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Noel on Duty March 30, 2011

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Well, today has been interesting to say the least. This morning after I had already let Noel out and back in, we had vistors. Seems our neibor up the road misplaced their 2 chichuauas. I heard Beta sounding off out back and did not know why till I heard one of them yip. I opened front door and there they were on the front driveway in front of my car. Noel shot out of the bedroom( she was sleeping with hubby) and I opened the door. She chased one of the 2 down the driveway till the end. Then came back up, at that time the other started down but when it saw her. OMG what a scream it let out. Noel was so startled she looked at me then at it as it ran past her. She just walked to the hill top of driveway to make sure it ran to the bottom. Man, was that one loud, it screamed like that all the way down. LOL Even woke up hubby now thats impressive. Noels reward after lots of rubs and pats was one big hunk of cheese. Later I bought some neck bones and she got 2 of those. This was actually her second dog determent she did this week. Earlier the neibor that lives above us their 2 chow chow mixs were out running our backwoods. She stayed down at the bottom watching them and staying between them and her chickens. I came out saw they were on our property and yelled at them. That always get them back home. But Noel stayed out for 2 hours on her post watching up that way. Good dog.

Now a note on the broody. She is still stitting but broke another egg so is sitting on 5. As of today I believe we have 4 broodies. I knew that we had another start but today all 4 next boxes were full and growling. I have no idea what the other 2 gals are sitting on but I know the second one is sitting on at least 15 eggs. It has been another rainy day today off and on so I have only gone out twice. Did not bother then hens but check to see where the missing ones were from the flock outside. I was 2 short not including the 2 I knew were sitting. That’s when I found all boxes full and lots of growling at me. If weather clears up tommorrow (I hope) when I open coop they will all come out or should. That is the pattern so far first time door open everyone leaves to eat breakfast I put out. I usually stay to make sure broody does not get harrassed to much. Now it will be harder too tell who is and who is not a broody. I need more nest boxs now and hope they do not get filled with broodies too.


Broody Time February 9, 2011

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We have a broody. I left eggs in the nest where one of the hens has been sleeping. It was only 5 to start. The other hens have added to it. Last count this morning was 11 and maybe one or two more now.

I knew that was all that was needed for her to go broody. I just hope she does not get more hens to go right now. One right now is good enough. I did the count this afternoon and came up one short. That is why I knew one was missing so I went down to check coop. Luckily she was there in nest box looking so cute. I was worried I had lost one to a hawk. We have seen alot of them of late but they have been small. Since we are feeding song birds those have been hit twice.

So today is day one with 22 more to go. We might get snow tonight but I have put squash in the coop for food in moring in case I get out there late.

Usually when I open the coop in the morning broodies leave the nest to eat and drink. I rarely have had one stay on nest when flock leaves in the morning. Which is good for they get food. I hope the same happens again this year. Now if this dang weather would break for Spring I would be all happy.

Eggs eggs and more eggs January 28, 2011

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Yes, we are getting eggs. Many more than we were. Weathwer is warming up again but it is windy. Chickens are out every day till sunset. We are still getting some snow but it is not staying. Lots of rain though. Today’s temps were high of 47.

Renne I have no idea on the GMO free corn no where around here sells it Only thing I know is to buy seed and grow your own. I do not feed corn except included in scratch. Or unless it is cobs from our sweet corn. Here is a link to a seed source for you. http://rareseeds.com/

Very shortly I will be letting the chickens keep eggs laid. I expect at least 4 to go broody by March. Which means I will need more nest boxes. Hopefully we will have coop added on to for them by then.

As of now I know all chicks will be fathered by Alpha. He is not letting beta breed at all and Beta will not crow either. After first hatch and chicks are 16 weeks Beta will be no more for I do not wish his bloodline in mine. He is way too far off the Standard of Perfection for me to keep. I will be offering him up for a local rooster if not then…..

For those that do not read the Backyard poultry mag they had a article about beets. There is a beet that used to be grown for chicken feed. They are called Mangel beets and chickens love them. You can find seed in the link I gave here. I personally do not like beets. Never had them can not get over smell and color. Hubby on the other hand loves beets. So I guess I will grow some for him and the chickens. This is a different beet being longer and white fleshed but yellow outside. Hmm maybe I can try these. Ok I am off to order some seed. Hubby will love that since he grew up with them being german desent.

