Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Chickens and Eggs!

Eggs in the nest box early in the morning!
Over-flowing egg container in the fridge.

Bonnie:  a mystery pullet

Snickers checking out Sydney

Harriett: Golden Comet

Clyde: Bantam Mottled Cochin

Jezzabelle & Unnamed : Golden Comet girls

Hershey: Easter Egger

Snickers: Easter Egger

Gertrude: Golden Comet

Rogue: Black Australope

Dust Bath!

Twix and Carmello: Easter Eggers

Clarabelle's babies:  bantam Buff Cochins and Black Copper Marans.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Hubby brought me a present today!

Hubby came in this evening with a present for me!  He had been to Lowe's Hardware to take a weed-eater back that had broken and was still under warranty earlier in the week.  Turns out the weed-eater couldn't be fixed!  Since he had already bought a new weed-eater he decided to get a store credit which he used to buy a dumping garden cart! 

I have been wishing for one since we moved, and now I have one!  It made out of the black poly, and can be used either as a wagon or hooked up behind the mower.  This is going to make it much easier to haul feed, leaves, brush, ect around the property!  I am so thankful that I have a hubby that loves me, and spoils me!

Putting the tires on!
We ended up putting it together in the kitchen floor.  After about 30 minutes we had it together and Hubby took the kids for a ride around the kitchen and living room!  After that, we took it outside and loaded it with pumpkins that I have to take down to the chickens tomorrow!  This cart is definitely going to be well used around here!


The first load! 

Moving everyone around....

It is hard to believe that the Easter Eggers have already been here a month!  We decided to let them out to free-range with all the other chickens for a few days, but leaving the door open to the little coop so they could decide which coop to go into at night.  There were a few small scuffles, but the candy bar girls stayed on the outskirts of the flock, close to the coop so they could run and hide if they needed to. 

For the first 3 days they continued to go into the little coop at night to roost.  On the fourth day, I let them out and shut the little coop door so they couldn't get back in there.  At dark, they went into the big coop with everyone else! Carmello, tends to go inside very early and makes sure that she gets prime roosting spots!

 Now that they have been with the other chickens for a few days, they are settling in very well.  They are still a little skittish and stay on the outskirts, but they don't run for their lives anymore!  They also tend to stay near the coop rather than free-ranging all over the yard like the others do. Everyday they venture a little farther away, so hopefully soon they will enjoy the whole yard with the rest of the flock!

The day after I shut the Easter eggers out of the little coop, I moved the three Marans chicks into it and took the dog crate and the heat lamp out of the big coop.  This gives them more room, and also makes the big coop less cluttered! It opens up the nest boxes in the big coop so that the new layers can get to them and we won't have eggs laid everywhere.  I am thinking that with this young trio, I have 2 pullets and a cockerel.... I was really hoping for 3 pullets, so I am a little disappointed.  I will probably try to hatch some more of the Black Copper Marans next year after these girls start to lay!

Clearing brush and splitting wood.

When we bought our land, it was wooded with set white pines that had originally been planted for Christmas trees years ago, but were grown up and fairly thick!  We cleared about an acre for our house and yard.  Eventually we will cut all the pines out and will replant some hardwoods sporadically throughout the property and fence off for pasture. 

As with anytime you clear land that was wooded, we ended up with a pretty good sized brush pile.  We have slowly been trying to get the brush cleaned up so we will be able to get to the creek that runs through the middle of our property.  Hopefully, we can slowly work on it through the winter and have it cleaned up by spring!

There were several dead trees that needed to be cut down and some that were piled up on the pile of brush.  Hubby cut those down and has been cutting and splitting them up, so we could burn them in our fire pit! There is nothing like sitting by the fire watching the flames! 

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Chicken Run!

This weekend we worked on getting the chicken run built before winter really sets in, and the other food sources become scarce for the predators!  I personally don't want every fox, raccoon, coyote and other predator in the area to see my chickens as an easy meal!

Hubby and I picked up some supplies from my grandmother's and we got to work!  We used some old rebar panels, t-posts, and some wooden posts to make a fairly large fenced in area between the coop and the new building.  Hubby has decided that he is going to get a larger building, so I am going to get the new building for a bigger coop eventually.  We decided that since it was going to be a coop in the future, it would be easier if we went ahead and included it in the run layout!

I am very satisfied with the way it turned out, although we will probably end up setting some more wooden posts and putting wooden boards on the rest of the sides instead of just the front.  Also, the small coop we are using for quarantine will probably be taken down and we will have to fix that corner.  I am excited with all the new changes that we have gotten accomplished!