chicken keeping

Chickens, Rabbits and COLD!!!

Quick update on the DNR case- they drilled and set up testing equipment just before Christmas. We are waiting on the results from that. Some of the burden of this has been moved to the Village so that helps, but we still have to deal with them drilling on our property and the lawyer fees to keep things legal and done properly. We are so thankful for the lawyer! We might be in a much different spot without his wisdom in these matters. Currently, the concern is that the DNR wants to close some contamination issues, and cause our property to be worthless. Please pray that the lawyer is able to avert that issue.

I will work up a proper blog post soon and give you a better update.

IN THE MEANTIME, THIS IS WHAT’S HAPPENING NOW ON THE FARM:

Deep Freezing Temps can be done now.

-2 this am with -8 overnight. Currently, as I am writing this, it is 9 but feels like -9.

Its cold.

We are going out 3 times a day to keep the animals watered and having to soak bottles and tanks in the laundry room sink to thaw them in time for the next trip out.

This am there had been a minor mishap inside the coop and I couldn’t get the door opened. The water tank had tipped just enough to spill water and it froze the door shut. It was quite the ordeal to get the ice broken and get the door opened. I had to send one of the kids in through the chicken door to work on it from inside.

I hung the tank from the chain that is in there for the food bin. Hopefully, that will eliminate that problem. And it won’t tip on the chain and spill more.

Oh the joys of farmlife..

Other than that all the animals seem to be handling this weather better than I am.

I am freezing, inside the house with a blanket and warm layers of clothing on. I am drinking lots of hot tea and soups too!! But I have to say, I am loving getting moving and outside to take care of the animals. I dress very warmly and it gets the blood pumping!!

The chickens have been outside in the run almost daily. Only on the coldest of these days have I kept the coop door closed. I have been opening it in the morning when I go out and let them decide if they want to go out or not. They seem very happy to get out of the coop and most take advantage of it. A few prefer to stay inside.

I had talked about my mini rooster on my fb page. I had one last Bantam rooster of some sort. I have only a slight idea of what kind he was other than a grey Bantam. He did not handle the cold weather well at all and would sit on the perches and shiver. A few days in to this cold snap, I did bring him into my sunroom so he would be warmer. It was not his favorite!!

But he was saved by an old friend of mine, who is a animal nut like I am. She called me that day to let me know I could bring him over to her house. She had one old hen in their barn under a heat lamp and he was welcome to join her there.

Well, actually, they hang out in their basement!! They are best buds I hear. He is very happy and crows all the time. In HER basement, not MY sunroom which is right off MY bedroom!! Thank GOODNESS!!!

Below is a pic of the rooster from before the deep freeze and snow perched on his favorite perch, high above those pesky hens that cause him grief! The other is a picture of the dog kennel all set and ready for the rooster to stay warm in. King Louie, the house cat, is curled up in it, testing it out for the him. He seems pretty happy with the setup.

Happy New Year!! I pray your new year be blessed and amazing! For starters, I am going to try to work on more regular blog postings. Looking forward to reconnecting with the blogging world!

Blessings,

Vicki

Here he is on his favorite perch, away from the girls who seem to scare him. Here is the pen all set and ready for the little Rooster. King Louie had been testing it out for him and found it suitable.

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chicken keeping

Chicks: Moving Day…

This is the third chapter in the story of this years chicks.  If you don’t really care about adorable babies, feel free to skip.  If you are interested in what is going on with the babies and enjoy keeping up with what is going on at our house, feel free to read on!  

The chicks are 3 weeks old now.  They have grown quite a bit now and are starting to get their adult feathers.  Some have bald patches from where the downy baby feathers were.  The boys have outgrown their tank so today we finished putting a tarp around the sides of our chicken tractor, Hubby made a few improvements, and we moved it out onto the grass.  The sun is shining today, but it can still be pretty chilly around here for a while yet so we need to keep sides on.  We also put the heat lamp inside the tractor because the nights are chilly.  

As you can see, they seem pretty happy with the new digs.  They are spread out, so they are warm enough.  They have more room to move and we put some logs and branches in for them to perch on.  I left the roof up to let the sunshine in.  

The girls are still in their tank.  They have plenty of room and the heat lamp is up higher.   We put a branch in their tank for them to perch on and they seem pretty happy with that.  I often find someone on the branch when I come out to check on them and feed them.  

When we moved the boys, I put the girls outside for some grass, bugs and sunshine.  First I used a dog kennel that was nearby.  Unfortunately, the wires are just wide enough apart for them to get out….  UGH..  

So I found the old rabbit cage and put them in there for a couple of hours.  They seemed ok with that, but didn’t quite know what to do.  They were much happier back inside their familiar tank.  

Next week, I will work on moving them into their next home.  I need to clean it out a bit and install the divider so that the big girls don’t kill the new babies.  They are too small and the big girls will literally peck them to death.  This way, they will have a safe place to get used to each other.  
Ok.. So here we are at next week….  yea..  last week seems to have flown right on by.  We went on a vacation last weekend for the long weekend and I didn’t write a thing.  nothing.  I took naps instead.  The chicks are now 4 weeks old.  

I cleaned out the new pen for the girls and they are quite happy in their new, larger surroundings.  

The boys are thoroughly enjoying their pen which we can move easily enough.  We have moved it daily this week now and they LOVE the new grass and bugs they can feed on.  I had to give them a larger water container but the food dishes seem adequate yet.  

More balding chicks and I am seeing more new feathers coming in..  Still adorable, no matter what my brother says…  

Blessings,

Vicki