Thursday, July 30, 2015

How To Prepare For Your First Chicks

Read, Read, Read!

I can't stress this enough.
Heaven knows, there's enough information out there about raising chickens.
And it's not hard to find.
I researched for about a year before I ordered my chicks!!!
But that's just me.
I'm sure most people don't do that much!
I was so afraid I'd do something wrong and my little ones would die and it would be my fault!!
They are fragile at first but most of the time they survive our blunders if those tiny ones have the essentials of heat, water and food!
OK then!
Here are the research books that I have.

Most of these you can also find in the library.
But it's good to have some on hand to answer your questions when you first start or if a problem arrises.
If I were to have just two, they would be:
"The Storeys Guide to Raising Chickens"
(It's like the bible for information)
And
 Lisa Steele's
"Fresh Eggs Daily"
I go to it all the time because it stresses raising chicken naturally and organically and has a lot of natural remedies and things about herbs.

Of course there's so much information on line too:
These are 3 really good blogs (besides mine : ))

Fresh Eggs Daily
She's the one who wrote the above book

The Chicken Mama

and
The Chicken Chic

And of course there's always Google!
She knows everything!!!

Also if you look on my Pinterest page (link on the right side bar)
I have a board for Chickens and Coops

So, get some info on coops, start building this winter and read, read, read!
I promise it's easy after you have your chickens!!

Shirley
I have started to broadcast on Periscope.
I try to correlate a blog post with the subject I am talking about on Periscope because I am trying to promote my blog.
Periscope is a new app of live broadcasting.
It's connected to Twitter since Twitter owns it.
I sort of picked the niche of "raising chickens" since no one else was talking about it.
I "scope" on other things too like showing when I cook or bake.
And I've scoped when I've been out to the barn with the horses.
The scopes only last for 24 hours and you can find them on Twitter.
Since I scope everyday, there's always one or two on there.
Find me on Twitter.
Shirley Corwin @hoofprints
(There's a link along the right side bar.)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Keeping Chickens for Fun and Eggs.

First things first!
If you think raising chickens would be fun and your town allows it.  
I say GO FOR IT!!
Or if your city/town doesn't allow chickens, MOVE TO THE COUNTRY!

I'm sorry I didn't get chickens a long time ago.  
They are a hoot!

There are more and more urban places that are allowing chickens, even if it's just 2 or 3 hens.
With more people interested in where their food is coming from, there is definitely more talk about chicken keeping.
But, the first thing to do before you get all excited about getting those cute, fluffy little baby chicks, is to call the extension office of your town and see if there are any restrictions on chicken raising.
It would be terrible to get all attached to little Marigold and Gertrude then have to give them up!

Now, if you've found out you can have them at your location, the very next thing to do is to plan their housing.
Yes, a chicken coop.  
This comes BEFORE getting your chicks!
It's important to get started on that a couple months before it's time for the little cuties to be old enough to leave their brooder.
You know, it always takes longer to make something than planned.
You may plan on buying a coop ready made.  In that case, make sure it is really well made.  It's going to be out in the weather!
I just know about here in NE Ohio.
It can be brutal on wood!
The little second coop that I have in the chicken yard, just for cover, has already had to have it's roof replaced.

Just sayin'
My brother-in-law put it together from a kit in an afternoon and then we added the wheels and handles so we could move it more easily.  (Making it into what they call a "chicken tractor".)
This little coop is only big enough for a couple chickens and then you would have to add on a run for them.  It's not made strong enough.
Remember, if it's your primary coop, it has to keep those night predators OUT!
This little coop would be easy pickin' for a raccoon!

I'm glad now that I decided to have a friend build mine inside my garage where it is protected.
No, it's not as cute, but it is nice and big and very strong.
It's insulated and has electric power to it.

OK, those are the first two things you should do when planning ahead to get chicks.
Keep posted for the next things to do before chicks arrive.
And HEY! 
 Where are you going to get them??

Shirley



  

Monday, July 27, 2015

Monday Daybook for July 27th


For Today:  July 27th 2015

Outside my window:  It's sunny and going to be a hot one today.  Tiger lilies and daisies in full bloom.
                      

I Am Thinking:  I'd better turn on the air conditioners before it gets hot in here.

I Am Thankful:  For the better mood I'm in today.

In The Kitchen:  I can hear the soft whir of the dishwasher.

