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Fall is here September 25, 2015

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Chickens are still locked up. Baby ducks are growing like weeds which is good. We had rain today finally. So much needed as it has been so dry. Hubby and I are looking at property to expand the farm. We only have 4.6 acres and rent neighbors extra ten for the cows. We found one place real nice but house is so small we would have to do alot of enlarging to life in it for long time. I do not think I could do even a short time with in laws. We have both hubby’s brother and mother here and both are not quite right to put it kindly.

Anyway, it is a lovely piece of land end of the road farm all set up. Just house is 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom. NOT enough space at 980 sq ft. Ours now is almost 1600 sq ft and it is not enough with those two here. LOL But if we can by chance make it work hubby has made it plain chickens stay. Place will need them back for tick control. It is overgrown but that is not an issue. Has it own water system already set up YES 5 barns YES 3 gardens YES small house no. We are trying to figure it out more later on that I hope.

Coop is done. September 28, 2013

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Well, we finally got the new hen coop done. I decided on a community next box this time. So we made a 6 foot outside the coop nest box. Hens seems to like it as the two oldest laid in it the next day that we put them in the coop.

Right now we have 24 hens/pullets. So we are back to where we started five years ago when I bought our first batch. Beside the two older ones that have been laying with have one new pullet laying from this years hatching. I expect by end of next month we will have six more join her.

The old coop is going to be used as the finishing coop for the roosters I do not want to keep. First to go will be my old rooster Longfeather and one of his identical sons. They have traits I am trying to get rid of now. We have 18 roosters right now I think it might be more they are kind of hard to count. Of this I have 6 I am keeping for breeding as of now that could change as they grow more.

This years hatching has improved alot in width. Most of this is due to that one female I got from NC a bit back. She is no longer with us as she got killed by a cat. But thanks to Sky our English Shepherd who is now just over a year old we do not have to worry about cats anymore.

Sky aka Blue Moon’s Autumn Sky of Green Mountain has been a huge help here. She has really helped protect this years hatching. We have only lost two chicks this year. Sky has been actively watching the skies for hawks. Patrols the property for stay chickens and for varmints not supposed to be on the property. She has herds the chicks back to safety more than once. She has even calmly turn stray cows off the property. We have pigs now and she keeps them off the feed trough when it is time for feeding which helps us alot. She did helps us when last fall hawks attacked and she guarded the hens and chased off the hawk. She even alerted me to one I did not know was killed. We will be breeding Sky this coming Spring. Below are pictures with one of her chicks and one of the pigs.
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Pictures are here. August 29, 2013

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Finally got some pictures of new chicks I hatched this year. One each. Pullet is a few months younger than her brother which is 5 months old. We will be moving new pullets to the coop this week end. Only lost one of all the new ones this year and it was one that is with main flock and raised by its mom.

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50 chicks and now piglets August 1, 2013

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Well, things are going real well here. All hatching is done to the total of 53 chicks. We have two chick pen and coops that are working out well. Right now we a finishing the add of to the big 8×8 coop with another 8×8, so that will be 16×8 with a wall and door between them. New addition will hold all the hens with one or two roosters. Nestboxes will be on the outside of this one. We are going to use old 8×8 for broody coop and the hens and baby chicks are safe from adult hens.

The large pen and the large small coop with be the rooster grow out pen this year. Right now the old A frame small coop is attached to it. The old A frame pen is attached to the new small larger coop which is a box. So those will be switched when new coop addition is done and all the pullets are moved to it.

Sky our farm dog is now 11 months old and doing great. She is helping herding the chicks in at night to their pens. She is also great at watching the skies for hawks. I wish I had my phone the other day when she was lying on her side and one of the cockerals walked right over her. She never even move.

This weekend we will be getting our pigs. 3 piglets two for us and one for a friend to grow out. Hubby and BIL butcher our own meat. We are raising one for a friend who is raising cow for us. It will be interesting to see how the chickens and Sky react to them. Last time Sky saw a pig she was 4 month old and that was one huge pig.

