Time to celebrate!!!

Un-chicken relate business first…Yay! Way to go Cardinals!!!  You make us proud!

One of my girls was sooo egg-cited about the Cardinals World Series win that she laid her first egg.  We got home from our World Series party to find a tan colored egg sitting in the coop.

I noticed Sadie sitting in the coop this afternoon instead of out with the other girls and was wondering if we were going to get another egg layer soon.  When I checked a little while later, she was gone and there was no egg.  When we got home this evening I went to check on the girls to see if they had turned in for the night and there the egg was, waiting for me.  I didn’t see Sadie lay it, but I would not be surprised that it is hers.  Now I just need to teach her to lay her egg in the nesting box!

Sadie standing in the coop right where I found the egg.

What a great day for the St. Louis Cards, and a perfect ending for me finding a beautiful egg from a first time layer!

Cluck, cluck y’all!

 

Doin’ a HAPPY dance!

It finally happened!  We got our very first egg.  I am just soooooo egg-cited that I could jump for joy.  My little 4 year old said he was so excited that he wanted to cry!  Surprisingly, our first egg is from our youngest, Peep, the Ameraucana.  The egg is about 2 inches long with a beautiful pale blue color and a very nice hard shell and shape.  I had to go congratulate her personally.

My Red Star, Betsy, decided to climb into one of the nesting boxes and shift some straw around.  She then sat down for a couple of minutes to test it out.  I waited, holding my breath, thinking that we were going to get another one laying and that I would witness her first egg, but she got up after a while and left the nesting box empty.  I think we are getting close though!  She was maybe giving that nesting box a test drive.

Yesterday my husband and I built a little shelter for the girls’ dust bath area.  It is about 36 inches wide and 18 inches deep.  The highest point of the roof is 28 inches tall.  This will give the girls a little shade and a wind break while they are in the hole full of dirt that they bath in.  I mixed in some sand and DE with the dirt for them to roll around in.  They were very curious and had to explore the new little addition to their run.

The girls checking out their new bath house.

While I was sitting out with the girls early this morning, Peep decided she wanted to cuddle a little and popped up to my shoulder to say goodmorning.

"Goodmorning Peep!"

I guess the perch I made for the chickens in their run is not just for chickens.  This little guest decided to visit this morning and sit on the chicken’s perch while eating some of their food.

Squirrel sitting on the chicken perch.

The girls sitting on the sidelines watching the visitor sitting on their perch…

The girls didn’t quite know what to make of the little squirrel eating their food and sitting on their perch so they decided to go into their new winter home (garage coop) to get away from it all…

The girls climbing through the window into their coop in the garage.

Cluck, cluck y’all!

Happiness is…Chickens!

I love Shutterfly!  I have used the Shutterfly website to create many photo books for my family.  Of course you knew it would have to happen…yes…you guessed…I made a new photo book of my lovely girls!  It is titled “Happiness is…Chickens!”  Here is a link to my Shutterfly share page.  Hope you like it!

http://youngpour.shutterfly.com/

Sadie at 17 weeks old.

Betsy at 17 weeks.

Frannie at 19 weeks.

Peep at 14 weeks old.

Peep is only about 14 or 15 weeks old at this point, but the other 3 girls are at that age when they could start laying eggs at any time.  I anxiously check the nesting box every morning, but the only thing I have found each morning so far is the fake wooden egg that I put in there to show them where to lay their eggs.  Many chicken keepers are aware of the fact that a fake egg, small ball, or even a golf ball put in a nesting box encourages chickens to lay in the box.  I keep thinking my girls will take a hint and produce one of their own.

fake egg

Check out this chicken decor that I painted.  (Actually, re-painted.)  It was a great (cheap) find at a Goodwill Store that was painted atrociously with dings here and there.  It is heavy plaster and only cost me 50 cents.  After painting it, I gave it a wash of light taupe and then sealed it with a glossy varnish.  Isn’t she just too cute?!

Cluck, cluck y'all!

Short and sweet…

This post will be short, but sweet.  Not too much new going on right now with the girls.  We are loving the weather though…mid to upper 70s all week long!  Just enough of a chill at night to sleep comfortably.

The girls love a good corn cob pinata! It is every entertaining to watch and they even try to start timing their pecks with the swing of the cob.

Even with several perches just for them and a wooden bench at their disposal, where do they always want to sit??? Hey girls, that’s my chair!

It amazes me that you can have a whole yard of grass and weeds available to you, but when one of us picks a piece from the ground they all come running and want to eat it from your hand!

CHICKEN TIDBITS…

Q: Why does a chicken coop have two doors?
A: Because if had four doors it would be a chicken sedan!

There are more chickens on earth than there are people, over three billion in china alone.

