Tuesday, October 29, 2013


On Sunday, October 27th 2013,  I found our first egg from the Golden Comets that we raised from chicks this summer!  I was so excited!  It wasn't in a nest box, but that is ok, we will eventually get them laying in them.

Our First Egg!
 Our first egg was a beautiful terra-cota color, and perfectly shaped.  It was bigger than what I was expecting too. 

Eggs #1 & #2

On Monday, I found another one and I think it is from a different girl!  The shape is a little different, and the color isn't even.  It actually looked like you could see inside the egg! 

Today, I found two soft-shelled eggs in the coop, which is pretty normal for new layers from what I have read.  I am going to start providing them with crushed egg shells for the added calcium they need to produce strong eggs! 

It has taken awhile, but at twenty-two and a half weeks, we finally have our first eggs!  Everyone else should start laying in the next few weeks, and I will have plenty of eggs to share!

Our first egg compared to the eggs from the Easter Eggers!

First day out!

Dust Baths!

Clarabelle and the babies had their first day out a few days ago.  They really enjoyed the sunshine and the dust baths!  She found them some really yummy bugs, and called them over to share.  They were really unsure of the other chickens, and Clarabelle made sure everyone kept their distance.  After a few floggings, no one else wanted to take the two pound broody!  They have been integrated into the flock, and I have taken the divider down in the coop. 

Rogue meeting the babies

Finding the feed dish!

The three new babies are still in a crate in the coop.  They will need to get a little bigger before they can be let out in the coop with the big chickens. 

When is it our turn?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chicken Trading

Blue-laced Red Wyandotte girls: Edith & Ethel
A couple of months ago I purchased two older Blue Laced Red Wyandotte hens.  After quarantining them for the recommended month, I introduced them to my flock during the day while they free-ranged.  They quickly started roosting in the larger coop and the integration was complete.  Or so I thought.  All of my chickens are a year old or younger, so these older girls decided that they needed to put everyone in their place.  This didn't go over well, and ended up with the older girls being out casts in the flock. The tension in the coop was very noticeable, and I decided that in order to bring peace back to the flock that the older girls needed to find a new home with an older flock.

 Luckily, the lady that I purchased my new Easter Egger girls, decided that the Wyandotte hens should fit nicely into her flock with her older birds! So this past Sunday, I made a trip up the mountain to do some trading!  It was a beautiful drive back to the county that I was raised in!  When I arrived at her house, we unloaded the Wyandottes, and she gave me a tour of her coops! She had beautiful chickens of several breeds including White Rocks, Ameracaunas, Easter Eggers, and a few others.  When we got to her Easter Egger coop she let me pick out which pullet I wanted in trade for the older girls!  I picked a beautiful brown, salmon and cream colored pullet whose name is now Snickers, to go along with the candy bar theme of the first three Easter Eggers.

We came home and got Snickers settled into the coop with her old flock-mates, and everyone settled in nicely without any tension!  I heard from the lady the next day and she integrated the Wyandotte girls into the coop with her White Rocks who were still in quarantine.  She said that they did wonderfully and she didn't foresee any problems out of them!  I am so glad that everyone settled in so nicely, and that peace has been restored!  It is definitely not fun when there is chaos in the coop!

Edith & Ethel in their new home!  Thanks for the photo E.Jones!

Snickers, Hershey, Carmello and Twix!  All settling in nicely!

The farming way of life.

Both my husband and I were raised on farms, and farming is in our blood.  It is something that is very near and dear to our hearts.  We always knew that when we were able to buy our own property that we wanted to farm and homestead as much as we possibly could.  Now that we have our property we are excited to get our little farm started!

My husband has always had a love for the outdoors and the farming way of life.  As a young boy, he helped both of his grandfathers raise cattle, set tobacco, and keep up the everyday work on their farms.  His dad also raised cattle and they had horses as well.  He often talks about spending the summer at his grandpa's helping out, and how he remembers getting up early to a home cooked breakfast before the sun came up and then going out to spend the day out on the farm.  Most of his fondest childhood memories are centered around the time he spent with the cattle or on a tractor!

My childhood farming was quite a bit different.  My grandfather on my mom's side raised sheep when I was little, and I can remember lambing season coming when it was extremely cold and there was a couple of feet of snow on the ground.  I remember my Paw Paw bringing in orphaned or abandoned lambs and putting them next to the wood stove to get warm, and then having to bottle feed them until they were old enough to be weaned!  I also remember shearing time, when a friend of my Paw Paw's would bring his boys over to shear the sheep.  I was probably 6 years old, when my Paw Paw decided that he wasn't able to raise sheep anymore, and sold off the flock.

My dad also farmed, but his was quite a bit different!  He had horses when I was really little, and then sold them all for awhile.  When I was about 10 years old, he bought some more as well as some goats. He remarried and his new wife was just as much of an animal lover as we were!  Through the years there was a menagerie of animals there, including goats, sheep, ducks, geese, rabbits, and of course the cats, dogs and horses, among others!  As a teenager my passion was the horses and I spent every spare moment with them!  I miss having the horses, and maybe some day, we can have them here on our own farm.

