Owl Creek Farm ยป Life in Alberta ยป Chickens!


by Amy

“A chicken in every pot” – 1928 Rep. Party campaign slogan
“Don’t have a pot to put it in” – 1928 Dem. Party response slogan

It’s time to get back to more regular posting! There’s been so much going on that I haven’t had the brain power to formulate a coherent blog post, but I have to start somewhere.

May 2005 - we quickly realized we needed different feeders =)

Today, it’s chickens. And coops.

We’ve had chickens before – in 2001-2002 and again in 2005, but we moved so much that it was impossible to keep them. Now that isn’t such a problem. My husband and I will be building our house soon, but our chicken coop can be built to be movable, and our new house won’t be far from the old, so we’re good there.

I’ve never built a coop before, but that’s ok. Hubby has building know-how, I have the plan.

At http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/extension-aben/buildingplans/poultry you can find lots of coop and other building plans for chickens, and I’ve decided on 6195 – good for 40-50 chickens. They’ll also have a large enclosed run, but the main thing in these long harsh winters is a large enough coop for all the chickens to be happy inside all winter.

Of course I’m only planning and dreaming – you might remember I’m in Alberta, Canada, with my husband and kids, and for as mild as a winter as we’ve had (“only” a week of -20+c temps, mild otherwise), the ground is still frozen and covered in 6″ of snow. It’ll thaw eventually and we can get moving with this project. My goal is eggs by next winter.

In other news, we’re getting close to the point of finishing the immigration process (I hope…) and I’m working hard on getting my soap business going. I’m expecting to have everything ready so as soon as we are legal, I can do all the business paperwork/legalities and be in business, selling both online (will ship to the US and Canada) and in local farmer’s markets.

If you want to see how that’s coming along, visit the Alberta Handmade Soap Co. website and/or visit and like the AHSC facebook page.

Now, my wonderful reader -do you have chickens? Or have had them in the past? If you have any blog posts about them, or advice for my other readers, please leave a comment and link below!

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Pascal T December 13, 2013 - 8:30 pm

Thank you for your ideas.

I try it this spring… but for this moment all my hens are in my insulated and heated hen house: http://www.usa-gardening.com/hen-coop/hen-coop.html

A Table in the Sun June 6, 2012 - 2:27 am

I just started keeping chickens two years ago. They are such fun! We have 4 “big girls” who are laying, and 4 teenagers, who won’t be ready to lay for several months. We keep them in separate pens until the little ones are big enough to defend themselves against bossy big sisters. I love telling chicken stories on my blog.

Phil April 7, 2012 - 7:51 am

Great site!! You give it a down home feel..

I live way out in a forest on a farm and keep chickens..Started out with Rhode Island Reds about 6 or 7 yrs ago and enjoyed every year with them, at least the ones that didn’t get taken by the occasional predator..I have one original hen left and she may not make it another year, but is still getting along well.
I have 9 left and are all free range and i wouldn’t have it any other way…When I say freerange, I don’t mean i take them out of a cage for 5 minutes and then pack them back in with 5 or 6 others in a tiny cage like some company’s do..Mine are allowed to roam all day in the fields and yard and do what they want..A simple “here chick chick chick” brings them running back for a treat..Who says you can’t train a chicken..haha
.The eggs are the most awesome color and the most tasteful eggs you will ever eat..
In the winter when the snow is on the ground, I take a shovel and uncover a large area where the grass is still green or somewhat green, and they love it..they will congregate between here and the coop…just something I do..
Thanks for your page!!

Amy May 1, 2012 - 7:46 pm

Thanks for sharing! :)

Rachel March 24, 2012 - 8:13 am

I currently keep three different types of purebreed chickens for eggs and weed/bug munchers. Silver laced & gold laced Wyandottes, French Wheaten Marans and Lavender Aruacanas [similar to the Ameraucana-they lay blue/green tinged eggs].

I incubate eggs each season and raise them from chicks, so they are super friendly and follow me around the garden!

My blog http://gardeningwithdogs.blogspot.com.au/ has few posts about my hatches, with lots of photos but not a lot of info…but feel free to ask me stuff! I might have answer for you. :)