I Am Wearing:  A green t-shirt and black running pants and my garden clogs.

I Am Creating:  Another little crocheted iPhone pocket.  I'm just learning to crochet on YouTube so my things seem to turn out a little crooked as I lose and pickup stitches when I'm not supposed to!!

I Am Going:  To run up to GoodWill to see what I can find and also stop in Aldi's for some bread.

I Am Reading:  "Aunt Dimity & the Wishing Well", a light hearted English mystery.  (Audio book)

I Am Hoping:  That Michele will see the benefit in trying Periscope for her photography business.

I Am Looking Forward To:  Riding my horse, Echo this week if it doesn't get too hot.

I Am Hearing:  My dog making little noises as he sleeps beside me.  I think he must be dreaming.

Around The House:  I am on the lookout for items to sell on eBay.

In My Garden:  It's pretty dry so I'd better water today.

I Am Pondering:  What to talk about on Periscope today.

One of My Favorite Things:  Sitting out side with my second cup of coffee in the morning.

Quote of the Day:  
                        

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:  Find more things to sell on eBay (see link right side bar),
call the barn for a riding lesson possibly this week.  Thursday is massage therapy day  : )),  Steam mop my family room floors.  (I'm seeing drool marks from the dogs!!)  Try not to spend anymore money before the end of the month.  Maybe I should make some bread in my breadmaker!

Photos From The Past Week:


I am linking this post with Simple Woman's Daybook.

Go have a visit and read about other woman's days.

Shirley

                                   

Friday, July 24, 2015

Do Your Clothes Turn Orange!

Well, Sunscreen is the culprit.
Especially one ingredient in almost all sunscreens.
It's the Avobenzone.
(And most moisturizers that have a sunscreen in has this too!)
If you read carefully, it says "May stain some clothing"!!
Well when I was younger, I didn't wear sunscreen or I chose like a number 4!!
Of course, this past year, I had to have some small skin cancers removed so then I started wearing nothing less than a Broad Spectrum SPF 30 or higher.
These are what I was using.




That's when my clothes started turning orange when I would wash them.  Especially around the neck and on the sleeves.
It was driving me nuts.
I was totally bleaching the heck out of my white shirts.
You can only do that so many times before they fall apart!!
As you can see, the higher the SPF, the more Avobenzone and the oranger my clothes were getting!
But why my clothes and not my daughters!!
Well it so happens that it is the chemical reaction that happens between 
the Avobenzone and iron which is in harder water.
Like WELL WATER!  That I have!
I have a water softener but there must still be more iron in my water than city water.
I had to find a sunscreen without the Avobenzone.
There are just a few and they are made with Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide.
You know . . . like Desitin ointment!!!!


Well, let me tell you one thing.  It certainly is waterproof!!

 You can hardly even wash it off with soap!
But if I have to be uncovered in the sun, I guess I'll have to wear it.
At least it doesn't smell like the old Desitin.
Remember that smell?
Sort of like fish oil!

Well, my clothes haven't turned orange for the past month.
So I guess that's a good thing.
If anyone knows of a more pleasant sunscreen without the Avobenzone, let me know!

Shirley





  

Friday, July 17, 2015

Yesterday I Saw A Monarch


It was the first one I've seen this year.  She caught my eye fluttering past the window in my front garden.  I went out and quietly sat on the front porch.
I have several milk weed plants out there by the gate.
Last year I had one plant and this year 4 or 5, so I'm happy that they do multiply pretty easily.
That one plant, the milkweed, is the only thing that the Monarch caterpillar eats.  
The ONLY thing.



SAVE MONARCHS FROM DOW'S CHEMICAL ASSAULT!

Industrial agricultural giant Dow Chemical unveiled its newest toxic herbicide, Enlist Duo, which would destroy milkweed plants that monarch butterflies need to survive. And monarch populations are crashing from nearly 1 billion butterflies 20 years ago to just 57 million last winter. Tell Dow's CEO to shelve the company's plan for selling this potent chemical cocktail — before it wreaks more destruction on monarchs.

Wouldn't it be tragic if we were the last generation to even get a glimpse of this beautiful creatures.
The Monarch yesterday was going from leaf to leaf scoping out my plants.  I'm hoping she will lay her eggs there.

