Nature At It’s Best, In Our Own Backyard.

My husband discovered an extravagant nest immediately outside our back door, about 3 foot off the ground, 5 days ago (Friday). It was built in an old Mountain Dew box that was sitting on top of our grill table awaiting dryer days for the fire pit. Dryer days was that day and it almost went in. He quickly put it back and left it where it was. The box and some of the nesting materials were still wet from the days of rain.

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Saturday, she had an egg in the nest. We hadn’t used our grill all winter but we had just got a new gas tank that day and we were clearing the patio and pulling out the grill to prepare to cook dinner on it. I walked outside and he had moved the nest. I said no! it has to be back where it was, so I needed to find something else to set it on at the same height and in the same spot, so that we wouldn’t be disturbing it. I quickly thought and I found a solution and the nest went unmoved.

We left it alone and the next morning (Sunday), there was another egg in the nest. Oh how excited I was that we didn’t make her abandon the nest. I forgot to take a picture of the lone egg in the nest however I did get a picture of the 2 eggs. We don’t have to go look in the nest, it’s literally right as soon as we open the door to let the dog out. [ I worried that she put her nest in a terrible place with how highly trafficked the door is.] My husband said when he was letting the dog out one morning before work, she was in there sitting on her eggs and didn’t seem bothered by him at all. “She’s a little wren,” he said.

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Yesterday morning (Monday) I went to let our dog out to use the bathroom and there were three eggs in the nest.

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That’s when I decided to look up how many she’ll lay, I saw her today and I was wrong before, so I’m editing it now, she’s a Carolina Wren not a House Wren. They nest anywhere from 3 feet to 6 feet off the ground and they will lay an egg a day until they reach 3-7 eggs. Then they incubate from 12-16 days. I was intrigued to read that her mate may sometimes bring her food while she’s on the eggs. Once they hatch it will be another 10-16 days before they leave the nest.

You can read more here https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Carolina_Wren/lifehistory

I think being able to watch her clutch grow and possibly be able to see them hatch and become actual birds is a very neat experience. My biggest fear is that she’ll abandon the nest and I’m really hoping she won’t. I would love to be able to document their development, since I know the time frame of their whole cycle personally.

This morning when I let the dog out to use the bathroom, there were four eggs in the nest. Only one or two more days and she’ll be done laying. I still haven’t seen the mama with my own eyes yet. This is an exceptional learning experience for the children because I can educate them about a bird’s life cycle. How important it is to leave nature untouched and to just observe. After seeing a cat give birth to kittens a few months ago and to watch me carry their sister in my belly for 9 months, they are intrigued at the fact that birds lay eggs and have to sit on them until they are born.

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I will continue to observe and update on the nest in future posts. So if you’d like to see more about these babies, follow me.

 

**EDIT**
I finally was able to catch a photo of her since she isn’t in the nest much during the day, I snapped a quick shot tonight. (I didn’t have to get close, I just used my zoom)

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Nature At It’s Best, In Our Own Backyard.

Our Backyard Coop Beginning

My husband and I have been talking about getting some chickens for a while now to put in a backyard coop to provide us fresh eggs. I’ve never had experience with chickens, but we’ll learn together.

Our city ordinance is 9 chickens and under, so we started out with just 5. We do not know their sexes yet for definite, but the farm we got them from trades  roosters out for new chicks. I did a feather sexing technique and also listened to their chirps in comparison and it’s looking like majority girls except or one. But I want to know for sure before we make any decisions. We should be able to tell in about 3 weeks. If we’re correct though at least we’ll only have one to trade out.

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We own our home in the city and as much as I love it, I’m starting to really long for a country farm house of my dreams. I want a big plot of land out in the county and I want to expand on my dream to have our own little farm and be self-sufficient. But until then though…

We’re going to be building a coop and run here next weekend or the weekend after, soon, I know that much. The kids were excited to pick up the chicks today, I explained to them that they are nice and cute and fluffy now but that they turn into adult chickens. They weren’t too enthusiastic about that but when I explained to them we’re going to be collecting their eggs to eat, they got excited again. They LOVE eggs!

Here’s the little guys and a rough sketch of what we want the coop and run (it looks open but it will have 4 walls and ventilation plus the run will be open aired). When we start building it, I will take pictures as it progresses. Hubby has been watching online videos and getting ideas on what he wants to do. Apparently he’s named them already, though I was waiting to do that, but it’s nice he even thought to name them at all. He named them Midnight, Sunshine, Nugget, Speckles, Lucky. (I heard it’s not good to name them when it’s possible they could be eaten in the future, but I guess he couldn’t help himself.)

PicMonkey Collage

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BENEFITS WE’LL HAVE FROM OUR BACKYARD COOP

  1. Knowing what conditions our chickens are living in.
  2. Knowing what our chickens are eating and what’s going into our eggs.
  3. Having fresh eggs for our family and knowing how old the eggs are.
  4. From what I’ve read, many people who raise chickens see them as an antidepressant, they lower stress just by watching them and tending to them. I can already see how that’s true just looking at these little guys.
  5. Can turn their waste into fertilizer for the garden by adding it to the soil or compost pile.
  6. As we cycle out of our chickens, we’ll have fresh meat for meals.
  7. They are good recyclers for table scraps, not as their main food supply, but to cut back on waste.
  8. Natural pest-control for the backyard and garden. They eat many pesky insects.
Our Backyard Coop Beginning