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.

Flowers and Fun

Been a busy week around our place. Chickens are happy and hopefully laying more on a more regular basis. The dogs and cat are happy with more sun than rain.

yellow flower

Flowers were enjoying the rain and are blooming like crazy now in the sun. Got a fun comment on my last post from the UK, its neat to learn about other areas of the world. Fun news to come about one of the chickens 🙂

Little eggs Big eggs

Two of our middle chicks are laying and their eggs are still small and cute. Here are the first 8 baby eggs… we have gotten a few more since this.

small eggs

To show you the difference from our older girls here is a comparison. The eggs in the back of the carton are the older girls and the ones in the front and in front of the carton are the baby eggs.

small n big eggs

Here is another comparison…

small n big 2 eggs

I am hoping they will get bigger soon 😉 In the mean time I will just use these cute little ones 🙂

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 😉 )

Garden Delights

I love to garden and I know many of you do as well. (The worst part is the weeding, but the mulch this year has helped keep that to a minimum.) There are many things I love about gardening. I love to dig in the dirt, plant the seedlings or seeds, watch them grow, and the best part when you get to harvest. I also love watering. It’s a serene and peaceful time where I just chill, hold the water hose, and spray the ground and plants. It’s a time I can zone out and just listen to the sounds around me and watch the animals play. Walking though the plants gives me a sense of accomplishment as well.

Big squash plats

I enjoy helping the plants like the cucumbers find their spot to climb the fence…

big cucumber plats

And its fun trying to find the little cucumbers so you know where to watch for the harvest…

baby cucmber

And see them grow…

cucumber

It gives you purpose to try to keep the tomatoes contained in their cages…

big tomato plants

Along with the tomatillos….

1 tomotillo

And the pretty flowers on the plants, like the tomatillos, are so pretty to watch come up, as you know there will be a pod or veggie there soon…

flower tomotillo

The squash plants this year are taking over my space between the tomatoes and I am anxiously waiting a zucchini from those blooms…

flower squash

The tomatoes will be abundant this year as there are baby green ones all over the place…

baby tomatoes

And some that are already getting big…

Big tomatoes

My peppers are a little further behind, but I see some coming in now so I can’t wait for them to use in a stir-fry or salad…

baby peppers

The babies have seemed to enjoy watching from their pen close by my garden…

baby chicks

And the big girls are anxiously awaiting scraps from the garden to be thrown their way…

big chicks

Oh, what a hopeful time of year for the garden as well as for my waiting pantry and freezer- which are awaiting sliced peppers to freeze for the winter, cans of tomatoes, and combining may of these veggies for salsa (which usually gets canned as well for the winter).

1 baby cucumber

Anyone have any ideas for things to do with cucumbers outside of pickles, tomatoes/cucumber/onion salad, regular salads, or snack item? I am looking to get creative as I have in a few day picked over 10 already and there are triple or more the that are coming in in the vine already. Ideas welcome 🙂

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!

Celebration Day After…

Hope you had a blessed and beautiful 4th of July or if your not in the US celebrating… We still hope you had a beautiful day! The chickens, dogs, and cat (from the safety behind our screen door) even had a nice day.

chase front chickens

The sunshine was nice and watching fireworks after dark on TV was relaxing and there was no traffic to deal with afterwards 😉 My kind of fireworks event 🙂

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 😉

 

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