On another good note we have field corn planted and growing for winter feed. Plus we will have kale and collards for the chickens What a be help having a tracor is and BIL here. I will have pictures after piglets are here.

Broody surprise August 12, 2012

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Well, today is a great day. My broody that raised the chicks I hatched this spring is now hatching her own. I had forgoteen when she went broody. Just too much going on. I knew she was close and due to one of the pullets making hen noises I decided to look out back. Well, more fed the chickens out back. I saw her outside of coop and light bilb lit. Hmm wonder if her eggs hatched. So down I went to the coop and on my way there she was walking around inside which is not normal. She has been sitting real tight on the nest and I never distrebed her. (sorry for spelling I am real tired) I saw 4 chicks when I got down there. Later that afternoon I went down to check on her. Oww she is being real protective. Eggs were still hatching. I have no idea how many she is sitting on or how long hatch will go for since I think the other hens layed a few after she started. I know my bad but I was not over worried about it since it was late in season and it just ment extra for us.

Wed we will be moving spring chicks to big coop and mom and chicks to small coop. That should be lots of fun. We have high weeds to cut down to even open the door front of small coop. We let it grow up a bit for sun protection. Not looking forward to that work. Now need to buy new camera and video camera.

Spring and hatching March 17, 2012

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Happy Patties day all.
Spring is finally here and I have one hatching done. Did not get many but I forgot to plug in my turner. Also had many infertile as i saw from cracking those we ate as well as those that never developed. Since then we are getting all fertile now.

We stil have a total of 10 here. 7 hens 3 roosters. Everyone is laying well and I even have one that is doing 2 a day a couple times a week. We did not get much snow at all this year so they have been free ranging all winter. I am still feeding the ADM egg balancer in pellet form. But they were not eating much of it until recently. Lots of hard storms coming threw and very wet ground might have something to do with that right now.

Chicks are doing well. They are 3 weeks old and large. We have a new pet in the house a breaded dragon and he requires insects. So I have worms for him. What he is not eating I am feeding to chicks. Mainly phoenix worms since he thinks they are to small for food. Phoenix worms are the larve of black soldier flies and can be bought online at Phoenix.com. Chicks love them. I might just keep them in stock for chick raising.

As of now I have another batch of eggs in incubator due to hatch end of month. It is full and yes I made sure to plug in my turner. I have a few going to locals here but most will be to restock flock. Hubby wants us to have like 50 in case bear attacks again. We will have to add on to coop to have that many in it.

Fence is in process. Hubby is putting in posts when home. We were going to have someone do it but money was used for another car as mine was going. OH well it will just take longer to get fence done. I hope to have pictures soon but weather has not been all that great. Many be next month.

New Year January 17, 2012

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Happy New Year everyone. I know I have not posted lately but not much has been happening. Our 10 chickens are doing great. All 7 hens are now laying. My 3 roosters are the best I have raised yet.

I have to buy a new camera as our old one is having problems. But that buy will be another month away at least. We are getting ready to finish the property fence. Just waiting for tax stuff to come in so we can pay the guy to do it. This will lead to more animals here one being milk goats.

As far as the chickens I am under orders by hubby to increase flock over 30. Due to bear attack he wants to make sure if he hits this year we have enough backup. He loves his fresh eggs. LOL Hubby not bear.

Luckily all 3 rooster are a big improvment over Alpha and Captain. Longfeather the oldest has correct comb and body and is in charge of all 7 gals for now. The other 2 are a bit younger than him but not by much.

Spring here is showing its head by our daffodills popping up already. Today was rain and is the 40’s but saturday it will be in the 60’s. Just crasy I know. I m planning on incubating eggs next month. I will fill it this time which means 42 eggs. Probably do that 3 times at least this year. If not more depending on how many rooster I get out of hatching. I expect to have a good year this year but time will tell.

predator update November 13, 2011

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Not a racoon but a black bear. Yes, you read right. We got hit by a black bear and lost half the flock. He took out the new coop I bought. We have to put it back together. He also hit my large coop. The only way I know it was a black bear is because he left a paw print next to door.