Chickens are the closest living relative of the tyrannosaur.

Chickens are sociable animals ,they form firm friendships preferring the company of chickens they know whilst avoiding those they do not.

Well, that’s all for now.  Hope you learned something interesting!

Cluck, cluck y’all!

Chicken Run…

Spent the last 2 days building a new enclosure/run for the girls!  My wonderfully accommodating husband spent another of his days off sweating for the chickens by hammering 8 foot T-posts 2 foot down into the ground.  We then attached 6 foot tall welded wire fencing around a 20 foot by 18 foot area surrounding the coop.

Randy working on the chicken run.

I built a wooden door frame last night with fencing attached to it and we hung it this morning.  It works!  Now we just have to decide what to do for the covering on top.  We were thinking originally about running twine or rope back and forth (crisscross) across the top, but I don’t feel that would be secure enough from flying predators.  Especially since we now have two hawks.  Yep, the first hawk went and told his friend where to find 4 tasty chickens!

The girls hanging out while we built the new enclosure around them.

While we were attaching the door to the enclosure this morning, I heard a hawk screeching overhead.  I looked up and saw 2 hawks circling overheard.  The girls were half in and half out of their coop all staring up into the sky.  They didn’t seem quite as worried since Randy and I were in the coop area with them.

Randy in his own little cage.

As the girls went around the new enclosure checking it out, I could sense that they really felt more secure and comfortable in their new digs.  They didn’t all move together in such a tight little group like they normally do when loose in the yard.  They all ventured off on their own exploring.

Cluck, cluck y’all.

 

 

Strange chicken moment.

Did some decorating on the chicken coop today.  Made a sign to put on the coop and decorated an old industrial drum to store chicken feed.  Check out the cute pics…

I borrowed the words on the sign but used my own design.

 

I had quite a surprise last night while my husband and I were sitting out in the yard talking and watching chicken TV.  All of a sudden all four chickens jumped up on me (one on each knee and one on each shoulder) almost in unison, and settled down for a sit.  Each of them were making little cooing kinds of sounds like they were talking to me.  All at one time!  I thought maybe they were trying to tell me something, you know…like “Hurry, Jimmy’s fallen in the well!” or something similar.  After a few minutes, they all jumped down and went back to foraging in the grass.  It was very strange, almost like an X File moment!  I sat out there again today before they turned in for the evening hoping for something strange and wondrous to happen again, but I was disappointed. (…Fade out to Twilight Zone music.)

I guess it’s the same with chickens…the grass is always greener on the other side!

The girls staring into the neighbors yard.

Our neighbor on one side of us has the biggest flower garden I have ever seen. Not to mention lots of vegetables growing too.  She has the greenest thumb ever and her yard looks like a beautiful fairy garden.  I catch the girls often standing at the fence gazing like zombies into her yard.  My neighbor always tells me that if the girls want to come over and eat some of her bugs in her garden then that is fine with her.  But I know deep in my heart that if they ever did get over there, I would never see them again because they would never come back.  So for now they content themselves with wistful gazes and occasional cucumber leaves that she tosses them. Which is another mystery to me…they LOVE cucumber leaves.  You know…those hairy, scratchy, yucky feeling big cucumber leaves?!!  I can’t stand to touch them let alone watch huge pieces of those prickly leaves being sucked down the chickens throats like it’s their last meal!

Well, that’s all for now.

Cluck, cluck y’all!

It’s Just Too Hot!

No relief in sight from the freakishly hot weather we have been having and it is taking its toll on not only my tomatoes but my chickens as well.  I refresh their water containers with ice blocks several times a day and leave a fan running on them day and night.  Today I pureed frozen strawberries for them to snack on as well.  Poor things are standing in ice water and laying in shallow water dishes to keep cool. I also run a mister for them to cool off if they feel the need.  We spent the whole day yesterday building an extension on to the coop/run so that the girls could have a little more room.  I don’t feel so bad leaving them in their coop when I can’t be out watching them.  It is almost too hot to sit out with them while they free range for very long.  I don’t like to let the girls out when I am not watching them as I worry about predators getting them.  Here are pics of the coop with the new addition…

The girls were quite busy inspecting the new addition while we were building it.  I could sense their approval and their curiosity.  After my husband cut the doorway into the lower wall, Frannie decided to walk through it to test for size.  (She approved.)  She stopped halfway through the doorway and tilted her head all around looking at it from all directions.  I could almost read the expression on her face…this wasn’t here a while ago was it?!?

Frannie's curious look.

Frannie's approving look.

Frannie's disapproving look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I don’t know about anyone else, but I am hoping for rain.  Lots and lots of cooling rain!

Cluck, cluck y’all.

 

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