The Free Motion Quilting Project: Josh's Chickens, Part 1

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Josh's Chickens, Part 1

Josh here, and today we're going to take a break from quilting while I share one of my favorite other hobbies, which is keeping a flock of chickens on our half acre back yard.

Josh Day's Chickens

It all began a couple weeks before Easter in 2010 when we were given two chicks as a sort of gag gift. I've kept birds before, but never chickens. When it comes to taking care of animals, I'm very serious about it so I began doing my homework. It turns out having chickens is pretty easy if your property can support them--of course, you'll also need to check out your local ordinances and laws on live poultry.

To make a long story short, the two chicks grew up, turned out to be roosters, and ultimately I acquired some pullets and full grown hens and my true flock was founded.

Josh Day's chicken coop

That's my first coop. In the US, we're kind of in a backyard chicken renaissance, and so many companies are taking advantage of this by offering tiny coops for 2 or 4 birds and charging as much as $400 for them. I found this ridiculous and made my coop out of material I had lying around--an ancient squirrel trap, lawnmower leaf attachments, an old dog kennel, tarps, and a lot of chicken wire and zip-ties.

Rubbermaid bins serve as nesting boxes. Despite the look of this coop, it was extremely successful for several years. As I got more birds, from chicks hatched in my incubator as well as under broody hens, the coop expanded--first James outgrew his crib and I turned that into an extention...

Josh Day's chicken coop

...and then as I got even more birds, I built a new wing with shipping pallets and a rusted lawnmower trailer.

Josh Day's chicken coop

After awhile, and several years of winters putting their burden on this monstrosity of a chicken coop, I decided it was time for something brand new. I tore the coop down completely and in its place put up a sort of chicken hangar--woven wire fencing wrapped over a chain link fence post in a semi-circle with heavy duty plastic deck lattice as the walls and a tarp covering everything.

Stay tuned for pics of the "chicken hanger" in the next part of this post... I need to go out and take some photos!

Oh, and maybe I should share some pictures of the chickens too... my flock is as mixed-up and hybridized as my coops, part Saipan Jungle Fowl/true Blue Ameracauna/Asian silkie. And the best part is the majority of my hens lay blue or green eggs!

Josh Day's chicken eggs

Click here for the rest in part 2!



  1. love the green eggs. What breed chicken lays those?

  2. Interesting story! I have never thought that hens could lay blue or green eggs! Wow!

  3. Awesomeness! Josh- pat yourself on the back for using your resources so successfully! My aunt and uncle owned an alfalfa farm and seeing her chickens was such a great treat. And ohhh the taste of FRESH eggs! Funny how hobbies latch ONTO us-uhhhh like quilting And chickens! Great post.

  4. Tonia, Ameracaunas from the mountains of South America are the blue egg layers. When hybridized, they're called "Easter Eggers" as you get all ranges of blue, green, even a dark olive.

  5. This is AWESOME. We have one neighbor who is raising chickens and unfortunately for us, the ivy on her backyard fence is so think now that we can't see the chickens when we drive by. Which is probably a good thing for them! And we used to get 'home grown' eggs, for about two years, from my husband's co-worker, but a fox got in to his chicken coop and that was the end of that. Those eggs were the richest, tastiest we had ever eaten, and he charged less than the grocery. He had mostly brown ones, but there were always at least one blue and one green in the carton. Yummy!

  6. your imagination is just great,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,i remember my first chicken coop, back then, when people ran for election, they would put out large 4 by 8 pieces of plywood,,,,,wish i had a pic of it,,,,,it was sooo colorful, but was nice and sturdy,,,,,,,,,,,,,tks for sharing, and love your love for chickens


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