Beauty Filled Day

Our little piece of God’s land had some nice weather today and earlier this week. It was nice enough that the dogs laid in the yard and not in the shade of the porch.

Baxlay

Baxter kept trying not to look at me when I was walking around checking on the chickens and snapping shots of him.

Bax laying

He used to pose for me, but anymore he seems to just tolerate my photo obsession. some days though he will still pose and look handsome for me 😉

Baxter laying

Usually Chase helps me with the chickens, but today Baxter watched them for me while I checked out their coop and collected eggs.

Bax and chicks

I am going back to work Monday after almost three months off after my surgery and complications. I have mixed feeling because I have loved being home and being a homemaker. Everything is so organized and clean, just the way I like it. But I know I have to go back 😦 Maybe some day God will bless us with a baby and I can stay home with them.

Chase

But until then my boys are my babies and I love them 🙂

Round em’ up…

Our baby chicks are getting big and are out in the big coop with the big girls full time now. At first we had to teach the babies to go into the coop each night. In order to do this hubby, our dog Chase, and I had to basically “herd” them in each night.

Rounded chicks 2

After a few nights of “herding”, one night we went out and they were all in there. A couple of my New Hampshire’s were even roosting with the big girls. (Another reason my chicks are smarter the hubbys 😉 )

Rounded chicks

Now two of mine and one of hubbys Columbian Rock crosses  are roosting with the big girls and the others have found their respective spots in the small hutch in the coop, on those roosts. And one of each kind has found the new roosts we put in the coop for them. Over all it was a good transition for our now 10 week old chicks 🙂

Born Free…

So the baby girls had their first day out in wide open spaces yesterday. At first they stayed close to their chicken tractor…

babys

But eventually they took off testing their wings and exploring…

Babys 3

At one point something must have scared them as the crowed back towards the fence…

Baby 4

But eventually they just had fun exploring, under hubbys and my close observation.

Babys 2

This is our third time letting a group of chicks out to explore and we learned it is best done when you have two or more people to help keep an eye on your chicks and to keep an eye out for predators as girls this size are still easy bait. You also have to watch out for the older chickens in your flock. If they want to the big ladies will pick on the younger birds. We haven’t had too much of a problem with this since the big ladies are used to the young chicks in the chicken tractor.

Babys 5

We usually let them out in the afternoon or early evening after hubby has gotten home so we can watch them together. They still spend the majority of the day in the chicken tractor. As they get older and bigger they will get more time out in the great outdoors “free”.

Growing Chicks

Our baby chicks are not baby’s anymore 😦

Chicks

They are big enough now that they can be outside in the chicken tractor every day and learn to be chickens.

chicks three

The big chickens are exploring around the chicks enclosure more and more…

Chiks n Chikens

Its funny to watch them interact, or not interact, and sometimes just ignore each other.

chickn tractor

The baby’s are also learning to eat pellet food, not just crumbles, and from the big girls feeder.

Chick eats

The stages they go though… funny, interesting, and sometimes odd, but always fun!

First Day of Spring… or was it?

On the official first day of spring it looked like this at my house…

1st day spring

And the snow just kept coming down, until poor Chase had a hard time getting around…

Chase

But finally it looks like this week spring is defeating winter as there are buds on the tree and a flower or two blooming.

sun

Its still cold, but warming up. I can’t wait for all the spring flowers 🙂

Doggie Snow Day

The boys love it when it snows. They love to go outside and have some fun. When the snow is deep like it has been this past snow it makes things a little difficult, but they are ready to go when ever we go out to check on the chickens.

B and C 2

They follow us all around the yard guarding us when they hear a noise.

B and C 1

Baxter is especially keen to sounds and Chase to what he sees.

B and C 3

This snow has been especially fun for them, especially Chase who loves to follow the paths we have tunneled out for him.

B and C 4

We are trying to enjoy the snow as a family as we hear there is a hot summer on record for us, so we know when that comes we will be missing this cold (but not the wind 😉 ).

