Posts from the ‘chickens’ Category

Only two

Out of 13 eggs we had 2 hatch yesterday (day 21). The little black one is a cross between the Barred Rock hen and Buff Orphington Roo, and the light one is from either a RIR hen or our red Sex-Linked. We added them in with the lot of 10 serama bantam chicks I got from my uncle and they’re doing just fine. I know this is a lot of chickens but they’re all straight run and some of the hens are going to my cousin down the road along with a couple of they layers that we have now. We’re planning to keep our flock between 6-8 (with 3 serama bantams counting as one full-sized hen for space purposes.) We will update if any more hatch, but it’s looking like just these two.

The ten serama bantams, a few of them are also silkie

The ten serama bantams, a few of them are also silkie

barred rock x BO

barred rock x BO

RIR x BO or Red sex-linked x BO

RIR x BO or Red sex-linked x BO

everybody together and doing fine. :-)

everybody together and doing fine. ūüôā

Hubby has spoken…the Roo must go…

and not because he isn’t beautiful and awesome, because he is both of those things.

Get a load of this handsome guy.

Get a load of this handsome guy.

It is because my husband recalls a conversation he had last year with one of our neighbors and how upset she was over the crowing of a rooster, not ours mind you. Although she’s given us the go ahead for 1-2 weeks. He’s sure that her kind-heartedness will not last much longer than that. As we intend to live here for most of our adult lives, we’d rather keep up good relations with the neighbors.

DSC_0561

He gets along well with the ladies.

DSC_0563

yes those are fruit loops in the background…left over from breakfast…alright they’re not fruit loops they’re imitation fruit loops.

In fact ever since his arrival less than a week ago our hens have been behaving themselves. No one is pulling butt feathers out of anyone else. (This has been quite the problem which I understand you’re now reading about for the first time, as the post I started on the subject never got posted….but I have several bald-butted chickens right now)

Our original plan of keeping Buffy for a week or two and hoping to get some fertilized eggs¬†for baby chicks and then eating him was a nice plan. But maybe not the best plan. We’ve floated the idea to¬†my in-laws (who are looking at starting a backyard flock of our own, yes I am that inspirational) of them taking Buffy and several of our hens and for us to keep a few hens¬†and the chicks. They’ve got a week to think about it (and build a coop or temporary shelter) or it’s the dinner table for Master Buffy. On the subject of¬†fertilization, I’ve cracked one fertile egg (yesterday) and once I crack two more I think we’ll leave them to brood. I like the idea of handling the chicks as I did before, but we’ll see if Mama (whoever that ends up being) is going to beat the crap out of me if I try it.

DSC_0566

See ya later Buffy…

Somebody Needs a Bath!

We live in Washington.¬† If you’ve never made it out this way I recommend it.¬† The beautiful mountains, the ocean, the dense magical forest, and there’s something else you may have heard about our wonderful Washington State…oh yeah it RAINS.¬† ALL THE TIME.¬† I don’t mind the rain, I’ve grown up in it.¬† Honestly I didn’t even realize it rained this much until I went off to college to a state where it didn’t rain every day.¬† Well, now I’m back and had once again gotten used to the rain.¬† What I was not used to was

RAIN+CHICKENS=WET UNHAPPY CHICKENS

Well, the kids and I worked on something today and here it is!

DSC_0143

Bella and Bubba shovel some ashes into the new chicken bathtub.

DSC_0145

Add some dirt…

DSC_0146

mix it up

DSC_0148

mix it a little more…

DSC_0149

let baby loose in the chicken yard… (he was so happy, the chickens…not so much)

DSC_0150

apparently kids like dirt baths too.

DSC_0151

a lot.

DSC_0153

the girls weren’t too sure about it, but I hope they’ll like it…if it ever stops raining long enough for me to open it up for them.

DSC_0156

then again, if it didn’t rain so much baby couldn’t spend fifteen minutes throwing rocks into the ocean…or gravel into the driveway puddle…

On a side note, the have a heart trap has managed to catch a squirrel, a chicken, and the neighbor’s cat.¬†¬† However, it has yet to catch a raccoon.¬† Maybe it’s hiding to stay out of the rain.

Carnage in the Coop

Well it’s never what you want to see checking on the chickens in the morning…feathers…dead bodies strewn about…I guess we made out pretty well losing only three of our girls.¬† Unfortunately¬†they were some of the prettiest, and one was my favorite.¬† It looks like raccoons and my husband is picking up a no-kill trap from his parents house today after he gets off work, so we can get that all set up.¬† I do have to say I hate daylight savings time, because now, having to let them out of the coop in the morning is an early rise…and I’m lazy.¬† My uncle is going to donate a few more girls to our flock (they were set for the slaughter, so happy day for them).¬† So long cute little chickens…

Mrs. Dr. Beardface

Dinner

Dinner and Mrs. Dr. Beardface were the top of the food chain. I like to think they saved the rest of the flock from the raccoons. You were good girls.  Beardface would run over and want to be pet, she also loved to be held.  She was my favoite.

 

And Finally Aretha Franklin joined her friends Annie Oakley and Rainbow.

I guess it’s all a part of the circle of life…the cats did leave two dead rats in the front yard yesterday, maybe some little rat community is just as bummed as our five year old.

 

 

They Learned The Hard Way…

I kept telling them not to roost in the apple tree.¬† In fact, most nights I would go out there and physically remove them from the high branches of the tree and put them in the coop.¬† Unfortunately this was not the case the night before¬†last…and now we are two chickens lighter.¬† I’m not sure who got them, but they were def. got by something.¬† There were many tell-tale feathers.¬† It looks like one of the polish chickens was dragged under the bushes outside the run, and the other (Annie Oakley) may have been chased a bit as there were feathers on the top of the fence and then along the ground also leading into the bushes.¬†¬† Our guess is raccoons, so we’ll be locking the girls in at night, at least for a while, as the nearby predators now have a taste for blood.¬† Good news is the other apple-tree-roosting-hen found her own way to the coop.¬† Nothing like seeing your buddy’s dead body dragged under a bush to make you think twice about your sleeping arrangements.

 

On a positive note, we’re averaging about 6 eggs a day still, even in the shorter days of Fall.¬† We have not put in a light yet, and I’m not sure we will get to it in enough time to really have it make a difference in the girls’ laying this winter.¬† Worst case scenario is we buy a few dozen eggs from the store over the winter months.¬† But I do have to say with my family of 5 it is nice to be able to throw 8-10 eggs in a skillet for breakfast several times a week!¬† We’re also tossing a¬† few chickens into the garden on non-rainey days (they come so often here in Western Washington) now that the harvest is over (we didn’t plant anything to come up in the fall).¬† It works out great; free greens for the girls.

That Chicken is a BEAST!

We’ve been getting an average of 6 eggs a day from our 8 original¬†layers (nothing yet from the four newcomers)¬† And such a range of colors.¬† Every week or so we’re getting the wonderful double-yolk egg.¬† Yum, just ate one for breakfast this morning or I would have included a photo.¬† But the great news for today is that one of our girls¬†layed a¬†jumbo egg.¬†¬†It’s HUGE compaired to the other eggs the kids gathered today.¬† Check this out.

Well, time to pop them into the steamer for some quick and perfect hard-boiled action, then egg salad for the kids and me.  Yum.

Fresh Hardboiled Eggs don’t peel…but here’s a trick…

Check out this blog.  I tried his steaming method and came out with perfect easy to peel eggs!  I used my rice/veggie steamer and am so happy with the results I just had to pass it on.

 

Steam Triumphs over Modern Technology!!!!!.