When my husband and I first started dating and got married, we lived on my grandfather's (dad's side)  property.  We helped him raise hogs, horses and cattle.  We spent many hours putting up hay, feeding animals, or cleaning stalls!  We also bought a couple of  bottle-baby calves of our own and raised them while we were there.

Some of the greatest moments of our lives were spent while working on a farm!  I just wanted to share some background as to why this adventure is so near and dear to our hearts!  I promise that some stories from the past will be shared at a later date, but I wanted to just touch the surface as to our pasts in farming! 
Thank you for reading and please share your own stories in the comments!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sunsets and Sunrises!

Sunset from our back porch!
One of my favorite times of day is sunset!  To me, it signifies another day of accomplishment is over.  I enjoy listening to the animals quieting down for bed, and the night coming alive with the sounds of the nocturnal critters who are awaking!  I often go down to the coop to lock up the girls for the night, and take the quiet moment to reflect on my day.  It is a peaceful transition time that is an important part of my day!


Normally, I am not a morning person so I often miss the beauty of the sunrises!  However, with the older kids having to get up for school, I was up and awake the other day to catch this beautiful sunrise that I wanted to share!

October 17, 2013

New Flock members!

We have added six new members to our flock!

 I went and picked up three Easter Egger pullets that have just started to lay.  On the way home I was thinking about candy bars, so now these girls are named Hershey, Carmello, and Twix! 


These girls have all laid at least one egg since they have been here, and they are all a very pretty color of greenish blue!

The next day,  I decided to go get three more of the Black Copper Marans chicks since all three that I had previously gotten are boys.  So, we went up the mountain in the fog and picked out three more chicks!  We compared these to what we have, and hopefully we picked girls this time!

We were hoping that Clarabelle would take these guys in with her brood, but so far she isn't.  We have them separated in a crate, so they can see each other and get to know each other, but she can't get to them to hurt them.   

When these girls get old enough to start laying eggs, they should lay eggs that are a dark chocolate color!  I am so excited!

Monday, October 14, 2013

A favorite blog is sponsoring a giveaway!

 One of my favorite chicken blogs is sponsoring a give away of Lisa Steele's new book "Fresh Eggs Daily"!  Here is the link!  Check it out!


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Waiting on eggs.......

I am anxiously waiting on our first egg!  Don't get me wrong, when we got the first older hens Clarabelle, Amelia, and Bertha they were laying and we averaged 2 eggs per day.  But since Clarabelle went broody and we lost Amelia and Bertha in the dog attacks we haven't gotten any eggs!

I am still waiting on eggs from the Golden Comet girls!  I was told that they could start laying as early as 16 weeks.  They are now 20 weeks old and we still haven't seen the first egg!  The older two Blue-Laced Red Wyandotte hens are molting so they aren't laying at the moment either! Clarabelle has chicks and has just started molting as well so it will probably be a couple of months before she resumes laying as well! 

I am going on Saturday to a chicken swap to pick up a couple more young hens that have recently started laying.  Often a move can cause a hen to stop laying for a few weeks, so I am not counting on eggs from them when we first get them home. 

Two of the girls that will be added to the flock on Saturday!           

Hopefully, we will have eggs in the near future!  Until then I have to patiently wait and anxiously check the nesting boxes every day.  I know one day soon I will find that first egg and will be able to enjoy the gifts that my girls leave for me! 

Chicken Littles!

Well, the chicks are officially a month old!  They are growing like CRAZY! They have already lost their cute fuzziness and have started getting feathers.  They are looking a little ratty, but SHH don't tell them that! 


I think we are going to end up with 2 girls and 5 boys... which isn't what I was hoping for.  All three of the adopted chicks that I bought because I wanted DARK eggs, have turned out to be boys so I don't think I am going to be getting any dark eggs from them! I can get a couple more of the same breed from the same lady if I want to.  I am still trying to decide what do do about that!  

We did have a small problem with coccidiosis this past week, but we are treating them and everyone seems to be doing much better!  Luckily we caught it very early and we didn't lose anyone!  This is a fairly common ailment that often kills chicks if it isn't caught early!  They will finish up the medicine tomorrow, and hopefully that will be the end of that! 

I am hoping that this weekend I can finally let them out of the coop for the first time!  I hope that the weather cooperates and it is pretty!  I have to figure out some sort of pen to keep them confined so that the other chickens can't get to them and so that I can catch them easier to put them up afterwards!  I am sure Clarabelle will enjoy some time outside and a dust bath since she hasn't been out in a month!  I look forward to watching her show the babies how to forage!  She already gets so excited when I bring them grass and weeds!  Hubby had to pull up some sod where his building footers were going, so I put that in there and they LOVED it! 

Clarabelle has also started molting, so there are feathers EVERYWHERE in the coop!  With being a momma and molting it may be a couple of months before she starts laying again!  Feathers are mostly protein, so when molting the protein goes toward making new feathers rather than producing eggs.  Egg production generally slows or even stops during the molt, although adding protein to their diets can help with the feather regrowth, and helping to maintain egg production.  I am not overly concerned with her laying eggs again.  She will resume when she is ready!  Her breed tends to go broody fairly often as well, so she will probably want to raise another set of chicks in the spring!