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The cock-a-doodle...to-do.

Shelley Lowe animals chickens farm homestead

This is a bit of a sad story.  

A few months ago, my mother-in-law (who lives about 5 miles from us), decided to start raising and keeping chickens for eggs.  She started with four female chicks (they were sooooo cute!).  She spent weeks raising them in a back room of her house until they were old enough and it was warm enough for them to live outside in their newly constructed backyard chicken coop.  Unfortunately, a Siberian husky dog also lives in the backyard and managed to kill two of them through the fencing around the coop (Clever girl).  It was very sad.  But not to be deterred, my in-laws put up an electric fence and bought 10 more young chickens.  This time though, they were straight-run chickens. For those of you who are not up on your poultry-raising lingo, straight-run means the chicks were not sorted by sex when they hatched and there is no guarantee on how many of them are females.  My in-laws just hoped at least the majority would be hens.  As they started to mature, a few started to look more like roosters though.  Then sure enough, just before Mother’s Day, one started crowing at dawn! The thing is, my in-laws live in a neighborhood, not on an acreage or anything, and she can’t have roosters crowing so close to her neighbors.  So it was decided that any chickens found to be roosters should come live at our place where they could crow till their hearts content and no one would really notice.  Well, except us.  And when we got tired of it, we’d have chicken for dinner.  But until then we needed a place to keep them.

Enter the chicken tractor...


Basically a mobile chicken coop (“mobile” being a relative term, it takes 4 people to lift it).  We built it over a weekend. Fortunately, we already had some experience building such a structure when we helped a friend and awesome photographer, Miss Samantha Lamb, build one a few months before.  


This one was built mostly with salvaged materials.  Way to recycle!



My mother in law then brought over the confirmed crower and another suspect.  Then a few weeks later, another one started to crow so two roosters became four.  


Then more crowing and four became six.


And so on, until nine of the ten chickens were in our chicken tractor!  That is one crowded bachelor pad, let me tell ya!  And my mother-in-law was left with just three pullets (that’s the technical term for female chickens who haven’t started laying yet).  If we invite you over for dinner any time soon, don’t be surprised if chicken is on the menu!  ;-)



Peace, love, and pass the gravy.

~Shelley


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  • Erin on

    Great job, Shelley! I don’t even care that I already know the story. I like to read your version anyway. Keep it up!


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