Back to business…

The snow is starting to melt and the girls are enjoying getting back out to forage

americana chicken

They are enjoying being out in the parts of the yard that are free from snow

white chicken

And finding bugs that are coming out now that the snow is melting

bard chicken

I am happier because I am getting more eggs

chicken

They are much happier now that they can be out in the yard roaming which is what they are used to.

First Day of Spring… I think NOT

So “they” say yesterday was the first official day of spring. Well at our place yesterday and today looked something like this…

Snow barn

Not that I am complaining as it was the only good snow we actually got this whole winter. Hubby and I were both home, no thanks to my county job. They were too cheap to let us off in a foot of snow so they put us on liberal leave, so I took off. I am not dumb enough to drive with people around here who have no idea how to drive in the snow. Hubby and I enjoyed two days together. We had a great time taking care of the animals, doing things inside the house, I cooked a lot, baked some, we cleaned the vehicles off, played games, and we watched the birds.

male cardnial

We had some company watching the birds, as little Grayson is an avid bird watcher. He spent most of the day at his bird watching spot very much entertained.

grayson

We get a little variety of birds like woodpeckers, blue jays, blue birds, nuthatches, cardinals, etc.

3 birds

It’s hard to get pictures of them all as by the time I would get my camera they would fly off. We even had our squirrel visitor.

squirl

Some of them liked to stay on the ground and eat the seed that fell from the bird feeders. Others flew all over from tree, to feeder, to the ground playing and eating in the snow.

Birds snow

We have a few pairs of cardinals. The males…

Late 2017 to Early 2018 366

And the females are both pretty to me and I counted at least 4 pairs today.

female cardnial

Looks like we got at least the foot of snow they said we would get. The chickens won’t be happy they still can’t get out tomorrow, but the treats of corn, seeds, veggies, and fruits we have been giving them, have kept them happy for now. Hope you are seeing spring where you are.

 

Sad News

It’s official… we have a fox 😦 We have been pretty lucky here that predators usually stay away because the dogs are in with the chickens off and on all day and until bed time). The smell of the dogs and us usually keep them out of the fenced in area we have for the dogs and chickens. But not this fox… Sunday night we went to lock up the girls and found this one missing…

other girl

We looked and looked and never found her. We assumed we had a predator. Well Tuesday morning we woke up and two more girls were mulled… Luckily hubby found them (or what was left of them). We found out it was our old girl…

old girl

And my only blue egg layer that had been gotten…

blue layer

I was pretty upset this predator got my blue egg layer (well I was upset about all- never fun to have chickens die like that). We predator proofed our coop and the area more, and had to finish in a bad thunder storm. Then Tuesday night before we let the boy out we would check the area. About 9:30pm I went to open the back door so the boys could go out and a fox shot out from behind hubbys grill, down the back porch steps, and across the yard. By the time hubby got there the fox was in the neighbors field. This fox must go he’s too bold and I can’t have him killing my chickens. I am praying he doesn’t get anymore.

Hens and Hay

We put new hay in the coop the other day…

big hens

Our girls go crazy for new hay in their coop…

big buff

This white one kept looking at me like “thanks lady for the hay”…

big hens hay

I sat down in the hay with them for a while…

big hay

Some of them dig down though the hay and all you see is tails in the air 😉

big hampshire

This was also a first for the adolescents and babies and they seemed to just enjoy it as well.

adolescents hay

It was a fun and entertaining time in the coop.

big new hamp

And it didn’t hurt it increased our egg production a little. Happy hens= Happy eggs 🙂

 

 

 

 

Officially with the Big Girls

The baby’s are officially out with the big girls all the time. They are still in their own area of the coop and protected by a fence. baby babys

If I didn’t the adolescents and some of the white ones try to beat them up and they are still pretty small compared to the bigger girls.

adolescent n babies

Hopefully by September they will be fully incorporated. So far they love the extra space and experiencing the fresh hay.

babies

Speaking of the adolescents… this lovely black and white girl in the middle started to lay this week…

adolescents

She is laying these tiny eggs…

adolescent egg2

I love the chickens first eggs. They are so cute.

adolescent egg

One of the many joys of chicken keeping 🙂

So humid… animals not happy… people not happy either

The last 3 days it has been so humid that when I go out to take care of the animal or work in the garden I come back in looking like I just stepped out of the shower.

big girls

The chickens are lazy and not laying eggs much. The dogs are lazy inside… Not the dog days of summer because the dogs don’t like the humidity either 😉 But on the up side if the weather man is actually right for once then it should be cooling off (a little) next week. If your in this heat and humidity I hope you are finding ways to keep you and your animals cool. (Quick idea: chickens and dogs love cantaloupe and watermelon 😉 )

Then and Now

I thought I would share the photos of the two new sets of birds we got this year. I have been looking back at them over the last few months.

