Happy to be back!

Cooling off!

Cooling off!

 

I am so happy to be back on my blog!  I have been dealing with a few daunting health issues and I have never been more thankful for my family!  My parents were able to come up to help with things when I was unable to do much.  Between helping with my two precious kiddos or feeding and caring for my backyard flock, my parents proved that nothing is as important as family.  I pray that all of you had a wonderful Fourth of July with your families.  I know I did.  I was privileged enough to spend half of the day with my hubby’s family and the other half with my parents.  God has truly blessed me and my family.  Life isn’t always easy or fun, but if you keep your eyes open you will be constantly reminded of all you have been given.

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New additions to the family!

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I ordered these from a hatchery and they came in the middle of March.  I ordered two of each kind but the other Pekin died within hours of arrival.  When they arrived I noticed the white Pekin in the picture above had a spot on her side.  I dismissed it as a skin discoloration.  She acted fine and was eating and drinking so I thought nothing of it.  After about a week I noticed the spot had grown quickly and was turning green and I had absolutely no idea what to do.  I was scouring the internet looking to see if anyone had encountered something similar, no luck.  I made the decision to use the knowledge I had from treating my chickens.  I gave her a shot of Tylan (which is mainly for respiratory issues).  I knew it may not work but I had to try because I could tell it was an infection and she was so small I knew it would kill her quickly.  I also coated the infection with vaseline to seal it.   (That was an idea I got from another blogger).  After giving her the first shot she was tired but the next morning seemed a tad better.  I gave her three shots of it total and then I just waited.  She limped around for about two weeks because the infection had gotten into her side under her wing.  She was also picking at it a bunch so I coated it with Blu-Kote and then she left it alone (she quickly learned it tasted nasty….which was obvious from her having a purple bill the next day).  I have been waiting to put them on here until I knew for sure she was going to be OK.  Well, the Tylan worked.  The infection is all gone and her feathers grew in over the area.  She is the sweetest girl!  We have named her Mango after my daughters favorite fruit:)

Miss Maggie!

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This little lady is a sweet hen that I bought from an amish farm down the road.  That is why she has clipped beak.   I personally have never had to do that.  I have about 25 chickens and with free ranging them I don’t have a pecking issue.
She is the oldest hen we have.  She doesn’t lay anymore but we don’t care, Miss Maggie is family;)
Everyone that knows us asks where Maggie is when they come over.  She likes to hang out with us on the deck when we are out there.  She is definately the ruler of the coop!
As you can see there isn’t much grass yet:(  The drought last year killed much of it off.  My chicken’s have been so excited to see patches of it coming back!  I think it is so much healthier if they aren’t so dependent on feed.

Naughty chickens!

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Well, it has been a busy couple of weeks!
A few days ago my husband went out to the coop  to fill up the feed can and came back and said I had a dead chicken laying there.  So I went to the coop to check it out and I look all around and check for signs of what predator was in there.  I am checking everywhere when I spot a grey silkie in the corner…but wait…I dont have a grey silkie.  Then it turns and looks at me and it’s a huge possum!  It is cowering in a corner so I locked up the coop and ran to get super hubby to get it out.  He quickly disposed of the problem and I noticed a huge hole it dug in the corner.  I think I actually locked it in the coop with my poor chickens.   What a day that was!
Well, since then the chickens have been a bit off.   That first night after that about half of them slept under the deck.  Now they are all back in the coop at night but I have a bunch that are now laying their eggs in the goat house.  I had to put a bin in there filled with shavings for the little stinkers to lay their eggs in.

Easter party time!

My beautiful Ali girl!

My beautiful Ali girl!

 

My sweet neice Abby!

We had our first Easter party on Saturday and boy was that fun!  I invited a few of my kids friends and it was crazy!  I spent friday prepping and boiling about 85 eggs.  That way each kiddo could dye a few and take them home.  I gotta say….Kool-aid works REALLY well on brown eggs!  I used green , blue and red colored Kool-aid and they turned out fantastic!  I was peeling one earlier for lunch and boy did it smell fruity!

 

Front porch chickens

A few months ago I found one of my hens sleeping in the corner of my front porch.  She is a friendly Golden Comet…they have the best temperaments!   It was freezing out and she was sleeping on concrete.  Yikes!  I know I would be a tad cold.  So I grabbed a milk crate and filled it with straw and my hubby picked her up and stuck her in it and she has used it off and on since.   Because of her wandering nature I have named her Hobo.  Well a few days ago I walked onto the front porch and peeked over in the crate…and I saw three eggs.  They weren’t from the same layer.  So I made sure to pay attention the next day to see who is laying them.  A soon as I heard a hen in the front yard carrying on (bragging about her egg laying capabilities I guess) I ran to the front door and sure enough there was Hobo announcing to the world that she is the greatest egg layer of all time.  Well, that’s how it sounded anyway.  I looked over and saw a big brown egg from my girl.  I also happened to notice that there are two more hens waiting.  A Rhode Island Red and a Black Australorp.   So my question was quickly answered and now the three of them lay in there everyday.  I am hoping that word doesn’t get out about the front porch, because I really don’t feel like hosing it off everyday.  Here is a pic of the corner crate and the eggs my girls left me.  Today there are four eggs so I have no idea who laid that one.  So I suppose the mystery isn’t completely over!

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Guineas…love em’ or leave em’!

Guineas are fantastic to have around the yard.  They eat tons of bugs including their favorite snack…ticks!  Yup…they love those little blood suckers.  They are great for gardening too.  They will eat bugs off of plants without hurting the plants themselves.  (Most of the time anyway.)  The only drawback is if you are like me and have a toddler that still naps and they decide they see something they don’t like and start barking.  They are loud!  I have to shoo them away from the house at times.  Since we have had them we rarely see many ticks.  So I would tell anyone that has a few acres to go get two or three and enjoy living without pesticides in their yard!

Backyard chickens

Looks like I got back on here sooner than expected!

My chicken coop is in my backyard and I love it!  My hubby and my dad converted it from a horse stable last summer and it has worked out great.  It is nice and roomy for the chickens.  I highly recommend using whatever materials you may already have at your disposal.  Chickens don’t require much so they don’t need a Taj Mahal of a coop.  I was fortunate enough to already have a barn that wasn’t being used, but you can use almost anything that will provide them a shelter.  If you are only going to have 2-4 chickens you could just use a dog house.  If you are in a neighborhood you will also need to build a coop yard.  It doesn’t need to be huge but big enough for the little cuties to get some exercise.  We are planning to build our coop yard onto the coop this spring.  As soon as that gets started I will share some pics of it.

I also wanted to share some pics with you of my chicken family.  So here is the first of many to come!

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Here is a pic of my Mille Fleur.  She is a sweet girl!