Grit Blogs > Heiden On The Farm

The Story of Our Chickens

Chris HeidenI had been looking at several hobby farming/homesteading magazines (GRIT and MOTHER EARTH NEWS) at the local farm supply store for years. We moved to the country 13 years ago when we built our house. We have 5 acres of land that we hadn't really fully taken advantage of until 2013. We decided to buy some egg-laying chicks at the local farm store.

The year 2013 was an interesting experience. On a whim we purchased 12 pullets and chicks and three bantam chicks. We, of course, bought the starter grower feed from the store along with baby chick feeder, waterer and heat lamp. The other “introductory” purchase was the bag of animal bedding. Looking back on this, we have learned what we needed and didn’t need over that time. We still have the items.

Our next intent was to build a small coop. However, this changed from a smaller one into an 8-foot-square coop.

Our coop
Our coop with small first phase fenced in area.

My wife and I built the coop in our spare time when our youngest son was napping. This took us several months to do, but we had the chickens ready to move into their new chicken condo in June 2013. It sure beat their previous housing – some huge wooden boxes in our garage. I think we spent more time planning by researching chicken coop designs on the Internet. As you can see we decided on a shed-style design.

We added a new rooster – Logan – a Rhode Island Red and, we think, Easter Egg/Aracauna mix.

Our main rooster Logan
Our main rooster Logan watching over his girls.

He keeps watch over our hens along with his little buddies, “Rooster” and “Chicken Little,” our bantam roosters.

Bantam rooster sitting
Bantam rooster taking a break with his ladies.

Bantam rooster
Bantam rooster watching over the flock in the coop.

In 2014, we added more hens and a new fenced-in area, and hoop coop.

Outdoor hoop coop
Outdoor hoop coop where we put the feed and water. 

We used a smaller size for the expansion. The new coop expansion is 8 feet square but slightly shorter. I will post more photographs of this in later posts. We also raised three meat turkeys this year. They were a pleasure to have, and we plan on raising a small group of Blue Slate turkeys this year for my son’s 4-H project.

Meat turkeys
Our first attempt at raising meat turkeys.

We have learned and enjoyed a lot. I look forward to sharing this with everyone.