A seasoned chicken-keeper knows what ‘Chicken Math’ is. For those that haven’t been bitten by the chicken-farming bug, ‘Chicken Math’ is 2 + 2 = MORE. Once infected, chicken-keepers begin seeking out Facebook pages, poultry magazines, websites and blogs in order to learn all they can about barnyard fowl. Knowledge brings desire – for the birds with the best personalities, most beautiful plumage and the prettiest/biggest eggs. Before you know it, two becomes 4, then 10, 15, 25, and so on. Chicken Math is a bit fuzzy, but think addition and multiplication; subtraction is a rare operation in Chicken Math!
Laura’s mother-hen disposition created a need for a new home for all her foundlings. Tom and Adam happily set about designing and building a nice coop – mostly from reclaimed wood and supplies. As building progressed, Laura and Nicki found ways to make it ‘bigger and better.’ A window here, a clean-out door there, screen door, front porch and a nursery were some of the additions suggested. The men came through.
The front door leads to the nursery where the babies live until they are old enough to join the flock. A screen door separates the nursery from the main coop and a ‘playpen’ in the chicken yard gives the chicks fresh air, sunshine and scratching practice, as well as the chance to get acquainted with the big girls.
The main coop gets lots of fresh air and light through windows covered with protective screening. The nesting boxes and multiple roosting options provide plenty of resting places. Because the hens requested a bit of privacy and some style, Laura obliged by making curtains for their boxes.
Adam has all but banned Laura from trips to the feed store during ‘Chick Days.’ He knows she cannot control herself and will come home with a boxful of fluffy newborns every visit – and the guys are not too keen on building an addition at this time.