Showing posts with label Chickens. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chickens. Show all posts

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Let's Talk Chicken

Hey and Good Morning!
I apologize for not posting in some time but sometimes life will keep a person busy. 
I thought I would put a post up explaining the basics of how we do chickens. I had been asked by a couple of folks lately, so I thought I might share a little bit about our chickens. 

Before I go any further, I want to make it clear me nor the Ole Man are experts. So I have no expert advice but we have been keeping chickens about 5 years now. As a child, we had a good number of chickens (100 chickens give or take) so I have a little basic knowledge to offer. 
With that being said there are so many different ways and opinions that are out there about keeping chickens. 
There really are no iron clad do's and don'ts. I say it will be something that will come along with a bit of a plan and a little trial and error.

My biggest message is to say:
Chickens are not hard!
My husband and I made the decision we wanted chicken. He got excited and began researching like crazy. I, on the other hand, had a pretty good idea of what I wanted and more over what
 I didn't want.
First, I didn't want a 100 chickens!
We both have full time jobs outside the home. We also had a house full of kids at the time and plenty of obligations. I'd love to think we could train them to have helped but that is something that must be instilled early with children. You might force them to help but they most likely will hinder more than help. We are a blended family. Our son Jack has grown up with them and is a good help and enjoys our hens.

Second, I didn't want chicken poop everywhere!
I'm a barefoot girl.
Free-range has good points and bad points. We became fond of having our first hens out and about. They were soothing and fun to watch. They kept the bug populations down. It was also good for their nutrition. When we let them free-range, I wore flip-flops and watched were I stepped and instead of fencing them in anything I didn't want them in had to be fenced in.
We lost our first hens to predators.
Then we would turn them out during the day and put the up at night.
Now we do the same but they are turned out into a fenced in area.

Here is the cute blue coop the Old Man built.
He search and purchased the plans. I think he  paid $10 for the complete plans. I am here looking through the folder and I have searched on line to find the website or any information to share with you. I can't find it. It was purchased on Ebay but must have been removed now.
I do have the plans for this 4' x 6' chicken coop if you request them. 
The material list is small and very efficient. very little waste if any of materials bought.

We chose to purchase 4 barred rock pullets. Barred Rock chickens are a very hardy breed. They weather the cold very well. Baby chickens are adorable but many times they just don't make it; they often die. It's also harder to tell the boys from the girls until they grow a little. We don't bother with a rooster. 
Roosters are not a necessity unless you want to raise chickens. 
We get 3 to 4 eggs a day as long as it's not too rainy for too long.
Our hens lay all winter.
Roosters can be a protector.
 They often can be mean and hard to deal with as well.

My chickens day starts when I let them out of their house when my son gets on the bus. I might take them some table scrapes or pull them some weeds or grass during the day. We feed and water them in the evening around supper time. That's also when I gather the eggs. We shut the house door at dark when they have gone in to roost for the night.

We feed ours Layer Pellets. That's what the first hens were already being fed. We tried ground feed once but it seemed they wasted more than they ate and it didn't last as long.

As far as collecting and keeping eggs, I wash mine with warm soapy(dish detergent) water. 
I store them in the refrigerator in old egg cartons.
Some people do not wash their eggs until they use them and they do not store them in the refrigerator they keep them at room temperature. This may be fine and something I would consider if I was forced to be without electricity but for me I wash them and keep the in cold.

Once a month or as needed you will need to clean your coop. I usually just get a rake and a shovel and lay them a new bed of straw.
It makes them get very excited and happy.

I hope I've shared something that will help you along the way.
If you have some questions just ask. I'll do my best to answer them.

Thank you for stopping by for a visit!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Coope Clean-up

I thought I would share a picture of my happy girls. I'm so glad I took advantage of yesterday's weather to clean-up the chicken coope and throw down some new straw. I don't know if you can see the excitement? They where cooing and curious. Anything different excites my girls.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Salt Lick Love

Jud and his salt block
Wow..I've never seen him so wild-eyed

Jealousy #1 and #2
Jealousy #3

Oh my! We decided to pick up a salt block for Jud yesterday. He has gone crazy for it. Petey and Diesel wanted to give it a try but one lick on that block was enough for them and you know it... the girls won't be left out. These are undoubtedly the most curious animals around.

I was going to be educational and post some dietary needs but after researching what is on-line about goat diets I was afraid I would scare you off from even having a goat at all. I have no formal training on animals I do what my Daddy did and what Papa would do when it comes to caring for my animals. I also take the perspective  a little like raising children. If I waited until I had learned all the facts, I still be waiting to have either. I think mostly good common sense will lead you in a right direction.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Chickens and Hens

Chickens and Hens(plants not birds) are truely a staple if you are wanting to add country or southern style to your home. Most often you might see them planted in a pot at your grandma's home but they seem to be making a strong comeback in modern gardening too. For some reason I thought they were a house plant; but my Mama recently explained they are perinial and do quite well outside in beds. She had planted a few herself that were already mutiplying. This lead me to divide up the ones I had in a pot on the porch and make a bed of chickens and hens for myself.

I'm sort of a potluck kind of gardener. I mostly use what I have whether it's rocks from around the yard or old busted brick and block. I also decorate with things that are not common. In this bed I used a decorative chicken my daughter gave me and a busted iron skillet I found in the weeds just outside the yard. In the south, it is very common to find objects just pitched to the edge of the yard; so keep your eyes open you never know what will be there.

No time is spent in the yard without the real hens coming to check it all out. They are always most curious and very nosy. I hope you are inspired to try your own chicken and hen flower bed. I can't wait till the whole patch is covered and I can't post even more pictures.

Have a blessed day!