Flock Interaction November 30, 2010

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Well, I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. This year we did not do a turkey due to hubby being away so much. Although I am sure the dog, cats and chickens would have loved to help finish one off.

Not too much happening and yet alot is with the flock. Alpha has taken over more of the girls from Beta. I am now feeding out front where I can watch them from my window while at the computer. Feed is layer mixed with Scratch. Alpha takes the girls right up to front in morning. Beta sticks around coop with his 3 gals then moves up to back pourch then finally up to the front. If Alpha is done eating he lets them eat if not he chases them off. Today Beta did a big no no and mated a one of Alphas hens. That got him chased by Alpha for almost 5 mins. Alpha was not going to have him do that to one of his gals. Later one of Beta gals tried to eat with Alpha and his gals and he kept chasing her off. Now everything is settled down since all are fed.

Weather here has been windy which is funny to see the chickens handle it. Out in front of the house we always get some of the worst wind gusts. All coming out of the west and house faces north. Chickens do not seem to mind it much. Just show alot of feather shaking. We are expecting more rain and cold weather not a good combo to say the least. But for some reason chickens do not seem to mind. They could stay in their coop all day out of the rain but they do not. Even when its dow in the low 40’s or 30″s with wind and rain they are still out and about.

Coop wise we got ourfake eggs in and they are set up in nest boxes. I am seeing redder faces and combs now. First couple of days the grls just messed up the nest boxes. They were kicking the straw over the eggs or the eggs to the side of the boxes. That has stopped now but still our new ones have yet to lay. Out of the 2 new pullets one is showing alot of red so she is either about to or has and we have an egg eater. But I have heard no song so I do not think she is laying. She was hen raised so knows what the nest boxes is for so I think she would use it if she was laying. I am not letting them out before 9am and most days not before 10am. So she has time to lay if she was going too. Hopefully we will see eggs soon. I need them for them holidays.

Here is a link to a very good chicken forum. It has sections for many chicken breed clubs as well as a sell sectiongneral chicken. Well, worth looking into as breed club breeders are on this forum. But if you wish to buy a breed chicken from a club member I suggest you join the club for you will not be considered unless you plan on breeding. Here is the link and Iwill save it in my links section also. http://showbirdbid.proboards.com/index.cgi

Cooped up Captain January 6, 2010

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Captain our only cockeral is playing it smart and staying in the coop all day. I have started leaving the water in there during the day now and remove it a lock up. that way they do not spill it like they were before and I do not have to kick Captain out of the coop so he can drink. I am leaving the food in there over night though.

Todays egg count was 14 total. Hubby took in another 3 dozen to sell to a standing cllient we have at his work. Someone commented that we are lucky to be getting so many eggs and what are we doing to get it. First off these are first years so that helps. Second there feed is 20% protien and I am giving very little scratch plus the have total free range abilty. Most mornings what they do is drink eat a little feed then go off and forage. We are lucky to still have green plants here not just everygreens either. Some grass is still green and some honeysuckle vine and many native herbs. So chickens are getting a good varity and it is showing.

Tommorrow we are to get 3 inches of snow or at least that is what they are calling for here. I will believe it when I see it. Stay warm all.

Flock update November 30, 2009

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Well, everyone is doing geat. Hawks have given up trying to take a chicken. I guess the hawks grew up as it was young males trying. Read a post on one of the sites about young hawks trying for chickens. Seems to be the case here at least.

Tailless is now getting her tail back and is laying steadly. We are getting between 7 to 10 eggs a day now. That is out of 22 pullets. I have put in another nest box which is the covered cat litter boxes. I was finding a egg on coop floor in the morning sometimes and eggs in the other 2 boxes. So we got another and they are using it.

Today it is raining and as of 1pm we already got 7 eggs. I am hoping that if someone is laying out in the woods todays rain will drive them into the coop to lay. We have alot of deadfall behind the coop so if they are laying out there it will be next to inpossible to find that nest.

I have banded more of the chickens hoping to make a list of who is laying and who is fertile. Right now I know of 2 that Captain has gotten with good. I do not have a incubator yet but that will be bought soon so I can hatch a few eggs to get another rooster. We could definitlly use another here since pullets range so far now.

