Let me off the grid! A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

A journey toward artful, holistic living in the middle of Sin City...

Monday, June 17, 2013

The Viking Chickens

On May 1st, I purchased two baby chicks from our local CAL Ranch store.
Baby Bela

Baby Fleck
They were horribly cute, as you can see.  The chicks lived for several weeks in a large tub on our balcony, away from our four-footed creatures (two cats and two dogs).  It was amazing to see how quickly they grew.  After a time, I began to worry that they were over crowded and I needed to arrange a larger space for them. I purchased a small coop that was raised on legs and surrounded it with chicken wire attached to 6-foot stakes.  It was serviceable, but pretty ugly (not that the chickens cared, but I did), and I didn't even take a picture of it.  However, I did take a picture of the babies when they figured out how to walk up the ramp to the coop:
Bela and Fleck, 4 weeks old
After looking at numerous chicken coop plans, pictures and sites, I remembered that I had two Viking A-frame tents in storage, left over from my days in the SCA.  So Memorial Day weekend was spent building a coop and run for the little chick-a-bees.
The Viking chicken coop
While a professional carpenter would take one look at this and roll her eyes, I'm pretty proud of it and it has withstood the tests of the chihuahua, dachshund, tabby and ginger cats.  Since the heat has arrived with a vengeance, I have the run covered with shade cloth and a mister directed into the run.  Both keep the inside temperature below 100 degrees, even when it's 115 outside.  I planted a jasmine between the run and the wall in the hopes that it will eventually vine over the run, providing sweet smelling shade.

The "babies" are now 7 weeks old and looking more and more like real chickens:
Bela and Fleck
They get to free range the back yard every day, but stay close to their Viking mansion.  Often they only come out for a few minutes and then go back inside.  I guess they know where home is.

When I bought them, they were labeled as Araucana chickens, but after doing some research, I have my doubts.  Araucanas do not have tails, and these girls definitely have tail feathers.  Perhaps they are Ameraucanas or Easter eggers.  I guess we'll see once they begin to lay eggs...


Gayle said...

You are so clever to create a viking coop! I love it. I think they are just Viking chicks!

marilyn said...

Your chicks are so darned cute. Love Bela and Fleck at 4 weeks old, especially the little turn of the head. Great idea to use the jasmine. Julia, what is the SCA? You have mentioned it before, but I have to declare ignorance as to what it is.