Monarch butterflies go through four stages during one life cycle, and through four generations in one year. It’s a little confusing but keep reading and you will understand. The four stages of the monarch butterfly life cycle are the egg, the larvae (caterpillar), the pupa (chrysalis), and the adult butterfly. The four generations are actually four different butterflies going through these four stages during one year until it is time to start over again with stage one and generation one. - See more at: http://www.monarch-butterfly.com/#sthash.b2aDnG0T.dpuf

Stop using herbicides and pesticides!
There are nature things you can do in your gardens that won't kill off everything!!
This is from an article on eHow:

Advantages of Natural Products

  • Organic herbicides and pesticides have no toxic or poisonous chemicals that can harm wildlife, sources of water or humans. They also decompose quickly, leaving no residue on plants or in the soil. You might also save money when you choose natural alternatives.

Natural Herbicides

  • A mixture of white vinegar and essential oil of orange can be an effective remedy against certain weeds. Select 10 percent acidity white vinegar made from grain alcohol. Combine 1 gallon of vinegar with 1 oz. orange oil, pour into a spray bottle and apply to weeds on a warm, sunny day. Repeat the application every few days until weeds wilt and die.

Natural Pesticides

  • Many natural pesticides exist at local gardening centers. For aphids and other soft-bodied insects, use insecticidal soap. For snails and slugs, purchase iron phosphate granules. For caterpillars and other worms that eat plant foliage, purchase bacillus thuringiensis.
Last year I don't think I say any Monarchs!
I remember when I was young, you saw them in your gardens all summer.
Think before you spray!!

Shirley








Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Do You Zentangle?

Well, I learned about something new.  Well, apparently it's not new but I never heard about it before last week!
Zentangle
Norma, a friend of mine, told me about it and when I looked it up on Google and Pinterest . . . . . .
Oh my goodness.
I took to it right away!

It's sort of like doodling on steroids!

Look it up on Pinterest.  There's hundreds of patterns but it's really where ever your imagination takes you.
Here are my very firsts.
 The part that looks a different color is were I started with the wrong kind of pen.
(Don't use a Sharpie)


These are the types of pens to use.

Zentangle is like yoga for the brain.
It is good to relieve stress, good for the memory, helps to make brain connections and helps with focus!
(Now, who can't use help with those things!!!!)
It's good for relaxation and has meditative elements.
It's easy to learn and is self soothing.
Teaches you to own your mistakes because it is done in pen and there's no erasing.  You work your "mistakes" into your pattern.  That makes it good for creative problem solving.
Who knew that this "beautiful doodling" could be so good for you!!

Go ahead, go look it up on Pinterest or Google.
You'll be amazed.

So . . . Do you Zentangle?

Shirley




Monday, July 13, 2015

A Late Monday Daybook


For Today:  July 13, 2015

Outside My Window:  Darkness.  I'm a little late with my daybook!  It's 11pm!

I Am Thinking:  That I didn't pay enough attention to my finances.

I Am Thankful:  For my new financial advisor.  Also thankful that I found a good house sitter.

In The Kitchen:  There's a few dishes in the sink waiting for me to empty the dishwasher.

I Am Wearing:  Black running pants, yellow t-shirt and a flannel over shirt.

I Am Creating:  (Or working on) my July budget.

I Am Going:  To bed soon!

I Am Reading:  (Or listening to) "C is for Corpse" by Sue Grafton, an audio book in the car.  I love mysteries and this is a good one.

I Am Hoping:  That I can stick to a budget!

I Am Looking Forward To:  Going to my sister's this weekend.

I Am Hearing:  The TV going in the family room.

Around the House:  There is dog hair all over the floors.  I've got to sweep good tomorrow.

In the Garden:  I can see some baby butternut squash growing on their vines.

I Am Pondering:  Whether it will really rain AGAIN tomorrow.  I want to put up some deer netting around my veg. garden that the deer have found!!

One Of My Favorite Things:  Selling things on eBay for a little extra money!

Quote of the Day:  

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week:  Help my handyman tomorrow if it doesn't rain.  (And sweep these floors!)  Wednesday, make turkey burgers and use up the last of the green beans from row 1.  Thurs. is massage day  : ))  Friday, get ready for the weekend.  

Photos to share from the week:
         

Hope it was a good Monday for everyone.

Linking to Simple Woman's Daybook

Shirley




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