Here is what he did on big coop. First he pulled off the small chickens door which is in the persons door. He ripped 3 corners about 4 ft high in fustration. That was second hit after small coop. Third hit was window. We had some ladders on the ground that he used to give him hight to get into west side window. Next one was east side when we removed ladders. When he went into it that night he must have fell on his head for he broke the top of a next box close to the perch. Rest of box was not moved. He had to go over perch when he whent into that window.

OK, hubby stay home all week to get bear. We never saw him as he was hitting 4am or so. We even bought motion sensor light and camera. He boarded up coop with 1/2 ply and lots of 3 inch screws. That got him. He could not pull off that wood. We think he only hit because he was getting ready to hibernate. For after third hit on big coop he did not show again. It could be he was shot since that week was bear season here. I hate to say it but I hope he was for I do not want him back. I like black bears but this one is too much.

On a good note property has been surveyed. So we can refence it. It has old fencing that is down on two sides. Both are in the woods. Not hard to get too as our driveway goes up that far. Luckily we are paying someone to do it. I will know by next week what that will cost. We want it sone by spring so we can get goats here to eat brambles. Hopefully it will help some with the larger predators too.

fall and predators October 26, 2011

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Well, it has been an interesting month so far. Neibor up the road got hit by hawks when they left town. I got hit a couple of days later by hawk, no losses. Then after neibor got back they got hit again. But last night takes the prize.

They say things come in 3s and that was yesterday. MIL in hospital. Hubby and I had a fight, we never do that, and last but not least my small coop was broken into. I let Noel our dog out this morning to see a cockeral outside the coop. I was thinking he got locked out since I saw others in the coop. I ent to get dressed and was on the phone with hubby when I looked outside. All the chickens in small coop were out. Door to pen was still closed so I had no idea how they got out. Went down with feed and check nest box entrance. WOW, it was ripped off the hindges. Eye bolts were also ripped off. Hubby thinks it was a coon. I never knew a coon could bend metal and break wood. Mind you neither was really thick but still.

This must have been after 1am for I had windows open till then.. Noel would have heard something. The fact that she did not tell me it was later than that while we were in bedroom sleeping. I was up just before 6am but did nit look outside as it was still dark. Oh well, it was bound to happen sometime. I just never thought a coop would get broken into. I will move the other 12 too big coop tonight and lock that one. I have a special lock for it that should be coon proof.

The end of Summer August 16, 2011

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Well, it has been awhile since I have posted. Not much going on but chicks growing. I have some new pics of the babies. We do have one new mom she hatched out 3. Our local fox showed again and is gone again. Lost a few to it but not many. At this time we will be tranfering chicks to big coop they are still in small coop.

Beta is still with us. He has been better since we both put him in his place. Unfortunatly the girls just do not like him at all. We have more unfertile eggs than fertile. Ofcourse with the heat we are not getting many eggs but those we are can not be hatched. So when we transfer the babies to big coop he will go for good.

The oldest cockeral is in the big coop with him and is crowing and trying to mate the pullets. You can see Alpha was his daddy. I have named him Spike. Besides him we have 6 other cockerals and some of those I know are from beta. Do not know if last 3 hatched have any cockerals since they are too young yet.

Now that temps have broken and dropped we should be seeing more eggs again. Right now everyone is eating what they can catch or pick plus chick grower and black sunflower seed. We are getting rain again and bugs seem to be under control thanks to the chickens. They do such a good job of bug control.

The young ones are starting to range further away and up by the house now. Beta still chases them as well as the hens but that should stop soon. They pullets are half the size of the hens and Spike is a little more than that against Beta. I did not get a pick of Spike today but will tomorrow. The picks are of moring under popular trees on southwest part behind house. About 300 feet from where I am at.  The weeds is where they spend most of there time since it is in the shade most of the day.   I shall have closer ones tomorrow.