Friday, June 27, 2014

Urban Chickens: A Plucky Tale

Thanks To J and R and H and E and E.  Oops, don't want to forget Barley-Boo!  :)

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Hens Laying Eggs

Fitz and Lou are cute when they sit side-by-side in the nesting boxes.  See how puffed up they get while laying their eggs?
Here's Bruiser before laying her daily egg.  Does she look scornful?  I don't know why.  She had just chowed on spinach, yogurt, cooked eggs, and of course, some regular old egg-maker feed.
Bill was busy in the private nesting boxes.  She's been surprising me with a different nesting box every day.  The chickens usually use the same one over and over again.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Moose Crossing

Papa Hen and I spent a weekend away from Red Door Coop.  We camped the shores of Lake Granby. On our last morning there we enjoyed an early morning hike around Monarch Lake.  We heard that hikers will sometimes encounter moose around the lake.  It was our lucky day!
This young fellow stepped out onto the hiking path about 30-feet ahead of us to munch on some leaves.  It was nerve-wracking (heart beating like crazy!) to be in the presence of such an enormous creature, and one of the most exciting moments we've ever had while hiking.  We then located a second moose off to our left and down the hill.  That one was also munching on leaves.  Breakfast.

After the hike, we zipped on home to find that the chickens were happy as can be in the care of our neighbors.  Thanks, neighbors!

The children's librarian in me can't help but recommend one of my my favorite early chapter books, Moose Crossing  by Stephanie Greene.  Funny stuff!

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Serving Chicken Treats With Heart

The thrift store quest for pie tins to use when serving the chickens additional treats was successful-with a twist.  I decided that heart shaped cake pans would do!
Taking the advice of a chicken-rearing friend, we are feeding Fitz additional protein like crazy to combat her laying softies.  This means cooked eggs, yogurt, eggshells, crushed Caltrate pills, and a little garlic powder for good overall health.  I've been using compostable plates and an old plastic container to serve the birds these treats, but I needed something better.  Thank you, thrift store!

We were rewarded yesterday when Fitz laid a beautiful healthy egg!  Thanks T.B. for your advice.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Urban Chicken Documentary Trailer

Friends of ours are in the process of making a short documentary about Urban Chickens.  Over the weekend they interviewed us and another couple who also have hens.  The documentary will be finished in a few weeks.  For now, enjoy the dramatic trailer!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ch-ch-changes, Part II

Yesterday was a big day in the yard!

Except for a few plants we want to add, the flagstone path is complete.  We are greatly indebted to our friend who started this project with us.  Without his expertise, it never would have happened.  Thanks, M.N.!  Papa Hen and I added a few plants next to the coop.  They'll grow fairly large and provide shade to the birds since we aren't having any luck with backyard trees right now.

Chicken Life

The birds seemed to enjoy all the activity in the yard yesterday, watching our every move and happily pouncing on the worms we discovered as we dug in the yard.  Fitz has been either not laying or laying softies all week--I'm a bit worried to tell the truth.  She is acting very healthy and normal otherwise though.  I need to talk to some chicken experts this week to try and get some answers and solutions for her problems.

Fitz trying to lay an egg.  She had already laid a softie.  :-(
 Lou's turn in the box.  She was successful!
 Bruiser and Bill.

Saturday, June 14, 2014


We've been working on the coop and the backyard.  Before we start on more projects today, I thought I would share some of the little things that are making a big difference in the running of the coop.

Papa Hen got some old grain scoops at a vintage sale.  We are using them to stow things as we go in and out of the coop for chicken chores.

When the temperatures get hot, the inside of the Red Door Coop Shed gets stifling and the hay and feed was suffering.  The answer was ventilation.  Papa Hen put one vent above the shed door and another one in the back.

Mama Hen planted the vegetable garden.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Lou Loves Meal Worms!

Lou will fly for meal worms!
And then she will eat them and look for more.  Lou doesn't care about the other treats in her scratch, just meal worms!

Then she mocks the older birds and the caged bird who can't fly as high as she can!

Clear Creek History Park

A friend and I visited one small part of the Clear Creek History Park today.  Can you guess which part?

The chickens in Golden made it clear that roosters are not for us.  The main man in this coop was pretty to look at but seemed to cause a lot of grief for the ladies.   Many of the hens' backs were bare of feathers and they tended to waddle away from him when he came near.

Overall, it seemed like a happy bunch of chickens!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Red Door Coop Hens Today

The chickens are acclimating to the warmer summer temperatures, some better than others.  With increased sunlight, Fitz's body wants to lay more eggs than the usual one a day.  Unfortunately her calcium supply can't keep up and she has had two softies in the last couple of days.  We will be working on her calcium intake this week.  Did you hear that Papa Hen?

Here are the chickens today.

Fitz gets two pictures because she doesn't feel good.

  Here are the others.  Bruiser is looking up at me.  And scary.  Good scary.

Lou is cute.  As usual.

And good old Bill.  Everybody's buddy.  The only bird who gets along with everyone.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


We've had some afternoon storms this week.  Today's storm took me back to a historic day in Tucson on Easter Sunday, 1999--when it snowed in the desert and we stood in wonder in the street.  No, it wasn't snowing in Denver in June, but the hail was different and it brought the neighbors out of their houses.  Take a look at all the hailstones.  They were not accompanied by rain.

The neighborhood folks danced around in the street and we tossed hailstones at each other.  When a young girl spotted the rainbow, we all stopped.

Then I went to check on the birds.  Apparently, they don't like hailstorms.  They were all hiding out in the coop.  Can't see them, can you?
 Then the sun peeked through and the birds tentatively came back toward the coop door.

 The hail turned to rain.
What a beautiful afternoon!

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sunday, June 1, 2014


On our way to a trail head in Cuchara last weekend, we stumbled upon this.
And this.

On the way home, near Perry Park, we stumbled upon this.
For real.