting factory farms and it seemed like most hatchery’s are baby making factory farms for chicks. One hatchery I felt comfortable buying from (Sand Hill) had a minimum order of 25 chicks. Starting with 25 felt super overwhelming! Sand Hill only sells chicks straight run, meaning they do not sex them, so I may have ended up with several roosters.

Even though baby chicks would’ve been cute, I thought it would be tons of work and didn’t feel like I had the time. I also didn’t want to accidentally end up with a rooster, I’d love fertile eggs but I’m not allowed to keep a rooster because of my zoning.

I contacted Live Earth Farm, a local farm who provides my vegetable CSA, to see if they had hens available. They recommended I contact Root Down Farm located about 30 miles north. I was so glad to learn about Root Down Farm, the owner, Dede is super friendly and she’s raises heritage breed Delaware, Chantecler, and Plymouth Rock chickens. Her farm is also animal welfare approved.

The day I called, Dede said she’d have ready to lay hens available in near the end of July. This was perfect timing, so we set a date and on the evening of July 26th, I picked up six hens. The rest of this post is a picture gallery sharing what’s transpired over the last month, enjoy! Continue reading