My Renovation Blog

Monday, June 23, 2014

Chickens are Coming! Our Coop

After hours (days, really) of research regarding the coop, I finally chose and ordered one, which meant that I could order the chickens!  I went WAY over-budget on the coop, but I didn't want Gary to have to make one, and it's hard to find pre-fab ones that are big enough.  Most of them say they are for 3-4 or even 4-6 chickens, but after reading tons of reviews and forums, apparently, they are really only good for 1-2 chickens, and if you don't have enough space in the coop and run, the chickens will peck at each other.  Gary will still likely have to expand the run, even though it's allegedly big enough for 6-10 chickens!

I think I'm going to paint it white with a navy door so it matches our house- hee hee!

I ordered the chickens from Meyer Hatchery, which has a fabulous reputation.  I ended up with a Barred Plymouth Rock, a Red Star/Golden Buff, a Buff Orpington, a Silver Laced Wyandotte and two Easter Eggers (want to make sure I get enough of those beautiful blue/green eggs!).

They will arrive the week of July 10th so open invitation to come hold our baby chicks!  We want to make sure they get lots of handling so they are friendly adults. :)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Father's Day Weekend

Ella had her last day of preschool and Everett his last day of infant/toddler room on June 13, 2014...

We celebrated grandma and grammy's birthdays, which are both on the same day AND on Father's Day this year!

I don't know if I've ever mentioned Everett's love of rice, but the kid loves rice.  We had a catering tray of rice leftover from Father's Day, which I had on the island to serve for dinner, but when I turned around, this is what Everett was doing...
Yup.  He's eating cold rice directly out of the tray with a SERVING SPOON.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Backyard Chickens!

That's right peeps (you like that?), we are getting us some backyard chickens!  This urban family is going country!!

It all started when I saw Food, Inc. a few years ago.  I was disgusted and wanted chickens then, but we lived in our old tract home super close to our neighbors and with a small backyard.  So I started buying organic, free range eggs.  But then I learned that even alleged "certified organic" eggs still often come from poorly treated chickens, as there is not enough regulation.

As soon as we moved into the new house with our big backyard (big for CA standards!), I wanted two things in my herb/vegetable garden and my own chickens.  Gary and the kids just planted our garden last Sunday (I need to post pics), which was my first priority, so on Sunday night, my chicken research frenzy began!

After tons of research, I think it's an even better idea than I originally thought.  Fresh eggs have less cholesterol and significantly more nutrients than store bought eggs.  Chickens are less work than a cat or dog.  Chickens eat all the "bad" bugs- they are a natural bug repellant!  They also eat weeds and basically anything else so you can give them, including ALL your table scraps- no more wasted food!!  We will get brown, cream and blue/green eggs!  And the best part of all, the educational aspects are priceless.  I can't wait to show the kids where our food comes from, collect eggs with them every morning, give them some responsibility by helping clean the coop, etc.

I think I've decided on the breeds that I want.  My first priority is personality- I want docile breeds that are kid-friendly and most likely to want to cuddle! ;)  My second priority is egg production- obviously I want the most eggs possible (did you know that even the highest producers typically only lay 4-5 eggs a week, and that chickens stop producing eggs completely in winter?!).  My third priority is egg color- I want a pretty egg basket!  And my last priority is what the chicken looks like. :)

Red Star or Golden Buff (it's a Sexlink breed called by different names)

Ameraucana (they lay green, blue or pink eggs!)

Australorp (huge eggs producers and said to be "sweet and shy")

Easter Egger (that's the real name- they also produce blue or green eggs)

Orpington (not sure about this one- not one of the top producers but said to be very kid-friendly)

Barred Plymouth Rock (my favorite looks-wise- I love the pattern!)

Now I just need to convince Gary to build me a fancy chicken coop!!!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Birthday Weekend

It was a long birthday weekend for me!  It started with GNO for both my and Karen's birthdays, which are 6 days apart...

The next day was dinner with my parents, including smores for the kids!

And the next night was date night that involved a ton of this...
And a lot of this...

And ended on Sunday morning with a hung over selfie at McDonald's for a greasy breakfast...

The weekend before, we celebrated Hannah's birthday...

And we finally did a playdate that included Everett's BESTIE from school!  Seriously, for the past year, all Everett talks about is "Ro Ro"...