Sore Arms, New Ritz Carlt-HEN.

We spent the weekend, between social events and cleaning horse stalls, expanding our old chicken coop and building a new run. After 6 hours of hard, cooperative labor, it is pretty much done! My husband has dubbed it the "Ritz Carlt-hen," because their new accomodations are so nice. It's completely wired in, top, bottom and sides, and I'm planning on adding lots of roosts to make it a fun place for them. It's 6 feet tall, so we can go in and clean it easily, and it's under a stand of pines and just south of the privacy fence, so it'll be sheltered in both summer and winter. I'm thinking of moving in myself.

We just need to finish the door. We are going to use a leftover piece of our privacy fence, which is also behind the run, to make the frame for a screen door on the run.

We've named all the chicks. The first one was a no-brainer, our fearless, super friendly Buff Orpington was just begging to be named Buffy. She is, after all the leader of the gang, and a fearless blonde. Her cohort, a Silver Lace Wyandotte became Faith. And so we decided to pick names from some of our favorite TV shows for everyone. We have Sookie and Lorelei from Gilmore Girls, Cordelia from Angel and Buffy, Isabella of Phineas and Ferb, River from Firefly, Katara from the kid's show Avatar, and Batgirl. Batgirl (a Golden Lace Wyandotte), Faith and Buffy are the brave ones. Lorelei is the beautiful black orpington. Cordelia and Sookie will be laying colorful easter eggs to go with the ir colorful personas. Isabella is the smallest of the bunch right now, but she is destined to be quite large, a pretty Speckled Sussex. Katara and River will lay speckled eggs, and are Welsummers, (fitting, as water benders and emotional super-psychic ninjas need to have access to deep wells, yes, pun intended). Coincidentally, the actress who plaayes River is named Summer Glau.We thought about naming one after the lead of our new favorite show, Bones, but thought that sounded just a little too tasty for a chicken that isn't destined for the pot.

On Saturday, when the rain ended for a few hours, our 10 day old baby chicks enjoyed their first foray into the great outdoors for about an hour. They loved it! The chicks can still squeeze out the bars of the pen here, but I plan to use it a lot soon so they can "free range" a bit. My other chickens were always free range, but I'm planning on keeping this group a bit closer to home.


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