Friday, May 31, 2013

Little Farm Girl

I took care of my two grandchildren today.  I will have them once a week throughout the summer.
They are 4 and 6 years old.
It was a beautiful day and we spent most of it outside.
They love coming to my little "Square Acre Farm".  
And Ava loves the chickens.

This is Jack, he was busy else where most of the day but finally came into the run for a little while in the afternoon.

And good news . . . Martha has seemed to be over her broody spell.  She slept on the roost last night and was acting completely normal today without going in the nesting boxes.  Of course she isn't laying yet either.  I'm hoping to take that wire cage out of there tomorrow.


Thursday, May 30, 2013

Broody Martha

I have been under the weather for almost two weeks; just now recovering from whatever the he%# I had.  The doctor thinks gastritis or maybe even a gall bladder attack!  Whatever it was I don't want it back!!
In the middle of all that, my power went out for a day, Monk got an ear infection and I had to load him in the car to go to the vet AND Martha, my big buff orpington chicken goes broody!
For you non-chicken people, that means her nesting hormones are raging and she wants to have chicks!    To be a Momma!  I found her not getting off her nest at all for the whole day and even when you pushed her she wouldn't get off.  I had to lift her off and take her outside. 

She was very gentle and didn't peck at me.  A lot of broody hens will get sort of nasty about you moving them.  The first day she was sitting on two eggs (not hers.)  I took her off the nest about 5 times that first and second day.  Then she was sitting on nothing.  They don't lay eggs when they're broody either.
I could have gotten some fertile eggs and stuck under her and let her raise a little brood but I really don't need more chickens and what if I'd get a rooster!!!!!!
Or I could get a couple day old chicks and stick under her and see if she'd accept them.  Not trying that either, at least right now.
I read up on this.  The first thing I am trying is to put her in a wire cage with a wire bottom so she can't nest.  Supply her with food and water and let her in there.

Martha is NOT happy!!

I did that for a day and a couple nights.  In the daytime I've let her out to run around with her flock but kept the door shut to the nesting boxes once I was sure the other hens had laid their eggs.

She seems to be acting very normal this evening and when I opened the pop door she didn't run in to the nest.  She went in at dusk with the rest of them.  So I'm hoping she is on the roost and not in the box!
I didn't look!


If any of you have experience in this let me hear from you!!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

A Little Present

Look at what my girls left for me today. I was home sick so all five of my girls gave me an egg!

Sunday, May 19, 2013


I was talking to my daughter when I looked outside and saw my chickens ambling all over my back yard area!!
I ran out and there was Monk just laying on the deck watching them!
I put him in the house and began to just watch my chickens.  They were just happily scratching and pecking in the grass and driveway.  This is the way I would love to have them if I didn't live surrounded by a golf course!!!
I just stayed out there for awhile with them.  They are quite tame and I could just go pick them up one by one as I believe they regard me as "mother hen"!
I saw my barn cats getting a little bit too interested in the loose chickens in the yard so I coaxed them back to their pen by rattling a container of meal worms.  They'll follow them anywhere!!

I just may let them out again sometime and sit out there with them so no hawks come soaring from the sky.  I have a lot of trees and there's cover if they'd need it.  
And I can always run around flapping my arms!!

I was very  lucky that I saw the chickens before a cat hurt one of them and also that Monk, my big St. Bernard isn't a chicken hunter!!  However, I'm pretty sure the chickens could out run Monk!!


Breakfast Solitude

Yesterday was a busy and tiring day.  We had a wonderful Open House at the barn where my horses are.  Echo was part of the show.  More pictures etc. another time.
This morning I had a nice quiet breakfast on my little kitchen porch.
The dogs were out back.
It was just me and Ellie.

As I sat there drinking my coffee, all I could hear were the birds.  It was particularly quiet this morning. No cars on the road and no lawn mowers on the golf course.
It must be really peaceful if you were really away from everything.  Like up in the woods in a little house where there is never the din of traffic or people or air planes etc.
I like to read about the people that have chosen to go back to real homesteading.  Like really off the grid.  I don't think I could do it for more than a couple days and then I'd have to hit a Walmart!!
I need things.


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Chicken Tractor - Part 2

I told you yesterday there was a problem with the chickens and the chicken tractor.
Mainly . . . they were afraid to go into it.

So Bob (Brother-in-law) built a little open air extension.  We put that up to their run door and it wasn't long they all went in there to scratch and peck on different ground.

Looks like a little Chicken TRAIN!

Pretty soon they were all in there.

This isn't predator proof so I only put them in it when I'm around.
It's pretty small.  Not meant to be their main coop. 
They even tried out the nesting boxes up top.  No eggs but I could tell they snuggled down in the shavings and gave it a try!

My back yard is starting to look like a little barnyard!  Oh well the front it nice.


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

So Behind, . . . sorry! Chicken Tractor Part 1

I can't believe it's been 15 days since I've written on my blog!!!!!!!!!!
I hope I haven't lost all my followers!
I have many excuses.

Excuse #1
My dog is very sick which makes me all depressed.
(But more about that another time)

Excuse #2
My brother-in-law was here for almost a week and helped me get A LOT accomplished.
Pictures to follow.

Excuse #4
I had a UTI and didn't feel good.
(I know, that's too much information!)

Excuse #5
Our barn is having a huge open house and I have to get my horses all spiffied up.
(Oh, I haven't done that yet . . . they're getting baths tomorrow.)

A couple other things I've run into in these past 15 days.
My new air conditioner blew the outlet and I had to have the electrician here to put it on it's own dedicated circuit.
The toilet plugged up really bad and had to have the plumber here to fix that.

OK, enough with all that.
Let's see my new chicken tractor that my brother-in-law, Bob made me.

 OK, he didn't build it, but we put it together!
I had gotten this from TSC and had it in the carton ready for when he came to help!
It's so cute!  Small but cute.

But, he had to put wheels and handles on it.

He worked long into the evening the first day.

Then it was ready to try!
We wheeled it up to the one end of the extended run .

And opened both doors

They looked . . .
(Ah, Pepsi, you cannot sneak in there!) 

and looked . . .

And looked some more!

Finally!  Martha was the bravest chicken.  (Of course!)

Then 2 others joined her.  BUT, only for about 10 seconds.  Then they all tried to get back through the door at one time like the 3 stooges!!

Clearly we needed a Plan B!

Tune in tomorrow.

(I'm back)
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