Chickens, peeps and a few flowers.

gardeningmaryMay 16, 2009

Especially for Kathy - here is the coop. Bear in mind it is a temporary home for the two biggest chickens till the permanent henhouse and large yard are complete. It includes bits of my old greenhouse, cold frame, guinea pig run and a shipping crate. It has a secure padlock to keep out the nighttime predators.

The girls seem very happy with their surroundings (Red Betty and Henny Penny)

And seem to enjoy watching antics in the pool beyond the fence.

Its hard to believe the peeps have turned into baby chickens in just 3 weeks. Today they had their first taste of the outdoors. They seemed a little perplexed at first:

But soon got the hang of what to do.

The gardens are so fresh looking at this time of year. Although I crave flowers and color above all else, the many shades of green and beautiful right now.

Hosta Gaucomole is almost good enough to eat.

I love Angelique tulips peeking up amongst the forget-me-nots.

And bright lily flowerd tulips with Euphorbia Polychroma.

More subtle, a pale lemon azelea.

Mary

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dodgerdudette

Very ingenious Mary ! And thanks for the bonus garden pics, I very much liked the lily flowewred tulips and the fabu azalea--I'm very fond of that particular shade of yellow in the garden. The feather kids are too cute especially the little fuzzies. I don't recall reading of the planned permanent abode for the brood- is this another Mary designed and inplemented project ? Look forward to seeing it.

Kathy in Napa

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 5:08PM
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woodyoak zone 5 Canada(5b)

Very cute chick pictures:-) Will you be turning them loose in the garden in the daytime? I look forward to the finished coop; I'll bet you produce an elegantly creative one...

Angelique tulips are one of my favorite. The yellow azelea could almost overcome my aversion to yellow in the garden! :-) Does it have a lemony scent too? One of my fondest garden memories of trips to England is walking through Leonardslee in May and almost being overpowered by the scent from all the azeleas.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 5:17PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

The hen's temporary abode is quite adequate. :-)
I would not reccomend turning them out in your gardens in the daytime. I tried that with ours, and was appalled at the damage they did, but then, we had a lot more chickens at that time.

I agree about the spring greens. To me they are beautiful, even without flowers.
I love the Hosta Guacomole. How big are it's leaves? it resembles my huge blue one. It's leaves are 11 inches long. My chartreuse one has 7 1/2 inch leaves.
I love both varieties of tulips, and the yellow azalea.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 5:32PM
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gardenbug(Canada zone 5)

Mary's playground is in top form these days! :)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 6:24PM
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gardeningmary

Kathy - a neighbor has offered me an old garden shed I thought would be perfect when the baby chickens join the flock and to overwinter. The small coop can then be converted into the quail pen - apparently you cannot mix quail and chicken in enclosed quarters.

Woody - I've ordered electric poultry netting which I will use to set up larger movebable runs for the chickens. It is actually cheaper than wood and wire fencing and has the advantage of taking only minutes to set up and move. It also the benefit of keeping all 4 legged predators out, canine and wild. Clousseau is, after all, a bird dog and it is not unknown to have neigbors dogs wander into our yard. I have bird netting to drape over the trees for protection from hawks.

The chickens will have the run of large sections of grass and shrubs but not my planted beds as they shred any broad leaved plants and scratch up anything smaller.

Marian - I'll have to measure the guacomole leaves - I'd guess they are closer to 11 inches once unfurled. So far the rabbits and deer have not discovered this one.

Mary

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 8:04PM
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triple_creek(z5)

Mary, The temporary coop works well. I like that you incorporated the limb as a roost. Red Betty and Henny Penny make a nice combo. The little ones are cute too. I like your tulip combos too. Good score on the shed from your neighbor. I will be looking forward to updates on the chickens and abodes. We are buying fresh eggs from the neighbor boys. They even deliver them. They are so much better than store bought. Norma

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 9:16PM
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deanneart(z5Southern NH)

Wow Mary! You are an amazing person! What an ingenious and well thought out chicken house. Love it. and the gardens are so beautiful. I agree that there is nothing quite like the beautiful and lush spring greens. A lovely tour and so nice to meet your new feathered friends.

Deanne

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 9:23PM
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anitamo(5)

You've done well for your newest pets. They're adorable, and so is their home sweet home. I hope you get many years enjoyment out of them. Love your gardens, too.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 9:44PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

I forgot to mention the forget-me-nots. I now have at least one plant in three differant places. Surely at least one location will be to their liking and they will increase.I want a large patch like yours. :-)

    Bookmark   May 16, 2009 at 10:01PM
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chelone

What a fun glimpse of springtime and the sort of native ingenuity that makes me smile.

It's amazing that chicks turn into mini-chickens in such a short time span. I love that their natural instincts kicked right in and they knew exactly how to chickens when let out into the big wide world. They are just darling! At some point you'll have to explain how Red Betty got her name, it cracks me up whenever I read it.

And I agree about the many shades of green in the great outdoors. There is something so lush and luxe about brand new emerging foliage. And while I've never been much on tulips your combinations are really pretty, love the Myosotis in the background!

Lots of bare ground here that must be mulched or I'll be overcome with weeds shortly.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2009 at 6:01AM
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prairiemoon2 z6 MA

Mary, you really put on your thinking cap for that set up for the chickies. Good job! The babies are so cute!! I will enjoy seeing what they look like when they get bigger. So you are building a permanent home for them? I wonder what they will do over the winter? ...... Love your yellow azalea! You don't see that color too often. I have a Guacomole Hosta too. Don't you love the flowers? Thanks for posting your pics, I really enjoyed them! Hope you will update as they get bigger and when their next home is completed.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:25AM
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veronicastrum(z5 IL)

What fun to see your chicks and some spring highlights!

V.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2009 at 9:13PM
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michelle_zone4

Mary, lovely shots of your gardens. I'm impressed with the birds new abode. I'm glad we can enjoy your chicks progress.

Michelle

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 12:06AM
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gardeningmary

Chelone - Red Betty is a Red Star hybrid chick (crossed parents just like a plant hybrid). Having a ramshackle coop and chickens in your yard also seems a little redneck so we decided on a name with "red" in and Betty just stuck. It does seem the perfect name.

PM - as long as there is protection from the elements and unfrozen water the breeds I chose are all winter hardy here. Apparently chickens' feathers are excellent insulators and the birds suffer much more in heat than they do in cold. It is more important to ventilate a henhouse than it is to insulate it.

Mary

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 5:06PM
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Marian_2(Z6 ARKozarks)

Mary, you have certainly got the part about the cold correct. As a child my parents always had chickens, and they roosted in an unheated house at 40 below zero! There was never a problem with them freezing to death. Sometimes their combs will freeze. We had that happen to our chickens here.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 5:21PM
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chelone

And when, wonders Chelone, will you unveil the quail...

I offer the following names for two: Dan and Marilyn.

(love that you're embracing your inner "redneck", too!)

    Bookmark   May 19, 2009 at 8:29PM
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