Remember these 4?

4 adolescent babys

Then they grew some…

4 adolescents 3

This is them now 🙂

4 adolescets

All incorporated into the big flock. They are still learning the ropes and finding their place, but they have been out for the last 2-3 weeks now full time with the big girls. 🙂

Remember these babies? We seemed to have just got them (we got 8 and lost the one)…

7 babies

They started to grow and explore…

7 babies

They started to get out some…

4 babies 2

They are now getting out most days when it is nice weather to hang out…

7 babys

It is one reason we get spring birds is to get them out sooner and get them used to being near the big flock. Lets just hope when these join the big flock they will do well. Have a blessed week!

Baby Chicks Days Out

Our youngest chicks are now a month old and we have taken them out a couple times into the yard in a protected area for some grass play time when it is warm enough.

baby outside

Their play time was cut short today by a thunderstorm, but they seemed to enjoy the time they had.

Baby white

They had been playing out of their pen under a heat lamp inside for a while now. But we really like them to get used to the outside if it is the right temperature and safe for them.

babies play

If they had been hatched here their mama would care for them and keep them safe. But without a mama bird we have to do things a little different.

baby brown

We use a Tarter big burn ring to keep them corralled and put fencing over it so they don’t get out but can experience the sun and air.

babys ring

We are in the process of getting our almost 3 month old chicks used to outside all day and the big girls used to them. Slowly getting their day time pen closer to the big girls. In the next 2-4 weeks we hope to have them outside full time and the other chickens accepting them into the flock. (Hopefully closer to 2 weeks 😉 )

adolescents pen

Wish us luck with all these girl. This is the hard part, getting the old girls to accept the new ones. As well as getting rid of this rooster and the others in his group getting used to being without him. At least we have a trusty dog to help manage when they get a little out of hand 😉

 

Middle 4 Chickens…

So in my last post I said I would tell you about our rooster… that we didn’t know and wasn’t supposed to be  a rooster. So our friends got us 4 chicks with their chicken order.

4 baby adolescents

They were supposed to be pullets. Well about a week or more ago now we were out in my garden trying to get it ready to plant. We herd a strange noise coming from the basement where we keep the girls. Hubby went in to investigate and no noise. He was coming outside again and there was the noise again. So back down he went and then I herd…. um honey I think we have a rooster! I about fell down… we have raised quite a few chickens and never got a rooster. But I guess there is a first time for everything.

Adolescent chicks

Rooster is on the right with the red crown.

 

So yes we have a rooster and his crow has gone from a sick sounding curdle to an actual small crow. We aren’t sure if we will keep him, but he is a handsome boy and so far not aggressive. And here he is…

Rooster

And he used to look like this when we thought he was a she… we used to call him diva because he liked to primp in front of the mirror but that’s when he was thought to be a she… 😉

diva

The weather is breaking some, so on the nice days we have been able to get the girls and guy out to play outside.

4 adolescents 2

They enjoyed being outside and on Memorial Day were outside most of the day in the warm sun. We made them a longer run to be in until we can incorporate them in with the big girls. So far the big girls check them out across the yard on occasion and these 4 check them out back, but they are still a distance away.

Adolescents

As they get bigger we will move them closer to the big girls until they are side by side with a fence in between.

4 adolescents

So with the new babies we have 15 big girls, 4 (as we call them) adolescents (they are 2 1/2 months old+ now), and 7 babies. So 25 total gals and one rooster. With 10 total breads. Its getting exciting here on our homestead. Chickens laying and other growing, garden in, herbs growing, etc. Busy and exciting time 🙂

Chickens are like potato chips…

You can’t eat just 1 or 2 or 5 or 10 or more -or- in this case can’t just have 5 or 10 or 20 or more… And with that in mind meet our newest baby chicks…

baby chicks

Yes we just got 4 more about 2+ months ago, but one turned out to be a rooster (more on that later), we lost one of our buffs on Easter, and I got more requests for eggs. So hubby and I saw these girls and had to try out some new brown laying breeds. So we got 8 more…

chicks2

We did get one additional Americana that would lay colored eggs (green/blue), but the rest lay brown. This includes three Speckled Sussex, two coco marans, one amberlink, and one barnevelder. Unfortunately we lost our Americana about 3 days in. We think she got smothered by her sisters or something, she was very small, it was very sad 😦  She was fine in the morning but by mid day when I got home from work she couldn’t stand and wasn’t eating or drinking. We kept her alive for a few more hours before she passed.

baby chick passsed

Our hen house in a few months will include a colorful array of chickens. And we will be up to 10 different varieties of chickens.

baby chicks2

So if you have one of our new breeds in your hen house let us know what you like and even what you don’t like about them. We are eagerly learning more about all new breads. (Lets just hope none of these babies are roosters 😉 )

 

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