Posts tagged ‘chickens’

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

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.

The new girls

Well they haven’t been accepted into the flock yet, but here they are…

We named her Annie Oakley because the kids love the musical Annie Get Your gun, and she sure looked like a hawk to me.¬† Little Sure Shot has a hawk-eye, so it only seemed fitting.¬† The question is what is she?¬† We don’t know what breed this is, so any guesses?

We also got this.

Meet Aretha Franklin.

No,¬† not this one…

 

this one! She is a sweet polish hen. We’re considering adopting the other polish from my uncle…but we’ve had the two new girls for a week now and they still aren’t very accepted by the original¬†flock. We had to put out a second watering dish because they were literally guarding it and not letting the young two take a drink…bullies. She’s easy to catch and hold too because those feathers make it really easy to sneak up on her!

 

 

 

Shamelessly posting photos of my chickens…

Miss. Dr. Beard Face (a la Scrubs) and one of the RIRs

After eating two of our silkies¬†we decided to give teeny weenie to my uncle. She didn’t roost up with the other girls, and we felt bad having her sleep on the ground all alone. She’s getting along well with her new flock. We’re now down to 3 RIR, 2 Barred Rock, 1 SLW, and 1 Welsumer

I’ve never seen a chicken with a beard before…weirdo

Baby loves the chickens, and they all follow him around…though considering the last time he tried to gie him a leaf he got his finger bitten I don’t foresee¬†him trying that again any time soon…then again he is a baby. I don’t think his memory is too well-developed at this point.

It’s been hot this week.

…oh…and these finally bloomed. LOVE IT!
Enjoy the week. And if you get clear skies make sure you check out the meteor shower. My husband and I saw quite a few of them last night. Good times.

Ok that was loud.

Looks like Wed is going to be the day…My hubby works until then and the crowing was loud enough to wake me up this morning.¬† So Tuesday is mission figure out which grey silkie¬†is the roo.¬† I think I may troll craigslist¬†for people trying to get rid of roosters and off a few instead of setting up a whole roo-killing¬†operation for my one little almost-big-enough-for-a-pot little boy.¬† He’s a nice enough boy, isn’t mean to anybody.¬† But we never wanted a rooster.¬† And we do enjoy a good chicken dinner…even if it isn’t “Dinner”.

Uh Oh

We left town for a week and headed out to MN for a family reunion and my cousin kept an eye on the girls while we were gone… He said he heard a crow…but he doesn’t know who. The mystery is on. Photos to follow, prob. not tomorrow with the 4th of July, but for sure on the 5th!!

Butterflies on a rainy day

I feel like it’s been ages since I’ve posted anything.¬† It could be my husband joking about how I’ve gotten myself¬†sucked into the blogosphere, or maybe it was the stress of planning and executing my daughter’s 5th birthday party.¬† Perhaps the fact that I’ve been the ultimate slacker where our chickens are concerned, falling victim to perfection’s evil brother “good enough”.¬† We installed our gravity feeder, only to have to reach in and manually pull food out each morning and evening.¬† The watering system exists, but only in my mind.¬† It doesn’t do the chickens much good there.

We’ve been making slow progress on the downstairs bathroom remodel, tile is laid, grout is down, and now it’s just a few more hours of picking specks of grout out of the tiles with a tiny screw driver so it doesn’t drive me crazy for the next 30 years and we can seal it!

Instead of hitting any of these issues, I looked out the window into the rain and decided to brighten up our house with an art project.  I found this cute site for making coffee filter butterflies and the kids were more than happy to join my painting party.

Materials Needed:

Coffee Filters

Water Color Paint kit (and water)

Pipe Cleaners

Paper Towels

optional: Paper plates

The first step isn’t essential, but Bubba insisted that the cars get all lined up to watch the project.

Next flatten the paper coffee filters and paint them with water-color paints. I flattened them onto plates for easier clean-up.

Be sure to use lots of water to blend your colors, and take care to get all the way to the edges. Painting faces is also an option if you’re 2 1/2.

Lay them out on paper towels to dry. I let them dry overnight just to draw the project out for another day but it wasn’t necessary (neither was blowing on them…but I wasn’t about to tell Bubba).

After they’re dry fold them back and forth accordian style about 1/2 in.
Take a pipe cleaner, fold it in half and place the center of the folded filter into the crook of the pipe cleaner. Twist the pipe cleaner several times and shape the ends of the antenna.

Beanie showing off her finished butterflies.

Bubba gives us a “one-eyed only” smile and shows off his new haircut.

When you’re finished hang your summer butterflies around the house. We used thread to hang them in the windows. The sun shining through the colorful wings really brightens up the room.