Here it is! The chickens couldn't be happier! And I'm pretty thrilled too!
When I started talking nests and New Years's organization, I bet you didn't see this one! I meant it literally! My husband and I are proud to be backyard chicken farmers. I'll give you the long and short of it. I thought having a handful of hens would be lovely so we could have...
- Baby chicks ....who doesn't want cuddly, fuzzy, chirpy, adorable baby chicks?
- Eggs! Quiche, scrambled, over easy, poached, angel food cake, egg salad, all this home grown goodness!
- An educational-interactive component for our homeschool classes, open house, CSA members picking up produce each week
- A live entertainment feed... kind of like cute animals on Facebook, right here in my backyard, 24/7
Great reasons, right? Hubby was pretty excited about it too. He was a little hesitant, however, because I was getting these little bundles of joy and he didn't have a coop built for them. I told him not to worry, they would live in a box for a while. (It's a good thing this wasn't a real baby!)
So the chicks come and live in a box for a few weeks. Then a bigger box. Then a dog crate. Then into their custom built "a" frame structure Jonathan built for them. Our nine little chickens get named, loved, adored and petted by all. They grow up to be pretty friendly little critters. Jonathan is their main caretaker, so they like to follow him around the yard when he does chores, which is adorable.
Well summer lived on a very long time this year, but it doesn't live on forever, and soon it got cold. Their little summer home got covered with a quilt and a tarp and we installed a heat lamp. They were now happy as can be. But then they started laying! Beautiful brown eggs in a communal nest in the corner. It was then we knew it could wait no longer. A real chicken coop must be built. The little ladies had to have a winter home where they could be snug and safe, and must have nest boxes where they could lay their golden eggs.
I begged my husband to make me one of those "Pinterest-y" coops. "Darn Pinterest", many a husbands have sworn..."Now she won't be happy until it looks like this cutesy little idea". I'm sure many husbands have hammered thumbs, spent small fortunes at the hardware store, clocked in precious man-time hours and even are shamed by the thought of their work going onto a "Pinterest Fail Board" (gasp!)
Would you know, that he listened to me? And he is building me the most amazing coop for our little hens. He is building it with so many little details, all right out of his creativity, imagination and construction knowledge. All of this means so much, yet what really means the most is the fact he is doing it out of love.
Ladies, sometimes it might take more time, effort, money or patience than you have or would have used. If someone is doing something special for you, stand back and appreciate it. Compliment them on their progress, their ingenuity, their strengths. Tell them how it makes you feel to see their efforts. Ask if they need your help or even just your company. Pinterest might inspire but love is the motivator. See through it all, and cherish the actions taken to demonstrate that love. It might not even be something lasting and it might not make it to Pinterest, but it makes a relationship stronger and that is the stuff that lasts.
I love my husband for embracing this whole backyard chicken dream, but most of all I love him for listening to me and cherishing me. It was worth bringing nine fluffballs into our flock for that alone! Next blog post.... the unveiling!!!