The Coop, Chickens, Cats and Poop! (Not necessarily in that order)

*This post does devolve somewhat into chicken poop management, so if you are squeamish you have been warned!

What a fun experience it has been to see a vision come to life! From a Pinterest photo adapted for our needs, a gifted carpenter worked for almost a month to build a predator-proof, one-of-a-kind, beautiful chapel to house our six girls! Here it is, before the decorations were added…

chicken chapel, chicken coop, Arundelle Green, chickens, chicken run, gravel, sand

I put the final touches on today and am so thrilled with how it turned out. Apparently the chickens are, too, because they are laying eggs faster than we can eat them! I blessed my sweet neighbor with a dozen just this afternoon!

So, without further adieu…I present Fluffingham Chapel!

Now for the poop talk…

I have had a steep learning curve with this little endeavor. First of all, chicken poop mixed with mud stinks, and we have had a TON of rain. I found a solution last week, though, thanks to a friend. I lined the floor of the run with gravel, then topped with a thick layer of sand.

chickens, gravel, sand, chicken run

It solved the stink problem and has also kept their water much cleaner. (They kept splashing mud in it…and Lord only knows what else.) I have also learned I need more pine shavings in the coop than I would have thought (they really only go in there to lay their eggs and roost at night) because they poop when they sleep and it is not easy to scrape off the floor.

And it stinks. Have I mentioned how much chicken poop stinks? Much less, how much they actually poop?

Y’all.

In other news, the cats are curious, and have only slightly traumatized the chickens!

Rosa (who is pregnant and due any day!) has for the most part watched from afar. Ashton? Well, he thinks they are fun.

Sweet, pregnant Rosa. We are excited to welcome kittens to the farm very soon! (Then Rosa will be spayed…we do have our limits!)
cat, country cat, farm cat, cat in chicken coop
Ashton snuck into the empty coop while I was cleaning the nesting boxes. Bad, bad boy!

Ashton hunkers down in the tall grass or on the edge of the Shadow Wood, waiting for the perfect moment to jump out and chase them, which send them into a flapping, feathery tizzy. Poor things. (I have ordered a portable fence system to help alleviate that problem! Plus, it will allow them more freedom to roam unsupervised during the day.)

All this rambling to say, things are moving right along here at Arundelle Green. Our little farm is bustling with activity and I am just so happy. Mini-farming has brought our family closer together and created a beautiful space where stress falls away as we interact with and care for the animals all around us. Dogs, cats, goats, and chickens…it’s a rich life full of antics, snuggles, and surprises that I wouldn’t trade for the world.

Speaking of surprises…those who follow me on Instagram and Facebook may know already, but stay tuned for a peek at our newest furry love!

Oh, and be sure to follow Arundelle Green on the socials! I love to share pictures and quick snippets of our days. I am also on TikTok where I post short, fun videos of the antics around here. (TikTok is something I NEVER thought I would do, but I decided to join the host of people who are #redeemingtiktok with goodness, beauty, and good clean fun). I will put links below to make it easier, or you can search arundelle_green and find me that way.

Have a wonderful day!

(Click the links below to find me on Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook)

Meet the Chickens!

For several weeks, our dream chicken coop has been under construction on the edge of the Shadow Wood.

As I watched from my vantage point at the kitchen window, I imagined the happiness of looking out and seeing our fluffy girls pecking around against the green backdrop of a Tennessee Spring.

As their cozy coop and run took shape, a friend called to tell me her neighbor needed to give away six one-year-old hens who were great layers. It was an easy yes.

So, once the coop was almost complete and ready for occupancy, we picked up our hens!

Ashton, our gray tomcat, is fascinated and little bothered. He just lays there in the straw, watching and waiting. But their coop is predator proof. He doesn’t have a chance.

In keeping with our tradition, the hens were given names. My daughter can tell them apart. Me? Not so much. But the names are fabulous and worthy of their surroundings!

Have you ever seen a chicken chapel? Is it not the cutest thing? We are waiting for the steeple (YES it has a steeple!) to be installed after which I will reveal the name and more details of how it was designed.

So without further adieu, I give you the names of the chickens of Arundelle Green:

Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy (any Hamilton fans out there?)

Marianne, Margaret, and Elinor (of Sense and Sensibility fame!)

Two Plymouth Rocks, two Rhode Island Reds, and two Buff Orpingtons.

And they are lovely.

Lovely chickens with tiny little brains whose sounds and habits make us chuckle.

Plus eggs.

The golf ball is a trick I learned from my sister-in-law. It tells them where to lay the eggs.

From the very first day, they have laid eggs for us, 4-5 per day. Delicious, farm fresh eggs gracing our breakfast, and sometimes dinner!

Happy hens. Happy family. Happy farmlife.

And there is more to come. I really can’t believe I get to do this.

Y’all come visit and I dare you not to want to start your own little farm!

It’s a beautiful life here, at Arundelle Green.