Could thing is we do not have a back load of eggs as hubby is selling them at his job. Thanksgiving was alot better this year cooking wise using fresh egg. Can not wait till Xmas to make fresh eggnog. Yummy. Happy Holidays all.

Free ranging and eggs November 4, 2009

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Just have to love chickens that free range. Life is so interesting and one gets so many surprises. 2 days ago I knew something was up so I stayed outside with the chickens watching them. We have been getting 6 eggs a day in our nest boxes. One day we got seven so I knew I had another laying but where was she doing it now.

So I watched and sure enough caught her. I had wonder if the coop was to high in one area and if they could get under. Well, they were as i saw her come out. So down I went on wet cold ground to look and saw nothing at first. The I saw it an egg right in front of where I was looking. Guess my eyes needed to ajust. I kept looking but did not see anything else.

I stayed out there after I got that egg but still felt I was missing something under the coop. So I went back down made sure all my hair was out of my face and waited for eyes to adjust. Then looked real good and OMG there was a nest and a Big one.

I moved to the front of the coop and layed down and start getting them till I could not anymore. Then I went inside woke up hubby to help me. I counted what I pulled that was 15 total. He got the rest. The grand total was 24 eggs in that nest. Guess we need more nest boxes. LOL

Well, yesterday I stayed out there again to see who was going under. Well it turned out to be one I want to get rid off one way or another. So I shooed her back to the coop. It took her a bit to settle in the box but she finally did and layeed her egg. So yesterday total we got 10 eggs. Found one just laying in the yard. Lesson learned never assume anything when it comes to chickens. Both hubby and I thought they were to big to get under there but they proved us wrong.

Ok I promised pics I am going to take them now. BTW tailless is doing good and we think hawks have given up. Chickens just too big for them to handle. LOL




flock under stairs

Egg collecting with free range chickens October 13, 2009

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Well, it seems I was all wrong about that week of no eggs after getting our first. I kinda thought something was up but now I know. This morning around 10am I heard egg song and luckily I was at a window. Saw where the pullet came from so I went down there. This is close to the same area where I saw 2 pullets singing on saturday. Found a nest of 9 eggs so I ran back to the house told hubby who went out with me to get them.

Note to self buy a basket lugging egg catrons will get old fast.

Oh, when I found that nest I heard another pullet sound off behind me so I looked for her. After we got all the eggs from the one nest we went on the hunt for the other. It was in front of the house along our fence line in high weeds. 8 eggs there and we kept looking but have not so far found any other nests.

Hubby asked me how can we get them to all to lay in the coop. I said we will lock them up again for a most of the day. I plan to let out when he goes to work at 3:30pm EST. We then went out to buy another cat litter box so that they had two instead of one.

When we got back found another chicken in the box laying. I already got a large one from there this morning. Seems the ones laying in there are not making egg song that much. Well, waited for her to finish then I set up box. Since then I have heard egg song 3 more times. Twice at coop once in front of house.

Out of all those eggs we collected today one was a double yoker. Funny thing was I did not know it till I cracked it for our lunch which was western scrambled eggs. That is eggs with ham and cheese and onions and sweet pepper.

So now these bad girls get themselves locked up if they do not behave. We have too much land to cover and most has brambles. I am hoping that locking them up for most of tomorrow will work. If that does not work then it will be for a whole day to two days.

Guess it is time to thin the flock. I have been planning on doing a chicken this weekend for the dog as we need some meat for her. Might make it two since I have two I must get rid of since they have some bad faults for this breed. We shall see.

Eggciting day October 11, 2009

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Well, after a whole week after our first egg we finally got egg number two. Never thought I would have to wait so long for second egg. Those that I have talked to there are a few that went thru the same thing. So those of you with chickens getting ready to lay know between eggs you can have a wait or not.

Today I opened the coop to find a real small egg under the perch. This egg was even smaller than yesterdays egg. Must be a new one laying. I believe yesterdays egg is from the chickens I just saw lay. She used the nest box where yesterdays was found also. It is also bigger than yesterdays. Pullet did not do egg song after either she just ran out shook then ran up hill to a big mulch pile with some of her friends. If I had not check the nestbox I would have never known that she laid. She is laying at 5pm which is very late but seems like her time. Hmm if she has followers I might have evening fresh egg to make quiche with for dinner. Yuummmy