Posts tagged ‘coop’

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.

Advertisements

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.

Well…I guess I’ll have to learn to cook black chicken…

Most chickens look like the ones we find in grocery stores, but not Silkies.  They’ve got black skin…and guess who is practicing his pathetic crow on a daily basis?

This Guy

He had always been the biggest of our three Silkies so I can’t say that I’m surprised.  What I’m still trying to figure out is if he is the only one.  One of our Barred Rocks is a bit bigger than the other and (s)he has a slightly bigger comb than the other one.  The rest of the girls(?) are doing really well.  Here are some shots I took yesterday.  Sorry for the lull in posting but it’s summer and I have three kids.

The chickens enjoy a giant handful of weeds every day, along with table scraps as they’ve already stripped the ground to dirt in their current side of the run.

Dinner (who may not end up getting eaten after all) and our Easter Egger behind her. (Notice the weird funny beard on the Easter Egger)

You talkin’ ta me!?
(SLW, Easter Egger, BR butt)

I wish I could tell you which RIR this is…but they all look so similar now. Polly is still a bit smaller than the other two. I hope that doesn’t mean she’ll be a poor layer.

Aurora our beautiful Welsumer going after the greens.

Now I suppose it’s just a waiting game to see if there are more crows before our backyard turns into a mobile slaughter house.

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.

They’re Beginning to look a lot like Chickens

At 5 weeks old our little chicks are really feathering out.  The Barred Rocks are the biggest and I’ll give you one guess who is smallest…

They’re starting to show some real personality and even Dinner is growing on me.

A few of them figured out how to climb up into the apple tree and have been roosting away up there.  It was pretty cute, one of the Rhode Island Reds did it first and then it was the hot thing for about five minutes, all but the silkies were trying there little clawed foot at it.  My husband wonders if they’ll fly the coop climbing up so high into the tree…what do you think?

Now if they will just figure out how to get back into the coop by themselves I’ll be happy.

Dinner and Goldilocks enjoy the warm day from the bough of our teeny Apple tree.

Dinner, our SLW, is turning into one of the more beautiful birds.

Dinner snoozing.

Our Barred Rocks and Teeny Weenie, the partridge silkie, taking a nap.

Pretty Polly pecking for prizes.

Apparently the chickens aren’t the only ones who like Apple Trees.

The poor chickens were all huddled in the corner trying to stay away from the monster after their feed. The poor squirrel didn’t know how to get out, and about had a heart attack when my husband went in to chase it out of there.

And as a side question…doesn’t anybody know when we should harvest our lettuce?

 May 27, 2012  Side Yard Flock   11 Comments

You’re Grounded!

Honestly I can’t believe it took her this long to figure it out.  Our part russian blue part mutt cat Lucy finally figured out how to get into the chicken yard.  Considering she can climb the wooden posts from the ground all the way to our second floor deck, and any tree in our yard, the hop up and over our gate was easy-peasy.  My husband just happened to look out the window and see Lucy running madly around the chicken yard.  He rushed out and immediately she feared for her life.  She ran faster, trying to find a quick escape…what’s that?  a ramp? perfect!  She lept up into the coop, terrifying Teeny Weenie, silkie Willie-blue and our largest Barred Rock who were enjoying the heat lamp on our chilly May afternoon.  Thomas managed to shoo her out of the coop and finally scruffed her and hauled her into the house.  Lucy.  You’re grounded!

That is the closest you’re going to be getting to those chickens until they’re big enough to wallop you!

No worries, I checked the chickens and none seem injured (although they were all a bit shaken up) and came running to me chirping when I came out to the chicken yard.  Good thing my husband saw her when he did or Dinner may have been a feast for a feline instead of us.

 May 25, 2012  Side Yard Flock   2 Comments

They were not amused.

It rained today.  I didn’t think at 4 1/2 weeks my little chickies are feathered out enough to weather the rain…but they sure wanted to.  They were not happy they had to stay in the coop all day and let me know it with their loud chirps when I came out a few times to check their food and water.

Did I make the right call?  I’m assuming when they’re full-grown I can open the door and if they want out they’ll go out, right?  Other birds are out (sometimes) in the rain, and I’m sure they’d be all about some worms when the rain lets up…so much to learn.

 May 21, 2012  Side Yard Flock   1 Comment
Categories: chickens Tags: , , ,