Posts tagged ‘homesteading’

Update

My daughter and I just spent a little over an hour cleaning up in the garage while the boys napped and somehow it is still covered with a fine layer of chicken dust.  Bleck.  Thankfully I had to wake up baby for lunch so I had an excuse to take a break.  I’d really like to get it done today so my husband can work out in the morning.  I think we all feel better when we get a chance to workout.

The chicks have survived living outside in their coop!  They’ve stayed in today though as it’s only 53 degrees outside.  Good old Washington weather.  I had the chicken door open for an hour or so but twice had to come to the loud chirping rescue of two little chicks who’d managed to get out of, but who still have no idea how to get back in, the coop.

I got the idea for the PVC pipe feeder from this blog. http://thebroodybunch.com/story/feeders/216/new-feeder/ and we have the materials, just need to install it. We figured we’d wait until the chicks are a bit bigger. (Especially Teeny Weenie who would starve to death if we put this in now.)

There are still a few more things to do, build an automatic watering system, and install the pvc pipe feeder.  However, I just looked over our budget for last month…apparently building a palace for chickens pecks quite a hole in your bank account!  They’d better start laying soon.

The only issue I’ve been having is that they’re still managing to pile shavings into their watering dish at least nightly.  Have you found any way to keep your young ones watered so they can’t clog it up?

Chicks – One week and all is well.

Everybody had that one person they looked up to when they were young.  You know…they were probably ten or so years older and 5,000% cooler than you.  They could do the things you couldn’t (or weren’t allowed to) do, like going to a movie without having to ask permission, drive, jump off a bridge into a freezing river that your Mother said was waaaaay too dangerous, or beat Super Mario Brothers with only one life.  For me this embodiment of cool was my Uncle.  I wanted to be able to find his awesome hiding places when we played Sharks and Minnows, and beat him at spoons.  As a young teenager I was in love with more than one of his friends (who naturally never gave me the time of day).  What does that have to do with chickens?  Well…I would like to say that raising chickens was all our idea…and although my husband had been talking about it for years I think there is a part of me that is pretty pleased I can now officially be a part of my Uncle’s club…at least one of his clubs.  I’ve still never jumped off that bridge, and I can’t even count the lives it would take me to rescue Princess Toadstool, but now I can say, we both have chickens!

Here is our Silver Laced Wyandotte, 1 week.

We’ve had our little chickies for a week now and it is amazing to me how much the little guys are growing and changing every day.

What were once tiny stubs on the sides of their puff-ball-bellies are now sprouting feathers, a few even have teeeeeeeeny little rump feathers poking out of their fuzz, like our RIRs and the SLW.

The silkies are the craziest looking, hands down, with their ultra long necks, furry feet, extra toes and beginning fluff.

Here is our largest of the three silkies.

Little "teeny weenie", as my husband affectionately refers to her, is our partridge silkie. Although she is small her fluff feathers seem to be coming in a little faster than the blue silkie. I'm wondering if this one is just destined to be the runt.

You can see Goldilocks and Aurora beak to beak there in the back with our long-neck silkie to their right. The chick closest to the feeder is a Plymouth Barred rock with the SLW nearest and to the right.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our daughter has already named two of the chickens.  We have Goldilocks, a RIR with a yellow head, and Aurora, our Welsummer, “because she has the eyeliner, and we KNOW she’s a girl and we won’t have to eat her.”  Goldilocks has a backup name…The Big Bad Wolf, just in case she turns out to be a he, our 4 1/2 yr old daughter said it would be okay to eat him if he has a bad-guy name.

 

She’s also decided that any others who crow are going to be named Chick Hicks “because then Bubba won’t care if we kill it because he doesn’t like Chick Hicks”.  Somehow I don’t think our son is going to have trouble eating the chicken, he’s already decided he’s going to eat the Barred Rocks (the only breed he, as a 2 1/2 yr old, can identify) and I have tried to convince him that we want them to all be girls so we can just get their eggs.  But he has informed me that the black ones are boys and the red ones are girls.  It’s hard to argue with that kind of logic.

Goldilocks, our friendly little Rhode Island Red. I hope she keeps her cute little blond head! (and check out teeny weenie's fluff back there behind her!)

Our little Easter Egger didn't want to pose for the photo but you can see already how her wing feathers are coming in...and a few little fuzz feathers there at her soon to be tail.

We painted the coop the other day and it is looking pretty great.  We have to attach some chicken wire to the cracks and put in the door, ramp, and locks.  We’re still trolling craigslist for cheep posts we can use for fencing a yard for our girls, but considering they have 5 more weeks before they can go outside full-time we’re holding out for a good deal.  It literally pains me to spend money.

 

 

 

 

Here's a photo from last week, when we brought home the little guys. The kids are still very excited about their new pets. I still haven't figured out how to keep our son from crawling into the garage via the cat door just to see them.

 

 

 

 

My uncle has his own, ever-growing, backyard flock and has been a wealth of information for us as we embark on this new journey.  Aside from picking his brain, he literally got us started.  The base for our coop was the old play structure from his yard.  It also didn’t hurt that he loaned us all his power tools so we could build it.  Even though he has a flock of laying hens, we were the first ones to get Barred Rock Chicks (granted he just picked up a couple yesterday…maybe he wants to be more like me?  Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?)

Considering he has been on the bandwagon a little bit longer I guess we can make him President of the chicken club.

Welcome baby chicks!

So I’m not going to lie, I have no idea what I’m doing.  No, I guess that isn’t entirely true.  I don’t know how this whole blogging thing is going to work out.  I am probably like the majority of bloggers out there.  I have 3 kids, 3,000 chores (that are not getting done at the moment b/c on top of everything else going on in my life I have decided, on a whim, to start a blog).  I’m also homeschooling my daughter, and embarking on the journey of raising chickens as well as children.  Considering the child raising is going so well, maybe I have a shot at a successful flock…then again I have already dealt with pee and poop on the carpet, and a biting, kicking toddler and it isn’t even 10am…so maybe it isn’t going as smoothly as I would have hoped.

But lets talk chickens.  Because, let’s be honest, baby chicks are freaking adorable!

day one of our side yard flock

We screened for docile birds who will be good layers, and plan on eating any of them that start to crow.  (By “we” I mean my husband, who knows I have zero desire to assist in the killing but will be more than happy to cook them once they’re cleaned.)

We have 3 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Plymouth Barred Rock, 1 Silver Laced Wyandotte, 3 Silkies (2 partridge and one blue) of which we are keeping one hen and returning the other 2 to my uncle.  I am also headed to the feed store to pick up a Welsummer, and an Ameraucana (Easter Egger) for my husband.

Of course now that we have our chicks we should finish their house…

nest boxes? check.

Window? Check.
Walls? Check.

kids help.

Chicken doors? Check.

We used an old play structure from my uncle as the skeleton for our coop.  Bella and Wesley and been very excited about the process, and yesterday they both helped me sweep out the coop so we could add a laminate floor (before it started to rain).  We got half of it done before baby’s nap was over, so I call that a good day!

And this is where we’re at so far. Yes, I used the old cabinet doors from the downstairs bath.  I am a genius.

Well.  I suppose I should send this inaugural post out into the sea of internet…though i’m sure my readers will be limited to close friends, parents, in-laws and other family that’s okay with me.

Welcome to our side yard flock.