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Chickens!!!

 

here is the coop all clean.  I added old ladders for them to roost on.
here is the coop all clean. I added old ladders for them to roost on.

I am sitting here under the dryer at the beauty salon getting the gray hair covered up again. It’s amazing how quickly they pop out!!! Gonna get the red again and a slightly different style.

I cleaned out the chicken coop yesterday with the help of my boys. It looks really good and it was warm enough yesterday to finally get all the old frozen bedding out. This morning then, I did a Pilates workout to get these muscles loosened up. It’s amazing how tight and sore my muscles get nowadays.

It was much easier to clean the coop now that the nasty little rooster is gone. He would attack anyone who came into the coop! Including me!! So it was time for him to go. I actually was a little sad because any time an animal has to die because it just will not behave it’s sad.  Yes, I was nice to him as were the rest of us.  He only got into trouble when he attacked us first.

Rooster have a job. It’s to protect his girls. Not from the one who takes care of you however. Not from the kids who are playing outside away from the chickens. But from other threats. Like hawks or foxes. We tried leaving him out of the coop last summer and let nature take care of him. We jokingly said that there would be a bunch of dead foxes in the yard and the rooster would be fine!! We weren’t far off. The rooster made it through! So I let him back in. I should have just left him!!

He was fine for a long time. Then last fall he started getting mean again. I let him go longer than I should have. He was really pretty though,  I have to say.

Now I have the 18 girls. They are a nice lot. There are a few different breeds in there to make it a bit more interesting. There are the first 9 Brown layers. Then there are 2 of several different breeds. They lay about 10-17 eggs a day. Generally, I collect in the afternoon.  That way I don’t disturb anyone still wanting to lay.  Usually by the afternoon they are done laying.  I might get a couple more if I go in the evening.

Here is a group of chickens eating a head of cabbage I put out.
Here is a group of chickens eating a head of cabbage I put out.

 

I use up quite a few and sell a few dozen here and there. We laugh at the size differences we get.  Some are so big they don’t fit in the carton others barely fill the egg slot!!

Chickens are actually quite easy to keep. Just don’t get or keep the rooster!!! I get chicks from the feed mill or mail order. I have not attempted brooding my own eggs.

Keep the chicks warm, about 90 -95 degrees. Feed them a chick feed from Fleet Farm and add some vitamins to their water. We have kept them in our sunroom in a box or made a larger broader in the garage. Once they molt and get their adult feathers they have adjusted to regular temps and will be fine without a light as long as it is warmer.  Like spring weather.

You can feed them a crumble from Fleet Farm or get a scratch mix from the feed mill. Give them water, some oyster shells and a place to have a dust bath and they will be fine.

I find the chickens actually kind of fun to watch too!  Not quite for the same reasons Lenny here, does!!  But they are fun to watch!

Last years babies.  Lenny REALLY liked them!!
Last years babies. Lenny REALLY liked them!!

They love to dig in the dirt and scratch and eat bugs and dirt.  They can decimate my gardens in a very short time so I have to be careful about letting them loose in the summer.   Chickens are amazing rototillers!  They churn up the soil to find bugs and worms and also fertilize as they go.  Chickens are also great at breaking up the manure in the pastures looking for bugs.  They do a great job of breaking them up and tilling them into the soil.   Chickens will also eat mice and small snakes.  That actually surprised me!

I  was actually quite excited to be able to have chickens here on this property.  I have not yet been disappointed.  They are really easy to raise and we get a good amount of eggs from them.  The best eggs to eat by the way!!

Have you ever compared home grown eggs to store bought?  You will want to check that out!  You will see a clear difference.  The yolk is much brighter yellow.  There is so much more good stuff in a home grown egg.  I found this on another blog site called “Backyard Eggs”:

Recent research published by Mother Earth News, a magazine dedicated to self-reliant and healthy living, found that eggs from chickens allowed to forage naturally have, on average, seven times more beta carotene (which is what makes pastured egg yolks so orange), three times more vitamin E, two times more omega-3 fatty acids and two-thirds more vitamin A than factory farm birds. Pastured eggs also have one-third less cholesterol and one-quarter less saturated fat, on average.

I am not surprised.  Eggs and food in general grown naturally is going to be naturally better for you!

Well, I am gonna go get some vitamin D!! Enjoying the sunshine today since tomorrow we are back to yucky weather!!

blessings,

vicki

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2 thoughts on “Chickens!!!

  1. Have I mentioned that I am in awe of you? I am lucky to keep one kid and a dog alive…and you do all of this. I am lucky to know you and have a chance to learn so much from you!

    Like

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