Icey Mess…

Monday we got some snow…

Bird feeder

That was okay on top of the couple inches we still had left from the last snow…

Case n coop

The stream that runs through our property gave the sound of a slow moving brook pushing on to bigger waters…

stream

The birds enjoyed full feeders…

Bird feeders

The dogs played…

Baxter

But then Tuesday night we had a not so lovely ice storm that covered the snow and left us with an ice rink all over the property…

Land

It left ice cycles hanging all over the place dripping occasionally when it had stopped sleeting…

Picnic table

Even hubbys birthday flag I hadn’t gotten down yet was frozen in place… almost as if it was put on hold…

frozen flag

After the storm was over Wednesday and you looked around it was like a froze glass palace…

Tree ice

Shimmering and glistening like glass crystals hung in a farm house window on a sunny day…

icecycles

The trees were covered in this magnificent ice coating that left them brittle…

Sky tree

Just as if at any moment they would come undone and fall to the ground (which some did)…

icey tree

The bushes were frozen in place not moved by an occasional gust of wind…

ice bush

The ice cycles hung from the trees giving off a soft drip… drip… drip…

icecycles 2

As it started to warm and the dogs and I went outside, you could hear the dripping of things melting and the falling of the ice from the trees…

Trees

It was a beautiful sound to hear in the peaceful quiet of the day…

Tree n chase

The dogs and I enjoyed being outside, them playing and me taking pictures…

Chase

It was fun to watch them react when a tree would loose some ice over their heads and they would scurry not to get hit, sliding across the frozen ground…

Trees n chase

The peace of the moment and putting aside how annoying/dangerous ice can be. I was able to connect with the beautiful world God created and enjoy a moment that others passed by.

 

New roosts and boxes

The chickens should be happy now… we spent the whole weekend building them new laying boxes and perches. My mom and step-father came up to help us. It was a bigger job then I thought, but it is done now and the girls now just need to get used to it 🙂 They now have 9 new boxes and 3 old ones as well as 7 new perches… The old girls (Rhode Islands) hutches were falling apart. They were getting old so they needed to be replaced. They kept a close eye on us while we worked…RhodeThey were not too happy to give up their old ways and even got the new buff chicks to help them make a stand in front of their old houses…They were not happy to be made to move… But they moved and let us get on with our work.Girls and HousesThe rain held off each day until we got done and then provided enough rain to get things wet and water my garden. Last night was the girls first night with the new boxes… they didn’t seem to happy and some wouldn’t even go in. After a while we went out and had to pick them up to show them where to roost now. Today one had layed in the new boxes and three others had laid in the new buff girls house we left in as it provides additional space for boxes and the new girls roosts. We needed to build new boxes and perches so all 16 of the girls have space to lay eggs and perch at night. It also makes things easier to clean.

This is the old hutches we had….Old HutchesNow it looks like this…New roosts n boxesWe had a couple girls exploring it today and getting used to the setting. I felt bad as the Rhode Islands basically grew up since 3 months in those hutches, but it was time to get some nicer living for the ladies who give us delicious eggs. (Even if they aren’t the most beautiful things 😉 )New BoxesOnly thing left to do is finish one ladder to the top boxes and add the clear sides panels to the outside of the run. I am happy thing are moving along, the weather is cooperating, and we had good help (thanks Mom and Bob). Tomorrow we hope to get that done along with getting hubbys shop back in working order. In other news we finally got some tomatoes that had turned red and I just had to eat a cherry tomato right off the vine… yum there is nothing like your own garden 🙂

Little Guests

Everywhere we go it seems there are little rabbit all over the place.. everywhere, around every corner, in the fields, under bushes… and these little guests in our back yard…BunniesThey are bigger then some of the rabbits we have seen, but just as cute. The dogs even left them alone to eat on the grass outside the fence. Then awhile later they hopped off and disappeared into our neighbors hay field. By little rabbits… come back soon 🙂

Chickens and Watermelon

Since it has been so hot out off and on for the past week we have been enjoying the first watermelons of the season. Once the rinds are mostly clean the chickens get to peck them clean. This I found out is a favorite summer treat for the chickens (yes I know it is still spring).Chicks watermelonSo when I threw out some rinds the other day it was the baby buff’s fist experience with watermelon. At first as with any new treat we have given them they watch the big girls for a few seconds, then the ‘brave two’ as we call them, dive right in and follow the lady red’s.baby chick watermelonSo with any new treat we have to make sure we spread out the treats so the baby’s have a chance to get some. This time the baby buff’s had gotten some of the rind eaten as a big lady red walked by…Chkn walk byThen attempted to steal the rind a couple of baby buffs were working on. Big chick breaks inThe ‘brave two’ watched…Chickens fruitBefore getting back in on the action.Chciks fruit It is great to watch the new buff’s figure out how to be chickens and enjoy treats as the older lady reds do 🙂 If you have never tried this with your chickens, give it a try… I know it will give you some entertainment 🙂

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