My Chickens

Rhode Island Red rooster
Rhode Island Red Rooster
won Grand Champion Rhode Island at the Puyallup Fair

Bearded Belgian d'Anders Banties
Bearded Belgian d'Anders Banties

Andalusian Chickens
Andalusian Chickens

I started raising chickens when my kids were little and named all the hens after my aunts, Hazel, Myrtle, etc. I entered some of them in the Puyallup fair one year and my Rhode Island Red rooster won Grand Champion.

After serving as a clerk for the poultry judge at the King County Fair in Enumclaw WA., for 3 years I had a good basis to know what to look for in quality poultry and eventually raised several chicken breeds.

During the spring I had a separate pen for each of the breeds that I wanted to gather pure bred eggs for hatching with one rooster and 2 hens in each pen. After hatching the eggs I sold the chicks to 4H kids to take to the fair. I kept the chickens all in the same coop during the rest of the year.

I hatched the chicks in an aquarium in the house so my kids could watch them hatch. I had a perforated tray holding the eggs off the bottom with water beneath to provide humidity and lights above to provide the heat. Once they hatched I put them in a cardboard box with a heat lamp above to keep them warm. They were eventually moved outside in the chicken yard.

I had a really neat small chicken coop that was up off the ground with a door on the side to easily clean it out with a roost on the other side. One year I asked my husband to move the chicken house so the chickens could be on fresh ground. Being the real creative sort (and not real keen on manual labor) he wrapped it in chains and picked it up with his backhoe.

Everything was going along fine until it tipped to one side and fell to the ground, shattering it into a hundred pieces. That night, because he left his backhoe sitting where the old chicken house had been, the chickens roosted on it and left their calling cards all over it. I felt better then.

Later I moved to Spokane where the winters get too cold unless you heat the chicken house, or the hens won't lay eggs, so I quit raising chickens but I sure do miss them. My kids didn't miss having to help clean the chicken coop, however.

Buff Cochin hen with a bad leg
Buff Cochin Hen
This hen hurt her leg so I devised this sling that went under her chest and around her wings so she could get some exercise while she was healing.

Also see an
oil painting of chickens
oil painting of chickens